By Christy Sparling, Occupational Therapist

Is your child ready for kindergarten?

Your child is old enough to start kindergarten — but how to know if your child is ready for it?

Here are a few checklists to help you determine if your child has the preschool foundation skills to help them be successful in Kindergarten.

Reading and Writing Readiness Checklist

  • Participates in songs, finger plays and class activities
  • Demonstrates self care skills and desire for independence (washes hands)
  • Plays cooperatively, using words to resolve most conflicts (sharing)
  • Follows directions for class routines and transitions
  • Says the alphabet and counts to 10+
  • Uses names for colours shapes, letters and numbers in play and conversation
  • Establishes hand preference and uses correct grip for colouring and writing
  • Holds paper with helping hand when colouring, drawing and writing
  • Traces and copies shapes, letters and numbers, using correct formation habits
  • Draws generally recognizable pictures using simples shapes and lines
  • Writes name and has left-to-right directionality
  • Writes letter-like forms, letters or scribbles to represent words and ideas

Numbers and Math Readiness Checklist:

  • Builds with blocks or construction blocks
  • Completes shape puzzles up to 10 pieces
  • Uses position words (top, bottom, front, back, etc.)
  • Sorts objects by attributes (colour, shape, size, type)
  • Shares using strategies ( 1 for you, 1 for me, divide dough in half)
  • Compares 2 objects ( length, height, width, weight, capacity)
  • Counts a set of objects accurately up to 10
  • Make a set of objects to match a number
  • Matches numerals and quantities (matches 5 with a picture of 5 birds)
  • Takes away objects from a larger set and counts how many are left
  • Writes numbers from 1-10 that start at the top and face correctly



Social Emotional Skills Checklist:

  • Demonstrates positive self esteem
  • Demonstrates self-care skills, using the bathroom, and dressing (putting on coats, washing hands) as age appropriate and ability-appropriate
  • Names Body Parts
  • Imitates teacher’s body movements
  • Separates without anxiety- separate from caregiver without stress
  • Manages emotions – through negotiation and cooperation
  • Makes transitions – handle well and without incident
  • Classroom routine – understands and follows classroom routine
  • Cleaning and classroom care – participates in classroom cleanup routines, works with other children
  • Treats property with respect
  • Shows a desire for independence
  • Initiative for learning- shows interest in many different activities
  • Understanding own feelings – names feelings he or she is experiencing
  • Comprehending emotional states of others – names emotions displayed by others
  • Empathy for others – shows empathy by offering comfort and help when appropriate
  • Comfortable adult interactions – interacts easily with familiar adults
  • Play with other children – cooperates with other children
  • Participates in imaginary and dramatic play
  • Takes turns with peers
  • Cooperative problem solving – works with others to solve problems





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