Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

Boy getting dressed for school, putting on socks, smiling with happiness to go back to school

With back-to-school season right around the corner, some parents of five-year-olds wonder whether their child is ready to enter kindergarten. The decision is best made based upon a child’s developmental readiness. 

Lewis First, MD, Chief of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at UVM’s Larner College of Medicine, offers his kindergarten readiness checklist.

Language Basics

  • Know their name, address and phone number
  • Able to ask a question
  • Able to tell a story
  • Able to express a need
  • Can follow a three-step set of directions

Motor Development 

  • Should be able to stand on one foot for 5 to 7 seconds
  • Able to use scissors to cut a line on a piece of paper
  • Can work zippers and buttons
  • Able to hold a pencil

Cognitive Skills

  • Should know simple comparisons, such as bigger or smaller
  • Can recognize rhyming words like hat and cat
  • Less important to know letters, numbers and colors

Social Skills 

  • Comfortable in a group
  • Plays well with others 
  • Able to stay on task for at least 10 minutes 
  • Able to dress themselves 
  • Able to go to the bathroom unassisted 

If you have concerns about your child’s development, contact your pediatrician. 

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