Starting preschool is not easy for most children and parents. You probably have heard about the potty training as the skill requirement for preschool. Do you know what else your child needs to know or learn to join the local preschool center? Not only to get on board of this fun train, but to feel comfortable, find friends, and successful move to the next step on the educational ladder. Every child is different and learns at his/her own pace, but there are some developmental milestones that should be reached by most children by 3 years. Our team of pediatric and teaching experts compiled a full list of skills your child should learn to start preschool. This list will also help parents to assess if a child is ready for preschool or better start it in a few months.
Social skills your child should have:
- Can play independently. For example, with vehicles, figurines, or in a sandbox.
- Tries to do some things by themselves. For example, looking at the book pictures, doing simple crafts, getting dressed.
- Can be separated from parents for at least 3 hours.
- Shows interest in ‘being a big child’. For example, wants to go to school, help around the house, meet new friends.
- Enjoys playing or doing things with other children.
- Can express feelings and needs.
- Feels comfortable with consistent routines. For example, taking quiet time, eating a snack some time of the day.
- Demonstrates gross motor coordination such as to walking, running, jumping.
- Rides tricycles or ride-on toys.
- Runs to meet someone or kick a ball
- Increases hand-eye coordination when plays with building blocks and simple puzzles.
- Holds a pencil or crayon with a fist or finger grasp.
- Draws with different drawing tools.
Language and reading skills your child should have:
- Uses language to express needs, requests, and communicate with other people. For example, asks for something, explains and describes what he/she wants.
- Speak clearly enough to be understood.
- Uses accepted communication language, tone, manners.
- Tells simple stories.
- Knows a few color words.
- Understands words for common categories. For example, food, toys, clothes.
- Uses sentences with two phrases or concepts.
- Holds a book properly and turns pages.
- Recognizes the first letter of his/her own name
- Knows some letternames.
- Knows the main characters in the favorite stories.
- Enjoys reading books with others.
- Remembers short sequences of events.
- Understands that objects continue to exist even when he/she doesn’t see them.
- Knows that his/her name can be written down.
Math skills your child should have:
- Identifies some basic shapes.
- Recognizes and matches small quantities to the number words 1, 2 and 3.
- Shows interest in numbers and recites some number words.
- Can count along with help, although might make mistakes.
- Understands meaning of “some” and “all,” and parts of a whole.
- Uses some size words, such as “many”.
- Uses words such as “same as” to compare things.
- Shows interests in patterns and sequences.
- Can sort objects into simple groups. For example, by color or size.
Concepts your child should understand:
- Empty and full.
- Day and night.
- Big and little.
- Fast and slow.
- Cold and hot.
- Shows interests in how the things work and offers his/her own explanation.
- Explores with elements of nature. For example, sand, sticks, water.
- Shows interest in different animals and the sounds they make.
- Shows interest in role playing. For example, playing a house, fire fighter, or doctor.
Would you like know which skills you, as a parent, need to work on to get your child ready for kindergarten. Find our blog article about it.