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School Readiness Before Pre-K & Kindergarten

There are several emotional, physical, and cognitive skills children are expected to learn BEFORE starting school. This LibGuide will provide parents in New Haven, IN with resources that will help them prepare their children for future academic success.


Skills Before Pre-K

This list was compiled by the librarian, Alicia De Leon, from the Indiana Department of Education's "Indiana Early Learning Foundations" PDF. It does not include ALL of the state standards for Preschool Readiness. For the complete and official list, please visit:

Preschool Readiness Skills:

  • Knows first and last name
  • Knows parents’/caregivers’ names
  • Potty Trained
  • Knows age
  • Communicate needs, emotions, and requests
  • Basic color, number, letter and shape recognition
  • Recognizes first letter of their name
  • Recognizes patterns and sequences
  • Recognizes common features of the home and neighborhood
  • Recognizes familiar people
  • Can name and recognize basic shapes
  • Engages in independent play
  • Participates in group activities
  • Engages in dramatic play (imitates household routines)
  • Can follow a structured day
  • Gross motor skills (jumping in place, standing on one foot, running and kicking)
  • Fine motor skills (cutting with scissors, beading pasta on string, Zippers, Buttons)
  • Comfortable holding writing instruments
  • Draws with a variety of tools (pencil, crayon, marker, paint brush, etc.)
  • Drawings have basic resemblance to objects and people
  • Can articulate what has been drawn
  • Holds a book properly and turns pages
  • Understands that words convey the message in a story
  •  Knows main characters in familiar stories
  •  Enjoys reading books with others
  •  Can recount their day
  •  Remembers/ follows basic 2-3 step instructions
  •  Matches like objects
  •  Classifies or sorts objects into simple groups
  •  Can make simple comparisons between 2 objects
  •  Uses adjectives appropriately (large vs small, many vs few)
  •  Can count along with help (even if mistakes are made)
  •  Matches quantities to basic number words (1-3)
  •  Shows interest in tinkering with objects by taking them apart and putting them back together
  •  Knows different animals and the sounds they make
  • Asks questions about objects, events and animals observed in environment
  •  Knows common jobs and professions
  •  Learns and repeats songs and finger-plays