Kindergarten Cognitive and Learning Skills


Cognitive development, or the increasing ability to process new information and create connections with previous knowledge, occurs at a remarkably fast rate in your child's early years. Kindergarten is a pivotal time to develop cognitive and learning skills as they embark on a path toward educational and personal development.

Literacy and Language

  • Your kindergartner should be working to develop preliminary reading skills along with skills in verbal and nonverbal communication. In addition to writing and recounting letters and recognizing different print sources, such as a street sign versus a book, your kindergartner should demonstrate an increased retention of story plots and exhibit an increasing ability to communicate with peers and adults. Also important to his or her development is a deepening understanding of the sound of words, or phonology, in order to be on track for future vocabulary development.

Mathematical Thinking

  • Another essential skill developed in kindergarten is the growing comprehension of numbers and their functions. In addition to being able to count from to 100, your kindergartner should experience activities or lessons that reinforce everyday mathematical applications, such as telling time or reading the days on a calendar. He should also develop an understanding of the order and relation of numbers or shapes.

Science and Technology

  • Your kindergartner should also grasp preliminary scientific and technological concepts. These concepts can include learning to distinguish between living and non-living things, or between the five senses, encouraging and understanding of the principles of measurement or data collection. It can also involve developing basic skills with technological devices, such as computers or calculators.

Creative Expression and Social Skills

  • Your kindergartner should also begin to foster an interest in forms of creative expression, as he or she is exposed to music, stories, or other art forms from cultures around the world. He or she should also be able to use these forms imaginatively to express emotions, thoughts, or individual creativity. Your kindergartner should also be demonstrating blossoming social skills, including developing friendships among classmates, adapting quickly to new social environments, and participating constructively in group exercises or play.

Kindergarten Readiness

  • Your child's cognitive development at the kindergarten level depends upon your child's prior skills, so it is important to assess his readiness before beginning kindergarten. In addition to recognizing the alphabet and basic vocabulary, your pre-kindergartner should show interest in writing and drawing and recognition of repeated or rhyming songs or stories. Your pre-kindergartner should also show a growing awareness of numbers, measurements and shapes and how they relate to each other. As she develops a blossoming sense of self, your pre-kindergartner should be showing a longer attention span and the ability to solve problems. She will also have begun to foster relationships with other children and show interest in new and imaginative approaches to play and activities.


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