Ready -- or not?
- Sit still and listen to a story attentively for ten minutes.
- Play cooperatively with others (take turns, share, resolve conflicts amicably).
- Follow simple, two-step instructions ("Please choose a book, and then take it to your desk").
- Ask for help when she needs it.
- Express herself in complete sentences of at least five words and be understood by non-family members.
- Use the bathroom on her own.
Although these skills aren't first-day prerequisites, you should start working on them with your child one to two months before kindergarten begins.
- Cutting with scissors.
- Recognizing some rhyming sounds and the starting sounds of words.
- Counting from 1 to 10.
- Zipping or buttoning a jacket by himself.
- Packing and unpacking his backpack.
- Using a pencil or crayon properly.
- Reading a few common sight words, like Mom and go.
- Singing the entire alphabet song.
- Writing his name.
Originally published in the August 2011 issue of Parents magazine.