Plus, what they’ll learn throughout the year and the resources that will help them along the way.


Success in the fall starts today! Kindergarten is an exciting time of learning and growth, and preparing your child for it early on will go a long way.

As your child’s motor coordination increases, so too will their sense of independence, self-reliance, and self-confidence. As the year progresses, kindergarteners will be expected to complete assignments with less outside help, accept more responsibilities, and follow rules more closely.

Help support your child’s growth at home with these tips and resources.

Skills Often Expected at the Beginning of Kindergarten

The list below shows some of the skills that kindergarteners will be developing over the year. You can help by practicing some of these together ahead of time!

That said, don’t put too much pressure on your child — or on yourself. Keep in mind that this list simply includes guidelines; the exact expectations may vary from program to program. 

  • Identify some letters of the alphabet (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Letter Town are two classic books that teach the ABCs.)
  • Grip a pencil, crayon, or marker correctly (with the thumb and forefinger supporting the tip)
  • Write first name using upper- and lowercase letters, if possible
  • Count to ten (The interactive book Ten Playful Penguins is a tactile way for kids to learn this skill — the penguins disappear one by one!)
  • Bounce a ball
  • Classify objects according to their size, shape, and quantity (Help kids build classification skills with fun lessons in the Little Skill Seekers: Sorting & Matching workbook.)
  • Speak using complete sentences
  • Recognize some common sight words, like “stop”
  • Identify rhyming words (Try these fun rhyming games with your child, or try our fun Learning Puzzles: Rhyming set.)
  • Use scissors, glue, paint, and other art materials with relative ease (Klutz activity kits are a fantastic way to incorporate crafting with learning.)
  • Repeat full name, address, phone number, and birthday
  • Play independently or focus on one activity with a friend for up to 10 minutes
  • Manage bathroom needs
  • Get dressed 
  • Follow directions
  • Clean up after self 
  • Listen to a story without interrupting 
  • Separate from parents easily

Don’t panic if your child hasn’t nailed everything on the list: Kids learn a lot in kindergarten. What’s more important is to wean children from relying on you to do things they could do themselves, such as zipping a jacket or tying shoes. Give your child the chance to show you what they can do — you might be in for a few surprises!