Is your Kindergartener on Track: 4-6 year old Milestones

The big moment is coming up quickly…my oldest child is getting ready to head off to Kindergarten. I cannot even believe it. She has grown so much both physically and mentally in the last two years. I have to say 4K/preschool has changed her in the best way possible. She has learned the basics, how to write her name pretty clearly, has started reading, learned a lot about math and science, even what an oviparous animal is. I did not even know that! However, just as important, possibly more so, she has made tons of friends, learned all about sharing, teamwork, assisting the teacher, being a leader and so much more.

One morning I decided to check in with my daughter’s teacher. She said that she feels like my daughter is developing normally and doing really well in both scholastic and social areas. I then found a paper in her folder about having her tested for gifted. After speaking with my husband we decided she does not need to be tested quite yet, there will be plenty of time to do that in the upcoming years.

However, I still wanted to know where she was on the developmental scale, so I pulled out my developmental checklists and here is where she should/could be.

Development Checklist:

Social Development

  • Asks for help when needed.
  • Engages in cooperative play with groups of children.(listens to others, shares and takes turns)
  • Gives attention to stories for 15 minutes.
  • Says “please”, “thank you” and “excuse me” without reminders.
  • Initiates friendships with peers.
  • Plays interactive games.
  • Plays with peers with minimal conflict, when conflict arises, uses words to solve problems or conflicts
  • Showing more independence.
  • Wants to please and offers to help peers and adults.
  • Interacts with adults in a cooperative, socially appropriate manner.
  • Asks permission to use items belonging to others.
  • Wants to please and imitate friends
  • Follow simple safety and social rules
  • Able to distinguish fantasy from reality
  • Sometimes demanding, sometimes eagerly cooperative
  • Developing sense of humor.
  • Expresses a variety of emotions and tries to regulate emotions properly in words
  • Adjusts to new situations
  • Attempts new tasks knowing it’s okay to make mistakes
  • Shows pride in accomplishments
  • Stays with an activity to completion
  • Respects the rights, property, and feelings of others
  • Demonstrates increasing self-control
  • Participates in clean-up activities
  • Takes responsibility for own belongings (lunch, coat, etc.)
  • Adheres to a routine and schedule for personal hygiene, eating meals and going to bed
  • Uses good hygiene habits and table manners, joins in table conversation

Cognitive Development

  • Makes suns, animals, trees, flowers, etc.
  • Draws recognizable people.
  • Counts to 20 in correct order
  • Comprehends concept of opposites.
  • Works a 12-piece (or larger) puzzle.
  • Identifies colors and shapes.
  • Understands concept of time.
  • Can count ten or more objects
  • Correctly names at least four colors
  • Knows about things used every day in the home (money, food, appliances)

Physical Development: Large/Gross Motor Skills

  • Balances on one foot for at least 10 seconds.
  • Jumps over a stationary rope held 6″ above the ground.
  • Pedals a bicycle/tricycle around obstacles and sharp corners.
  • Hops around on one foot without support.
  • Walks backward with ease.
  • Beginning to learn to skip
  • Builds using blocks
  • Tries to tie own shoes
  • Bounces, kicks, throws and catches a ball with accuracy
  • Enjoys outdoor activities, like running, jumping and climbing

Physical Development: Small/Fine Motor Skills

  • Holds paper in place with one hand while writing with the other.
  • Uses pincer grasp when holding and using crayons, markers, pens, and pencils correctly
  • Cuts with scissors.
  • Uses a fork and spoon correctly
  • Prints own first name
  • Prints other letters
  • Draws or copies shapes
  • Dresses and undresses self
  • Cares for own toileting needs

Communication and Language Development

  • Follows 3-step directions without distraction
  • Uses sentences with more than five words consistently
  • Recalls parts or all of a story
  • Uses future tense when speaking
  • Tells longer stories
  • Uses possessive forms of nouns
  • Uses a series of conjunctions
  • Says name and address
  • Uses sentences that include two or more ideas
  • Uses descriptive language
  • Knows by heart and recites some common nursery rhymes and songs
  • Pretends, creates, and makes up songs or stories
  • Asks questions and expresses curiosity
  • Expresses ideas so that others can understand

Creativity Development

  • Assigns roles or takes assigned roles during play.
  • Takes on characteristics and actions during role play.
  • Uses language to create and sustain plots during play.
  • Uses elaborate themes, ideas, details during play.
  • Helps plan and agrees to rules during play.

The checklist above are things which most kids should be able to do without even attending preschool. These are normal parts of development over time.

Below are skills your child may develope when attending preschool. They are more specifically broken down into subjects. If your child has not attended preschool you might want to test them to see what they know. They will most likely surprise you with how smart they are just from observation.

Kindergarten readiness checklist

Reading skills

  • Looks at books or pictures on their own
  • Recognizes some common words in print
  • Pretends to read books by reading the pictures
  • Tries to read in everyday situations (signs, labels, etc.)
  • Recognizes rhyming words
  • Blends sounds into words
  • Recognizes many uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Recognizes some letter sounds
  • Describes characters’ actions and feelings in a story
  • Relates stories to personal experiences
  • Puts events of a story in order

Writing skills

  • Tries to write, scribble or draw
  • Asks you to write words or notes to others
  • Attempts to write own name and recognizes own name in print

Mathematics concepts

  • Understands concepts and compares the size of groups of objects using language such as “more,” “less” and “same as”
  • Arranges objects in size order (big to small, or small to big)
  • Uses comparison words, like “bigger,” “smaller,” “heavier,” etc.
  • Identifies and draws a square, circle and triangle
  • Correctly counts four to ten objects
  • Knows that the final number counted represents the total number of objects in a set
  • Can distinguish numbers from letters, and understands that numbers relate to quantity
  • Understands the effects of addition and subtraction


  • Shows interest and asks questions about objects and events observed in their environment
  • Notices common properties and differences among objects and materials
  • Knows some facts about common plants and animals, such as what they eat and baby names
  • Recognizes some objects in the sky such as the sun, moon, clouds, and lightning

Social studies

  • Recognizes basic traditions such as birthdays
  • Understands that people live in different parts of the worlds and have different customs and traditions
  • Explores simple maps and visual representations of neighborhoods or communities

If you would like to download any of the above lists here they are for you! Developmental Skills Checklist Printable, Social Skills Checklist Printable, and my favorite Kindergarten Checklist Printable. Because each child develops in her/his own particular manner, it’s impossible to predict exactly when or how your own preschooler will perfect a given skill. The developmental milestones listed here will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don’t be alarmed if her development takes a slightly different course.

Kindergarten is a very big step for children and can often seem intimidating. Make sure you, as their parent, make it a fun and exciting journey for them.

As I have stated in the past, the biggest thing is that your child is healthy and happy. They are going to be learning for the rest of their lives in school. If you as their parent can teach through living that is the best answer. They are only this age once. Enjoy every second and let them show you the wonder and craziness that early childhood has to offer.

What are your favorite learning tools for 4-6-year-olds?



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