Behavioral Therapy
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June 19, 2023

Is your child ready for kindergarten? There's more to it than the ABC's.

Kindergarten readiness is not just about academic skills like reading, writing, and counting.

author
Jen Wirt

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Kindergarten readiness is not just about academic skills like reading, writing, and counting. It's also about developing social, emotional, and physical skills that will help children succeed in school and in life. While academic preparation is important, it is equally crucial for children to be prepared to interact with their peers, follow directions, and manage their emotions. Here are some of the non-academic skills that are necessary for kindergarten readiness.

Social Skills

Kindergarten is often a child's first experience with structured social interactions. Therefore, social skills are critical for kindergarten readiness. These skills include sharing, taking turns, following directions, and working cooperatively in a group setting. Children should be able to communicate their needs and wants effectively and respectfully, and they should be able to listen and respond appropriately to others.

Emotional Regulation

Children who are starting kindergarten need to have some level of emotional regulation. This means they should be able to control their emotions and respond to situations appropriately. Kindergarteners need to be able to recognize and name their feelings, and they should have some basic strategies for managing those feelings, such as taking deep breaths or counting to ten.

Self-Help Skills

Kindergarten is a time when children start to become more independent. Therefore, self-help skills are essential for kindergarten readiness. These skills include being able to dress themselves, use the bathroom independently, and feed themselves. Kindergarteners should also be able to take care of their belongings and clean up after themselves.

Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills refer to the ability to control the large muscles in the body. These skills are critical for physical activity and overall health. Kindergarten readiness requires that children have the basic skills necessary to participate in physical activities, such as running, jumping, and climbing.

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are the ability to control the small muscles in the hands and fingers. These skills are essential for tasks such as holding a pencil or crayon, cutting with scissors, and manipulating small objects. Children who lack these skills may struggle with writing, drawing, or other fine motor tasks.

Attention Span

Kindergarten is a time when children are expected to sit still and pay attention for extended periods of time. Therefore, children need to have some level of attention span. Children should be able to focus on a task for at least 10-15 minutes, and they should be able to follow simple instructions.

Not sure if your child is ready for kindergarten? Are you considering working with an OT, PT, or SLP to ensure your child is ready? Chat with one of our Coral Care Concierges to discuss your child and ways that you can set them up for success in kindergarten.

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