Skills That Kids Must Learn By Kindergarten

Your child will keep developing different skills in kindergarten, and this will include social, physical, literacy, emotional, and cognitive (thinking) skills. Young children can end up getting stressed when they enter the classroom without having these skills, especially when they don’t have their parents around for the first time in their lives. These skills are essential because they will help them not only with their kindergarten but also in their school career!

Parents need to think about kindergarten and preschool readiness. When a kid begins kindergarten, which is usually at the age of 5 or 6, they are starting their formal schooling. Whether your child is going to attend a private or public school, or you have decided to homeschool them, the seven skills below are the most important things a child needs to know before they start kindergarten.

1How To Share With Others

Most children have a rough idea about sharing by the time they join kindergarten or preschool. However, some have not been exposed to the idea. You should ensure your child knows that taking turns and sharing is going to be a part of their school career.

During the process, you need to introduce the concept of “borrowing.” Another child can “borrow” a piece of paper or pencil. What this means is that the other child can keep the item, even though borrowing will involve the owner getting their item back.

2Expressing Emotions

Your kid might be good at handling his or her emotions. Your child needs to learn how to express and deal with feelings he or she is likely to encounter daily. While the teachers are going to try their best to stop and help the children when they need it, there are instances where it won’t be possible. Sometimes, the teacher might not know that when your child has a particular look, it means that another child has said something hurtful, or the child's overwhelmed. Your children need to learn how they can express their feelings and the ways they can deal with the emotions by themselves.

Some of the emotions you can expect your children to deal with in their day-to-day school life include homesickness, frustration, disappointment, sadness, feeling overwhelmed, and fear of failure. The child should know that having any of these emotions is okay. It is vital to help your children understand the proper way of expressing their feelings to others.

3Self Sufficiency

While you cannot expect your 4- or 5-year-old children to be self-sufficient, there are some things you can do to make them feel more confident when they are in kindergarten or preschool. The skills we tend to take for granted can make a difference to the children being able to do things on their own and having to ask for help from the teacher now and then. It is a good thing for them to ask for help, but it is a good idea for children to be as independent as possible when they are with their peers.

The child needs to know how to open the lunch box and any other container you have given him, put on his sweater/jacket, zip and unzip his jacket and pants, and use the restroom on his own. You should also make sure he can tie his shoelaces. If the child can do these, then he will have an easier time transitioning to kindergarten.

4Courtesy Phrases

Teach your child to use simple courtesy phrases like “Thank you,” “Please,” “No, thank you,” “I don’t want to play now,” and “Nice to meet you.” This will help your child communicate easily with those around him or her. When your child can interact with children and adults, then everyone will be in better spirits.

Spend a lot of time ensuring that your child is polite and courteous. Your child will have an easier time communicating with other people. Courtesy is a skill that your child is going to carry with him forever. You are giving your child the head start in communicating well with people around him or her.

5Letter Recognition

Another component of the kindergarten and preschool curriculum is letter recognition, the alphabet, and letter sounds. Letters are going to be covered extensively, but it is way better for the classes to cement ideas that are familiar to your children. For a start, they need to know the ABC song, and it would be even better if you can help them recognize the uppercase letters, too.

One of the most critical skills for a preschooler or toddler is alphabet recognition because it is the foundation of reading and writing. If you want him to master this, encourage him to sing the alphabet song, and look at the books together that focus on letters. Some teaching tools that can aid this include magnetic letters and other materials that help with learning the alphabet.

6Listening Skills

One skill overlooked when preparing for kindergarten is listening skills. Many children come to this world, and they don’t know how to listen. There are some things you can do to improve the listening skills of your child, with one being the “Red Light/Green Light” game. This game is good because you will make sure your child is paying attention to what you are saying.

If you want to help your child to have excellent listening skills, then it is a good idea to model that yourself. Children are like sponges; they soak up on what is around them. It is the right way of impacting your child to have better listening skills.

7How To Count

You need to try and get your children to know how to count from one to ten, even though they are going to be taught the same in class. They will not struggle to learn them in the classroom because they will not be starting from scratch. It will be even better if you can help your child count up to the 20s and 30s.

When a child experiences counting in a practical situation, he will be able to understand how to use numbers. “Purposeful” counting (this is where the child knows that the number 3 represents three things) will happen when you ask your child to count a spoon and two cookies for each family member. The child will start using numbers in day-to-day life, which makes it easier for him when dealing with numbers in class.

Children in kindergarten are in a stage where their gross motor skills and fine motor skills are still developing. Gross motor skills are those movements involving the whole body; fine motor skills include the coordination of small muscle movements. The age that children reach milestones will vary from one child to another. The best person to judge whether a child can handle more challenging activities is the parent. If you notice that the child is not on the same level as his peers in terms of physical development, then it is crucial to make an appointment with a pediatrician.

Kindergarten is an essential thing for the children because they get to learn how to express themselves by reading and writing. Kindergarten is where kids learn to be independent. They will learn critical skills such as decoding symbols, recognizing patterns, and even making friends. Help them master these seven skills before they start kindergarten to make their transition much more manageable.

Nicole Ross

Nicole S. Ross is passionate about using stories in early childhood education. She wrote our Alphabet Book Series to help children fall in love with reading while learning the alphabet.