Did your kindergartner learn the academic and social skills kids are expected to know before beginning first grade? This list will give you a rough idea of what your child should have mastered in kindergarten. If your child is not strong in some of these skills, choose a few to practice this summer. Above all, keep things easy — for yourself and for your child! No two kids are alike, especially when it comes to hitting developmental benchmarks. And at this young age, extra pressure isn’t good for anyone.

By the end of kindergarten, kids should be able to:

  • Cut along a line with scissors.
  • Understand time concepts like yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
  • Pay attention for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Follow three-step directions, such as go to the shelf, choose a book, then sit quietly on the rug.
  • Hold a crayon or pencil for writing.
  • Share materials, such as crayons and blocks.
  • Know the eight basic colors: red, yellow, blue, green, orange, black, white, and pink.
  • Recognize and write the letters of the alphabet in upper- and lowercase forms (get letter-writing practice).
  • Know the relationship between letters and the sounds they make.
  • Recognize sight words such as the and show interest in reading or trying to read simple sentences. (See a list of kindergarten sight words and try these snap words worksheets.)
  • Spell their first and last name.
  • Write consonant-vowel-consonant words such as bat and fan (get some practice here).
  • Retell the main points of a story that has been read aloud (see what a child retelling a story looks like).
  • Express an opinion by drawing, writing, or speaking (e.g. “My favorite book is…”).
  • Identify and be able to write numbers from 0 to 20 (get practice writing numbers).
  • Count by ones and tens to 100.
  • Do addition problems with sums up to 10 (get addition practice).
  • Do subtraction problems with numbers 0 to 10.
  • Identify basic shapes, such as square, triangle, rectangle, and circle (get practice with shapes).
  • Know their address and phone number (try this worksheet).

Learn more about the kindergarten classroom in these subject areas: reading, writing, language arts, math, science, social studies, art, music, and physical education.

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