It can be both a fun and emotional ride as your child approaches the start of kindergarten. They are growing up and showing more and more of their personality as the days go by, and soon you’ll be separated by a few hours each week day. What you may not be thinking of, though, is what skills they may already need before their first day. If you are feeling a little stressed over the list of skills necessary for their kindergarten beginnings, do not worry! Here are some of the more important abilities your child should have down before their first day.

Clothing Savvy

It is important that your child knows how to use the restroom independently, and this includes changing their clothes or moving them for restroom use. They should be potty trained and know how to change in and out of their clothes well enough in case of any accident or just in general, as most teachers are not allowed to assist any children with any wardrobe malfunctions.

Know Their Name

Your child should also know how to say their first and last name, and be able to spell/write at least their first name. Many kindergartens have cubbies, desks, and other supplies that will be labeled for each student, so it is always a good idea for your child to know at least the letters of their name, and how to pronounce it.  

Colors, Shapes, and Numbers

It may seem like they need to know a lot before kindergarten, but a lot of what they already know will be reinforced during kindergarten and put to good use. This includes numbers, which ideally, your child should be able to count to ten. Again, this will be further taught and memorized while they attend kindergarten, but some teachers may already assume they know their numbers and can jump right into the learning, which could leave your child behind if they are not familiar with numbers yet.

The same can go for colors and shapes too. It is ideal if your child at least knows the basic colors, like red and blue, and most basic shapes like triangles, circles, and squares. No child in kindergarten will need to know teal or periwinkle colors, but they should also be able to pick out a blue square if need be. 

Basics on Books

Although a child will not know how to read, it is still a good idea for your child to know how to hold a book open. This can include knowing which side is the front and which is the back, and recognizing the words as part of the story. Teachers will be focusing on reading and this can give your child a head start on proper book etiquette!

Katie Kyzivat