33 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

33 ways vertical

Back in March, I shared a post called “71 Things a Child Needs to Know Before Kindergarten” based entirely on an end-of-the-year assessment given in the Pre-K program where I student taught more than 6 years ago.  This post sparked a heated debate and there were a lot of strong opinions expressed in the comments.   Because of the questions and concerns from this post, I thought it would be helpful to create a checklist for parents with some things YOU can do to prepare your chil for kindergarten.  And the best part–no flashcards or drill-and-practice memorization!!!!  


These are simple, everyday things that you can do with your child for just a few minutes at a time to ensure that he/she is ready for school!   Just so that we are clear…if your child cannot do everything on this list, it does not mean that he/she is not ready for kindergarten!  


You are the parent and you must decide what you feel is best for your child.  Public schools are equipped with professional educators who will take your child where they are and help them grow and learn from there.  Although it would certainly make things easier for your child (as well as the teacher and the other children in the class), this is NOT a pass/fail kindergarten entrance exam!  This is just something that should guide what you do with your child prior to kindergarten.  


So here’s the list.  Print it out and hang it on your refrigerator, office, or wherever you can be reminded of the simple, easy ways you can help your child succeed.  :)  






Thoughts?  Any tasks I should add or take away???        





  1. Linda says

    Wow….this is great. Printing this off to hang on my fridge. My 4 year old starts his 2nd year of preschool in a week….this is great to see what needs work now…a year prior to him going into Kindergarten. Wonderful information. Thank you!

  2. brandie says

    Absolutely love the list!!! My son will start kindergarten in August, and with my hubby and I both working and unable to afford daycare, I am constantly thinking if he will be ready. I feel better in knowing that he is ALMOST there, thanks to your list…you rock!!!

  3. Araba says

    This is super helpful. My oldest son is 2 and a 1/2, so it is great to get a list of suggestions of simple activities and projects we can do with him in order to prepare him for a more formal educational setting. Thank you so much!

  4. heart says

    Thank you for the guide…this is a big help to all mother like me…my daugther is going to a preschool on june may godbless us…goodluck to all the parents..may godbless us all…

  5. Sarah says

    GREAT LIST! Would like to add more self care. 1 teacher with 20+ kids isnt able to put the straw in all their juice boxes or open everything in their lunches! Teach them to open packages of crackers and granola bars, open straws and put them in their drinks.
    Also have them practice eating quickly and then start adding distractions. Some kindergarteners have lots of trouble being very hungry the 1st few weeks because they have always eaten home alone with no distractions! They only get a few minutes in the lunch room!
    Also putting their own clothes on, socks, shoes, buttons, snaps, and zippers, hats and gloves! Getting their own coat, gloves, and hat on in the winter and how to hang all these things up when they come off is wonderful! It’s easy for mom to just do it because its fast and easy, but the class would never get outside if the teacher had to dress every child!
    Like I said, love the list!

  6. says

    Very helpful list Jenae! I have a toddler and we are already working on a few things. It’s the things like standing in line and waiting your turn that are good to be reminded of because he doesn’t have to do that at home. Thanks!

  7. Kerry says

    Thanks for this list. I have one mother who is putting a lot of pressure on her child. She is focussing on the academic areas and not realising other skills are important too. I also have a support teacher who is the same. I know this will be helpful.
    Dan, I agree that reading is important, but again, there are other skills that equal it. I have seen 3 year olds that can read, but they can’t eat solid food, dress themselves, interact with their peers or be independent. The parents focused so much on their children being advanced readers, that they neglected most other areas.

  8. Diana Wham says

    Dear Jenae, thank you so much for this website. It encourages me to see that I am on the right track with my kids by already doing these 33 things. I love your ideas for play- learning. My kids learn best by hands on teaching!

  9. Livinio Stuyk says

    This is fabulous! This post sparked a heated debate and there were a lot of strong opinions. Public schools are equipped with professional educators who will take your child where they are and help them grow and learn from there. http://camelotkids.org/ also give that type of views.

  10. says

    Jenae, your piece of writing does seem like a very detailed study of life-focusing tactics, especially being important to parents showing them real fun while handling their kids. As parents, which strategies we would build while making our child to go to kindergarten is really helpful. Parents may or may not have difficulties doing so, more or less. Amongst, the tips provided by you do sound quite practical like a solution gotten from the proven instances of our live lives. Good to go with; just keep it up posting such insights!

  11. Claire O' Connell says

    As a pre-school teacher honestly I’m shocked by this list. I agree that certain things e.g. spending time with other adults and children can help a child transition to kindergarten/school /daycare but the idea that children need to be prepared for kindergarten by having skills such as knowing their letters and numbers is outrageous. If children are ready for these skills by all means capitalize on their interest and encourage their learning, however children shouldn’t be pushed into this learning, in fact doing so when they are not at the right stage can be detrimental to their development. Parents are their child’s first teachers, they are the ones who know their child best and I don’t think their quality time together should be based on a checklist. Children will have enough pressure on them as they get older, let them have fun and while they can.

  12. Mishelle says

    This is a great list especially for parents sending their first child to kinder.Unfortunately many preschools don’t prepare their little students enough and busy parents assume that what their kids are learning at preschool will be adequate to start kinder with..was a rude shock for us.. Your list is fantastic.

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