Going to kindergarten is an important life event. Preschoolers can feel excited—and a bit worried, too. Families have similar feelings, knowing their child is going to “big school.”

Preschool teachers want the children in their classrooms to be ready for kindergarten and parents want the same thing. Children who are ready for kindergarten can take care of personal needs such as hand washing and going to the bathroom. They have the motor skills needed for activities requiring coordination and balance, such as bike riding, skipping, or participating in team sports.

They have developed the small muscle coordination needed to hold and write with a
pencil or other tool. In addition, they can regulate their own behavior and express their feelings
with words, and can learn math, reading, and other academic skills at the kindergarten level.


Here are some tips to help parents ensure their child is ready to succeed as they make this
important transition:

  • Talk with your child about his/her feelings about the change. Let them know that you are
    proud they are growing up and moving on.
  • Read to your child every day for at least 15 minutes
  • Make a list of your child’s ideas about what kindergarten is like and talk about it
  • Have your child practice saying his whole name and address
  • Provide crayons for drawing and scissors for cutting
  • Do playful number activities such as counting, telling the number before and after a
    quantity, and telling how much you have when there is one more or one less than a
  • Offer markers, Legos, and other small learning toys to support development of grasp and
    fine motor coordination
  • Give many opportunities to make decisions and smart choices
  • Institute early bedtimes and provide healthy meals