By 5: Skills Your Child Should Have by Age Five

Five-year-olds are confident doers of exciting things. They’re not built for desk-sitting, as their busy brain craves action and novelty. While they should be ready for Kindergarten, they still need to play, move, and explore. Their childhood shouldn’t be rushed.

Make sure your child is Kindergarten-ready with this list of essential skills:

  • Copies or writes own name

  • Identifies rhyming words

  • Identifies beginning sounds in words

  • Identifies at least 13 letters of the alphabet

  • Completes basic responsibilities related to daily needs

  • Follows basic health and safety rules

  • Accepts guidance and directions from familiar adults

  • Follows daily routines and classroom rules

  • Follows directions and responds to limits set by teacher

  • Controls feelings of frustration, distress, and anxiety when challenged

  • Resolves conflicts in socially acceptable ways

  • Watches & listens to stories to completion

  • Stays on task during adult-directed activities

  • Sees a simple task to completion

  • Gives name, age, and gender upon request

  • Identifies 5 colors

  • Counts 5 objects, using one-to-one correspondence

  • Asks for help

  • Communicates needs and wants

  • Understands and follows directions

  • Listens to gather information

  • Uses speech that is understandable

  • Recognizes own name in isolated print