Entering kindergarten is a huge milestone for both you and your child. Your child is eager to learn and will start to gain independence while still seeking your attention and approval. Kindergartners are energetic and crave physical activity like running, jumping, and climbing. Give them opportunities to be involved in tasks and projects, and celebrate their accomplishments. They will develop confidence in themselves and a lifelong love for learning.

There are multiple resources to guide and support you on this journey. Getting connected to your child's school is a great place to start. Attending open houses, parent-teacher conferences, and school events will help you stay involved in your child's education as well as help you meet other families.

Download the

Kindergarten Readiness Booklet

What to Expect

Click here for a downloadable developmental checklist for your 5-year-old and ways you can help with their development

Social & Emotional

  • Wants to please friends
  • Wants to be like friends
  • More likely to agree with rules
  • Likes to sing, dance, and act
  • Is aware of gender
  • Can tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Shows more independence (for example, may visit a next-door neighbor by himself [adult supervision is still needed])
  • Is sometimes demanding and sometimes very cooperative


  • Speaks very clearly
  • Tells a simple story using full sentences
  • Uses future tense; for example, “Grandma will be here.”
  • Says name and address

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Counts 10 or more things
  • Can draw a person with at least 6 body parts
  • Can print some letters or numbers
  • Copies a triangle and other geometric shapes
  • Knows about things used every day, like money and food

Movement/Physical Development

  • Stands on 1 foot for 10 seconds or longer
  • Hops; may be able to skip
  • Can do a somersault
  • Uses a fork and spoon and sometimes a table knife
  • Can use the toilet on her own
  • Swings and climbs

Talk to your doctor if your child...

  • Doesn’t show a wide range of emotions
  • Shows extreme behavior (unusually fearful, aggressive, shy, or sad)
  • Is unusually withdrawn and not active
  • Is easily distracted, has trouble focusing on 1 activity for more than 5 minutes
  • Doesn’t respond to people, or responds only superficially
  • Can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Doesn’t play a variety of games and activities
  • Can’t give first and last name
  • Doesn’t use plurals or past tense properly
  • Doesn’t talk about daily activities or experiences
  • Doesn’t draw pictures
  • Can’t brush teeth, wash and dry hands, or get undressed without help
  • Loses skills he once had

Tell your child’s doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs of possible delays for this age.

If you are curious about your child's development, click here to take an online screening

If you are curious about your child's social and emotional development, click here to take an online screening