Kindergarten Readiness: Is Your Child Ready?

Kindergarten Developmental Readiness Milestones

There are many kindergarten readiness developmental skills the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) considers when gauging how ready Maryland children are when they enter kindergarten.

Below is a breakout of the milestones. Evaluate your child’s kindergarten readiness:

Self Help Skills

  • Can use the bathroom independently and complete accompanying hygiene tasks
  • Able to dress him or her self (puts on coat, fastens snaps, buttons and zippers)
  • Is able to state his or her full name and age

Social/Emotional Skills

  • Separates from caregivers without excessive upset
  • Plays/shares with other children
  • Waits his turn
  • Attends to an adult-directed task for at least 5 minutes
  • Recognizes and responds to other people’s feelings
  • Uses “please” and “thank you”

Language Skills (Expressive and Receptive)

  • Expresses needs and wants verbally
  • Speaks in complete sentences (5 to 6 words)
  • Is generally understood by adults
  • Uses words, not physical action, to express emotions such as anger or disappointment
  • Understands and follows two-step directions
  • Understands positional vocabulary (i.e. on top of, below, next to)

Fine Motor Skills

  • Holds pencil/crayon in a non-fisted grip
  • Able to control scissors to complete an intentional task
  • Traces lines and basic shapes
  • Copies basic figures such as a circle, square and a straight line

Gross Motor Skills

  • Runs and skips
  • Jumps with feet together and hops while balancing on one foot.
  • Climbs stairs with alternating feet
  • Walks backwards
  • Bounces a kickball
  • Attempts a two-handed catch of a kickball

Math Skills

  • Counts from 1 to 10
  • Recognizes/points to/identifies basic shapes (square, circle, triangle, rectangle)
  • Beginning to count with one-to-one correspondence
  • Can sort items by one or more attributes
  • Identifies, either verbally or by pointing to, the colors of crayons in the 8-count box (black, blue, brown, green, orange, red, purple, yellow)

Literacy/Phonemic Awareness Skills

  • Enjoys being read to/listening to stories
  • Recognizes environmental print (familiar logos, signs and words)
  • Knows how to handle a book (i.e. holds book right side up, knows where it starts and ends)
  • Recites the alphabet
  • Identifies some letters and some of the sounds they make, either by sound to letter or letter to sound
  • Recognizes own name in print
  • Able to discern whether or not two words rhyme, may be able to provide a third rhyme for the words
  • Tries to write own name or other ideas by using symbols or letters
  • Can draw a picture to express an idea