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Is Your Child Ready for Preschool?


3 Year old Preschool Readiness Checklist

Emotional Development

  • Recognizes other people’s emotions
  • Takes turns and is able to share toys

Attention & Independence

  • Listens to simple instructions
  • Sits still during story time
  • Can separate himself from you for a few hours
  • Enjoys doing things herself sometimes, such as getting dressed on her own

Language, Art, and Math

  • Recognizes some shapes and colors
  • Recites the alphabet and recognize some letters
  • Expresses thoughts and needs verbally
  • Recites his full name
  • Counts to five
  • Draws with crayons or pencil

4 Year old Preschool Readiness checklist

Social skills

  • Initiates and maintains independent play (for example, plays alone in the sandbox, or role-plays independently)
  • Enjoys doing things on their own sometimes, such as reading, crafts or getting dressed
  • Can separate from you for several hours, such as an afternoon at a friend’s house or a sleepover at Grandma’s
  • Appears interested in going to a “big-kid” school, learning new things, and/or meeting new friends
  • Enjoys participating in group activities
  • Can express emotions, needs and requests
  • Responds well to consistent routines, such as quiet time or naptime following lunch
  • Anticipates what comes next during the day (for example, knows that naptime follows lunch)

Motor skills

  • Increases proficiency in gross motor skills, strength and balance, such as jumping in place, standing on one foot, running and kicking
  • Develops gross motor coordination, such as to navigate around obstacles
  • Rides tricycles
  • Runs to kick a stationary ball
  • Improves hand-eye coordination when playing with building blocks and simple puzzles
  • Begins to improve pencil control by using fingers rather than the whole fist to grasp pencil and stylus
  • Begins to show left/right-handedness

Reasoning & concept development

  • Matches like objects, mainly identical objects, or matches objects by shape and color
  • Develops object permanence and understands that objects continue to exist even when out of sight
  • Shows interests in tinkering with objects by taking things apart and putting them back together
  • Explores with elements of nature, such as sand and water
  • Remembers short sequences of events of 2 to 3 steps

Language skills

  • Uses language to communicate with others for a variety of purposes (for example, describing something, making requests, greeting someone, etc.)
  • Speaks clearly to be understood by others
  • Uses accepted language and communication styles (for example, using polite manners, using appropriate volume and tone)
  • Tells simple stories
  • Uses accepted nouns, verbs and adjectives in familiar contexts
  • Understands words for common categories (for example, toys, food, clothes)
  • Uses sentences with two phrases or concepts


  • Holds a book properly and turns pages
  • Understands that words convey the message in a story
  • Recognizes the first letter of their own name
  • Knows some letter names
  • Knows the main characters in familiar stories
  • Enjoys reading books with others


  • Holds a writing tool with a fist or finger grasp
  • Draws with a variety of tools (crayons, pens, pencils)
  • Scribble-writes in a linear fashion
  • Makes marks and refer to them as “my name”


  • Identifies some shapes such as circle, square and triangle
  • Understands and explores empty containers and full containers
  • Recognizes and matches small quantities to the number words 1, 2 and 3
  • Shows interest in numbers and recites some number words
  • Can count along with help, although might make mistakes
  • Distinguishes between "some" and "all," and parts of a whole
  • Uses some size words, such as "many"
  • Uses words such as "same as" to make comparisons
  • Shows interests in patterns and sequences
  • Classifies or sorts objects into simple groups (such as by colors and size)
  • Understands the order of the day, and begins to use some time words such as "morning" and "night"


  • Asks questions about objects, events and animals observed in their environment
  • Considers and offers explanations of how things might work
  • Shows interest in different animals and the sounds they make
  • Uses descriptive terms such as "fast" and "slow," "hot" and "cold"

Creative arts & music

  • Begins to use a variety of art tools such as crayon, construction paper and colored pencils
  • Knows a few color words
  • Drawings have basic resemblance to objects and people
  • Articulates what he/she is drawing
  • Likes to imitate sounds and rhythm; might have a favorite song
  • Uses realistic toys in pretend play or to imitate household routines
  • Engages in dramatic play with others to act out simple play scripts, such as playing house

Social studies

  • Recognizes common features of the home and neighborhood, such as trees, houses and streets
  • Shows interests in familiar people such as siblings, family members and friends
  • Shows interests in common jobs and professions such as firefighter, doctor and nurse