Get Ready for Kindergarten!

As you help prepare your child to start kindergarten this year, here are twenty things they should know before heading into their classroom, accompanied with picture book reads to help you talk about them leading up to the big first day!

All About Me

  1. Be able to say their full name. Read Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow or That’s Not My Name! by Anoosha Syed to get your child ready to proudly tell everyone their name.
  2. Put on their own jacket, winter clothing, and shoes. Practice getting dressed with a dog in Maggie and Michael Get Dressed by Denise Fleming or a frog in Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London.
  3. Manage their bathroom needs. Review basic bathroom etiquette with the hilarious Time to Pee! by Mo Willems.
  4. How to wash their own hands. Double check that your almost-kindergartener knows hand hygiene with the groovy cat: Pete the Kitty: Wash Your Hands by Kimberly and James Dean.
  5. Clean up after themselves. Watch two little ones approach cleaning up in two very different ways in Max Speed by Stephen Shaskan and Little Messy Marcy Su by Cherie Fu.

Social-Emotional Skills

  1. Listen and follow simple directions. Playfully follow along with the directions in the book Press Here by Hervé Tullet or its many sequels!
  2. Work together and share with other kids. Celebrate stories where kids work together! Two favorites are How to Two by David Soman and Big Feelings by Alexandra Penfold.
  3. Practice managing choices and making decisions. While encouraging your child to pick out their own clothes or what they want for lunch, keep dreaming with books about who they might be when they grow up: What Will You Be? by Yamile Saied Méndez and The Me I Choose to Be by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley.
  4. Can recognize emotions. Practice recognizing emotions with The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld and Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley.
  5. Be able to ask for help from an adult. Identify grown-ups that are helpers with books like Hooray for Helpers! by Mike Austin or The Helpers In Your Neighborhood by Alexandra Cassel Schwartz.


  1. Recognize both uppercase and lowercase alphabet letters. Both LMNO Peas & LMNO Pea-quel by Keith Baker showcase uppercase letters in the original and lowercase letters in the sequel.
  2. Identify colors and shapes. A great choice for colors: Monsters Love Colors! by Mike Austin and an equally great choice for shapes: Shapes by Shelley Rotner.
  3. Count to 10. Read either classic counting book Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd or Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews.
  4. Know the days of the week. Learn or practice the days of the week with Today is Monday by Eric Carle sung as a song!
  5. Understand how to interact with a book. Turn the page, flip the book, shake the book, and more in this fun interactive book that helps your child learn the parts of a book: This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne.

Motor Skills

  1. Grip a pencil or crayon to write. Read along with Me and My Pencil by Sara Varon, and even watch the YouTube video of the author drawing Sweet Pea!
  2. Use scissors, glue, and other art supplies with relative ease. Join friends Pencil and Eraser, and Glitter and Glue in this fun series from Karen Kilpatrick: When Pencil Met Eraser and When Glitter Met Glue.
  3. How to navigate a school hallway and classroom, and how to navigate stairs/when to use an elevator. Talk to your child about how to lead and follow when you read Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna Kim. Make sure they can walk in the halls *and* welcome new friends!
  4. Know how to move their body. For example, running, jumping, stretching, etc.. Celebrate ways to move and our relationships to one another in this fantastic picture book pick: We Move Together by Kelly Fritsch.
  5. How to keep to their own personal space. Make sure your almost-kindergartener knows how to create and respect boundaries of their classmates with Don’t Hug Doug by Carrie Finison.

And if you want more practice, register for the Library’s Get Ready, Get Set, Kindergarten! programs on Monday 8/12 at 10 AM or Monday 8/19 at 1 PM. Miss Lydia will help ease your child’s transition to kindergarten with stories, interactive games, socializing, and a back-to-school craft. Registration begins two weeks before each event!