Kindergarten Readiness Skills

Easing the Transition from Pre-School to Kindergarten:

Critical Skills for School Success


Dear Parent/Guardian:

In an effort to help prepare students for the transition to kindergarten, the West Valley Kindergarten Teachers have prepared the following list of recommended entry level skills that will help a child make a successful transition to school. Critical skills are found in bold print. Always remember that reading to your child is the single most important gift you can give to your child to help ensure his/her success in school. Thank you for your interest in your child's education. It will make a difference!


Social Skills

  • demonstrates cooperation and friendship skills
  • has basic coping skills (e.g., not easily frustrated and seldom cries)
  • enjoys learning
  • likes doing a kindergarten-type activity independently
  • does not require constant adult attention
  • responds positively to adult direction
  • is courteous and polite to other students and adults (e.g., does not interrupt while others are speaking)
  • is able to wait for a turn



    • knows how to dress self (e.g., tie/buckle/fasten shoes; knows how to zip/button coat)
    • shows respect for school and others property
    • takes care of personal belongings
    • follows safety rules indoors and outdoors
    • tries to solve problems independently
    • independent with bathroom skills


      Oral Communication

      • engages in conversation about daily routine and activities
      • uses language to express thoughts and needs
      • appropriate, developmental talk/language (excluding baby talk)
      • name common objects
      • stays on the subject line during conversation
      • responds appropriately to questions
      • understandable articulation (can speak so someone outside of the home can understand their words)


        Memory/Attention Span/Listening

        • should be able to name themselves and other people in their household (e.g., names, age or grade level)
        • should be able to attend 10 minutes on a single activity (excluding TV or video/computer games)
        • should be able to follow a routine
        • able to follow a 1-2 step direction


          Gross Motor:

          • major control over one's body movements (can get from point A to B walking, go safely up and down stairs, keeps hands and feet to oneself)
          • demonstrates keeping a rhythm (clapping, tapping, stomping)
          • can jump, run, hop and catch a ball


            Fine Motor/Visual Motor/Positive Indicators of Readiness

            • natural finger grip on writing/coloring tools
            • firm/confident pencil/crayon strokes
            • eye/hand co-ordination (can draw lines and basic shapes)
            • draws a recognizable person
            • has had experience cutting paper with scissors


              *Recommended Academic Skills

              • is able to count from 0-20
              • can identify numbers, 0-10
              • can write numerals, 0-10
              • is able to recite the alphabet and identify letters in child's own name 
              • works puzzles with up to 10 pieces
              • is able to write his/her name
              • can identify basic shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle, and oval) and knows colors
              • can join-in and make-up songs, chants, rhymes, and rhythm games
              • listens attentively and responds to story telling


                *Note:  some students may not be developmentally ready for these academic skills by the time they enter kindergarten.


                Statements in bold are components of the West Valley School District Kindergarten Readiness Checklist.


                Official partners of the West Valley PreK Initiative agree to use either the WVSD Kindergarten Readiness Checklist or WaKIDS Assessment to assess Kindergarten Readiness Skills.  Official partners share assessment results with school staff to ensure that students successfully transition from PreK to Kindergarten in West Valley.