Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Parenting, Child Care May 15, 2013|Print

Released May 14, 2013

URBANA, Ill. - Many parents worry about what and how much their child should know before they enter kindergarten, said Cara Allen, a University of Illinois Extension family life educator.

She suggests helping your child develop these skills:

  • Naming and identifying letters, numbers, shapes (squares, circles, triangles)
  • Counting from one to ten
  • Labeling and identifying the primary colors (red, blue, yellow)
  • Recognizing his printed name
  • Printing her first and last name

“If you decide to work with your child in any of these areas, remember to make it fun. Make learning part of your day, and point out interesting words and numbers during your activities. In this way, you and your child are working on academic readiness,” Allen said.

In equally important area of concern is social readiness, she added. “At school, children must get along with other children, especially in large groups. Some children face these issues quite early in child-care settings. When children have stayed at home or have been in small child-care settings, this transition can be more challenging,” she said.

You can help your child develop social readiness by using the following strategies:

  • Create opportunities for your child to play with other same-age children
  • Encourage your child to think about how others feel
  • Practice sharing and taking turns
  • Practice positive ways your child can express her feelings, especially strong feelings such as anger, frustration, or even exuberance

Going to kindergarten is an important milestone. “Successful transitions made early in life pave the way for the ones that come later. Just a little attention, interaction and forethought from a parent can help to prepare and ease a child’s adjustment to kindergarten,” she noted.


University of Illinois,


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