Kindergarten Readiness Skills : A Parent & Child Checklist

There are several skill sets that influence  a child’s Literacy progress: Social/Emotional, Fine Motor, Receptive & Expressive Language, Cognitive/Thinking,  Reading & Writing. 

Within these skill sets are a variety of behaviors that help your child continue to grow & develop. Here are a few basic skills, courtesy of, your 5-year-old may already have in place:


  • Can recite full name, age, gender, address & parent’s phone #
  • Understands some important safety rules
  • Can help put things away in their correct space

Fine Motor

  • Can dress & undress unaided
  • Screws & unscrews jar lids
  • Turns a book page
  • Uses age-appropriate scissors
  • Copies circles & squares
  • Draws a person with 2-4 body parts
  • Spells & writes/traces  his/her name

Receptive & Expressive Language

  • Can follow 2-3 step directions

Need some new strategies ? Click on the link below for Meeting the FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS Challenge  in BLB’s Resource Library.


  • Pays attention for 3-5 minutes
  • Recognizes & identifies common objects
  • Laughs at silly jokes
  • Plays make-believe with toys

Toy~Telling Tales: 5 Scripts Using Your Child’s Toys may be a tool you can use. Find it in BLB’s Shop or click on the link below:


  • Identifies, names & sorts basic colors & shapes

BLB Shop has a collection of Shape & Color Sort Games. Click on the link below:

  • Can count to ten & understands counting
  • Builds 4+ block towers
  • Understands time concepts: morning/night, yesterday/tomorrow, before/after, soon/now/later
  • Completes puzzles
  • Engages in Pretend Play in a more detailed way

Check out Vygotsky’s Play Plan Guide for Parents & Teachers in BLB’s Resource Library. Click on the link below:

Visit BLB’s Shop for Pretend Play  Prop~Templates to use in Simple Pretend Play scenarios by clicking on the link below:M


Reading & Writing

  • Remembers parts of a story
  • Can say the alphabet (or most of it)
  • Can write some capital letters

Need to keep track of what your child knows & needs to work on ? BLB Shop has a PreK Checklist Workbook.

Just click on the link below: and several other sources present a more detailed list  of the Kindergarten Readiness Skills your child needs  with some tips & strategies you can use to help develop them.


  • Provide peer interaction opportunities in social groups & play dates
  • Teach her/him how to express feelings using words, especially when unhappy
  • Role-play typical playground & school problems with solutions

Attention & Following Directions

  • Give him/her 2 & 3 step directions
  • Play “Simon Says” using Gross Motor skills, like jumping, hopping, skipping
  • Work up to reading longer stories & even chapter books (one chapter at night)

Fine Motor

  • Have crayons, colored pencils & markers available for writing & drawing
  • Encourage play dough play
  • Buy a good pair of child-safe scissors for cutting practice
  • Make a collage of favorite things s/he cuts from magazines

Shapes & Colors

  • Add a little food coloring to “vanilla” foods to emphasize certain colors (milk, pudding, icing, cake, cookie dough)
  • Draw shapes on paper for him/her to cut out
  • Play color & shape scavenger games at home & in the neighborhood

Number Recognition & Counting

  • Count throughout the day : crackers, dryer items, buttons, fingers, toes, nature
  • Identify numbers in the environment: billboards, store signs & inventory, fast food marquees, road & highway signs, house numbers

Reading Readiness

  • Run your fingers under the words as you read
  • Play rhyming word games informally throughout the day (going upstairs with a word for each step: cat, mat, sat, etc)

Visit BLB Shop’s I Am Jam : Word Family Games by clicking on the link below:

  • Point out beginning sight words/high frequency words when you read & in the environment: a  at  am  and  can  I  like  me  my  no  said  see  the  to
  • Make up games to help her/him remember these sight words

BLB Shop has a collection of Sight Word/High Frequency Word Games. Click on the link below:


Letter Recognition

  • Sing the ABC song throughout the day, slowly pronouncing ” LMNOP”
  • Help her/him to learn & correctly identify all 26/52 upper & lower case letters
  • Play alphabet games (Click on the links below for 15 FUN & Hands-On Learning ABC Activities Websites  Teaching the Alphabet : A Sequence Guide in BLB’s Resource Library.)

 Teaching the Alphabet : A Sequence Guide

AND you can, also,  visit BLB’s Shop for Let’s Play Some Alphabet Games by clicking on the link below:

  • Use those Alphabet flash cards to play Alphabet Go Fish
  • Point out letters in the environment: street & highway signs, cereal boxes, shop & restaurant signs, city building names, billboards, ads on buses

 Beginning Sounds

  • Make s/he is aware of the sounds each letter has
  • Find household items & toys that begin with the same sound: bear, ball, basket, baby, boots, bed~ over emphasize the beginning sound
  • Check out the website link below for some letter sound tips. It is created by Katie, a pediatric SLP & parent:


  • Use a wrist-loosening practice before writing
  • Encourage Fine Motor exercises like: finger painting, shaving cream writing in the tub, salt or sugar in a cake pan,  dry-erase board drawing
  • Have her/him place small, edible objects like cereal, popcorn, pretzel sticks, goldfish,  corn, peas,raisins, fruit chunks  
  • Using a fat crayon or pencil & unlined paper, help your child write his/her name by connecting dots, tracing over highlighter
  • Try to teach your child to write her/his first & last name in upper & lower case letters
  • Start with the letters L/l for alphabet writing
  • Practice writing numbers 0-20, using same techniques for writing letters

If your child is ready to write & read words & sentences, check out Ka~Zam I Am ! in BLB’s Shop by following this link below:

Hopefully, this resource will assist you & yours as you skip into Kindergarten. Let me hear from you with questions, concerns, comments.

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