Kindergarten Readiness

There is a definite link between early childhood experiences and academic success. The responsibility for providing these experiences is a shared one. Families, schools, parents, daycares, preschools, and community members all contribute to the overall success of children. Tremendous success can occur when schools, communities, and parents form strong partnerships.

To help build a strong partnership, we have prepared a booklet to make the transition to kindergarten smooth. To download the booklet, click here. Topics covered in the booklet are listed below.

  • Important Phone Numbers
  • Welcome to Kindergarten
  • Getting Ready for Kindergarten
  • Early Childhood Screening
  • Bright Beginnings Preschool
  • What Happens in Kindergarten
  • Kindergarten Readiness
  • Getting Ready for Kindergarten
  • Transition to Kindergarten
  • Opportunities to Visit Kindergarten
  • Registration Information
  • Countdown to Kindergarten
  • General FAQ
  • Food FAQ
  • Transportation FAQ
  • Health FAQ
  • STMA Strategic Plan & Vision

The following are some examples of basic skills that have been recognized as contributing to success in school. Each of the five domains is followed by a list of activities/strategies that can be done to achieve proficiency within the domain. If your child cannot do every item on the list, it does NOT mean that he or she isn’t ready for kindergarten.


My child can interact positively with other children and adults.

  • My child can stay on task for fifteen minutes or longer.
  • My child can respond to verbal and non-verbal cues.
  • My child can regulate his/her own emotions and behaviors.
  • My child can easily separate from me or caregivers.

Try these activities:

  • Opportunities for group experiences – participating in community events such as t-ball, swimming, preschool, play groups in your neighborhood, library story times
  • Help your child identify feelings by pointing out facial expressions (happy, sad, angry, scared), body language and asking questions about those feeling

Physical and Motor Development

  • My child can demonstrate independence with tasks such as washing hands, toileting, dressing, zipping, tying shoes and feeding oneself.
  • My child can demonstrate fine motor skills by using scissors and writing utensils.
  • My child can write their full name beginning with a capital letter.
  • My child can demonstrate large muscle control by hopping on one foot, balancing, throwing and catching a ball.
  • My child can write the numbers 0-5.

Try these activities:

  • Provide your child with the following play and work opportunities: peg boards, lacing, bubbles, legos
    • Using blunt edged scissors to cut coupons, cut out letters in magazines, cutting playdoh
    • Stringing beads, noodles, fruit loops
    • Fastening belts, buttoning buttons, tying shoes, zipping coats and pants
    • Household chores: sweeping with a broom, folding laundry, making a bed, setting the table
    • Provide coloring and writing opportunities - have crayons, markers, chalk and watercolors available for them to use
  • Play a game of catch with your child
  • Explore different textures such as playdoh, shaving cream, and sand

Literacy and Print Knowledge

  • My child can recognize their full name in print.
  • My child can recognize and name most upper and lower case letters.
  • My child can associate some sounds with letters and/or words.
  • My child can retell a simple story.
  • My child can use scribbles, shapes, pictures or dictation to represent ideas and thoughts.
  • My child can read environmental print: stop, exit, Target, McDonald’s, etc.

Try these activities:

  • Having books available throughout the home (picture books, predictable books, rhyming books, magazines, newspaper)
  • Have a family reading time
  • Take time when you are reading to your child to point out new vocabulary and asking questions related to the story (Examples, What do you think will happen next? Who is in the story?)
  • Sing favorite childhood nursery rhymes and songs (Row, Row Your Boat, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Practice singing and reciting the ABC’s
  • Give your child a notebook, Magna-Doodle, whiteboards, writing paper to create notes, letters and thank you cards
  • Demonstrate the connection between spoken words and written words by writing what your child says and reading what you write.
  • Play I Spy with letters and symbols in the immediate environment
  • Point out differences between left or right (“we are taking a right turn”, Hokey Pokey, Simon Says with left and right, tracking print in a book from left to right)


  • My child can count the number of objects in small groups.
  • My child can count from 0-20.
  • My child can recognize and create simple patterns.
  • My child can identify shapes and colors.
  • My child can sort objects by two or more characteristics.
  • My child can identify the numbers 0-20.

Try these activities:

  • Have fun counting out loud with your child from 0-20
  • Practice drawing numbers in sand, shaving cream, fingerpaints, use glue and glitter to create three dimensional numbers
  • Challenge your child to match place settings to the number of people eating
  • Make groups of objects using household items such as fruit loops, mini marshmallows, buttons
  • Encourage your child to sort their toys by category, color, shape, size
  • Have your child help cook and emphasize measuring concepts
  • Play games such as Candyland, Hi-Ho Cherry-0, or use a deck of cards to emphasize taking turns, using dice, matching numbers and pictures and counting, and how to play fair
  • Use real coins to identify, count, sort, and pattern
  • Provide a calendar to help your child understand time concepts (count down to special events, to explain family schedules)
    • Use stickers to mark special days on the family calendar
    • Cross off past days
    • Review calendar (yesterday, today, tomorrow, days of the week, month, season, number identification


  • My child can initiate conversations, ask questions and respond in conversations with others.
  • My child can understand direction words such as on, under and over.
  • My child can verbalize their needs.
  • My child can follow directions involving two or three steps.

Try these activities:

  • Practice greeting people (saying hello, making eye contact, using the person’s name)
  • Model appropriate communication skills (listening, using please and thank you, interacting respectfully with others
  • Take an interest in what your child is doing by asking them questions related to the activity. Give them an opportunity to respond with words or pictures.
  • Play a game with your child’s favorite toy (put “Mr. Bear beside the couch”, “put Mr. Bear under the table”)
  • Encourage independence by following 2-3 step directions
    • brush your teeth and put your pajamas on
    • put your shoes on the rug, hang your jacket up, and go wash your hands for a snack

Links to helpful sites