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5 Things Your Child Should Know Before Kindergarten

Starting kindergarten is an exciting season in life for any child. As a parent, your job is to make sure that your child is equipped with the tools and knowledge to make this a successful transition. 

Here are five things that your child should know before starting kindergarten.

How to Dress Themselves and How to Be Independent in the Bathroom

General life skills are useful when starting school. For instance, kindergartners should be able to put on their coats, tie their shoes, and button their pants. If your child has not mastered these skills, you will want to spend some time practicing with them so that they are ready for the first day of school.

Along these same lines, your child should be able to go to the bathroom independently. Ensure your child knows how to handle their pants and the appropriate buttons and snaps. This is also a good time to teach your child independent hygiene skills such as properly washing and drying their own hands.

How to Identify Letters and Their Sounds

While your child does not need to necessarily know how to read prior to starting kindergarten, some basic literacy skills will certainly give them a head start. You can begin by learning how to teach a child the alphabet so that they can identify letters and their sounds. These skills are the building blocks of literacy.

You should also work with your child on learning to draw basic lines and circles with confidence so that they can use those skills to learn to write letters. At the very least, your child should be able to write their name before the first day of school.

How to Express Emotions

Many parents focus so much attention on the academic skills needed for kindergarten that they fail to teach their children emotional and social skills.

For example, children should be able to greet their teachers and peers each day, articulate what they need, and feel comfortable speaking up for themselves. These skills will support social and emotional development.

Your child may have special needs, so the expression of emotions may take more time to develop. That’s perfectly okay. Just make sure that your child receives the proper accommodations so that they get the support and attention they need.

How to Handle Books and Other Tools

It is also important that your child has practice handling books and other tools that will be used in a kindergarten setting. Regarding books, your child should be able to hold the book in the right direction, flip the pages, and locate the cover and the text.

You should also spend some time with your son or daughter practicing how to use tools such as scissors, pencils, and glue. Teachers do not want to spend valuable learning time teaching children these basic skills. Parents can support the educational process by ensuring that their children head to school with a mastery of these skills.

How to Be Separated from Parents

Some sort of anxiety is normal for kindergartners, particularly for those young children who have never attended daycare or preschool. However, kindergartners who have a consistently difficult time separating from their parents at school will likely have a more difficult time focusing throughout the day. Students who are happy and comfortable in a school environment will naturally perform better with their work.

If you suspect that your child will have difficulties with this, it is a good idea to practice in other settings prior to sending them to school. For example, perhaps you can leave them at a gym or church daycare for a shorter amount of time before the big day arrives.


Learning these five skills will go a long way in preparing your child for what lies ahead in kindergarten. Your child will feel more confident with this pivotal transition if you take the time to ensure that they are ready to face the new challenge.