Seesaw’s Complete Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

Child running to school

Starting kindergarten is an exciting milestone for students and families. Students will be learning new things, in new ways, in new places, and with new people! How do families know when their child is ready for this adventure?

Every child develops at their own pace. Yet there are a handful of skills that help students jump into their learning journey with confidence – referred to as kindergarten readiness.


Kindergarten readiness means students have the social, emotional, physical, and foundational thinking skills to learn in a school setting. That’s a lot of skills to get ready! We’re here to help.

Here’s our complete kindergarten readiness checklist.

Bonus: Students can build these skills in interactive ways with their families. Yup, no worksheets! Keep reading for free lessons that build readiness skills through fun games and hands-on activities.


Foundational Building Blocks

☐ I sleep 10-12 hours a night
☐ I can dress myself
☐ I can use the bathroom and wash-up on my own
☐ I can introduce myself with my name and how old I am
☐ I can follow simple directions

Gross and Fine Motor Skills

☐ I can run, hop, skip, jump, and climb stairs
☐ I can bounce a ball and try to catch it
☐ I can use child scissors
☐ I can make marks that look like letters
☐ I can put a simple puzzle together

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

☐ I can be away from my family without getting overly upset
☐ I can play with other children
☐ I can pay attention for 5 minutes during an adult-led activity

Reading and Oral Language

☐ I can listen to stories
☐ I know how books work
☐ I can say the alphabet and know the names of most letters
☐ I know letters make sounds and can recognize some
☐ I know when two words rhyme
☐ I can draw a picture to share an idea
☐ I can talk in full sentences
☐ I can follow two-step directions

Mathematical Thinking

☐ I can count 10 objects
☐ I understand ‘more than’ and ‘less than’
☐ I recognize and can name basic shapes like squares, triangles, and circles
☐ I can arrange 4 objects from smallest to biggest
☐ I can name and point to primary colors
☐ I can try different strategies to solve problems


Kindergarten readiness involves academic skills as well as physical, self-care, and social and emotional skills. Because success in school involves more than just ABCs and 123s. Whether a child has preschool experience or not, we can ensure they feel welcome in school and excited to learn from day one. The benefits of a kindergarten checklist include helping families ensure their child is developing the necessary skills and identifying areas where they might need more support.

Check out these 5 FREE Seesaw Lessons that build skills from each readiness category.

Follow me Seesaw Game


Students practice listening and following directions while playing a game.

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Sculpting My Name


Students build fine motor skills by sculpting their names with play dough.

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Feelings Charades


Students practice identifying and naming different emotions.

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My Family is Special


Students practice oral language skills by describing why their family is special to them.

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Count Around Your Home


Students practice counting in sequence by counting steps around their home.

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Building kindergarten readiness skills with Seesaw supports students in preschool programs and at home, engages families as powerful partners, and captures learning in a digital portfolio. This allows kindergarten teachers to gain valuable insights to differentiate instruction and build home-to-school connections before the school year even begins!

Explore our complete Building to Kindergarten collection in the Seesaw Resource Library here.

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