What Is Taught In Kindergarten?

Written by Dan

Last updated

What will your child be learning in kindergarten? With all the changes happening so quickly in education, it can be challenging to keep up – let alone figure out precisely what a kindergartner should know. Apart from the obvious basics of reading, writing and math, there are other skills children need to develop at this age which may not be so obvious.

To help parents understand better what is taught during a typical day of kindergarten classes, we have put together an overview outlining the core subjects and critical competencies involved. Keep on reading to find out more about how teachers foster development in young minds!

Overview of What is Covered in Kindergarten

Kindergarten is the first step in a child’s academic journey, and it’s an exciting time for both the child and the parents. Kindergarten sets the tone for the years to come, and children must learn the foundational skills required to succeed in school.

During kindergarten, children learn to identify letters, numbers, shapes, and colours and begin to recognize written and spoken English. They develop social and emotional skills, such as sharing, taking turns, and working together, making friends, and expressing their feelings appropriately.

Teachers in kindergarten also focus on developing motor skills, gross and fine motor skills, and critical thinking skills. Kindergarten’s welcoming and nurturing environment lays the foundation for children’s future academic success.

Experiential Learning Activities

Kindergarten is crucial in a child’s development as it lays the foundation for their academic journey. That’s why providing them with the best learning experiences is important. Experiential Learning Activities are designed to do just that. These activities provide hands-on, immersive learning experiences that engage all the senses.

Children get to learn by doing, which helps them understand concepts better and retain information longer. These activities also promote critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills, which are important life skills that will benefit them throughout their academic and professional journey. By embracing experiential learning, kindergarteners get to have fun while learning, making their learning journey an enjoyable experience.

Important Math and Literacy Skills Learned in Kindergarten

In kindergarten, children learn various important math and literacy skills that will be the foundation for their educational journey. Here are some of the critical skills that children typically develop during their time in kindergarten:

Math Skills:

  • Counting: Children learn to count from 1 to 100 or higher, understand the meaning of numbers along the way and are exposed to simple arithmetic, like adding and subtracting small numbers.
  • Number Sense: They begin to understand more and less, more significant than and less than, and the relationship between numbers.
  • Geometry: Kindergarteners explore basic geometric shapes such as circles, triangles, and squares while also being introduced to more complex forms.
  • Measurement: Children gain a basic understanding of measurement concepts like length, height, weight, and capacity by interacting with objects of different sizes.

Literacy Skills:

  • Phonics: Children learn to recognize and associate letters with their sounds and combine these sounds to make words, including sight words.
  • Vocabulary: They are exposed to new words frequently and learn to associate them with objects and simple concepts that may be abstract.
  • Comprehension: Children also develop their listening skills, develop their imagination skills, oral expression, and interaction skill with others through interactive sessions.
  • Writing: This includes understanding how to form letters, write their names, and write basic sentences.

Science, Art, and Music Exploration

In addition to math and literacy skills, kindergarten is also a time for exploration of science, art, and music. Here are some of the ways kindergarteners explore these subjects:

Science Exploration:

  • Observation: Children learn to observe and describe the world, including plants and animals, weather patterns, and physical phenomena.
  • Experimentation: They engage in simple experiments that explore basic scientific concepts like cause-and-effect and consistency or irregularities.
  • Nature and Environment: Kindergarten is an ideal time to teach children about preserving the environment, appreciation of nature, learning about habitats and animals and conservation of energy

Art Exploration:

  • Visual Art: Through drawing, painting, and sculpture, kindergarteners can learn to express themselves and their emotions.
  • Crafts: Kindergarteners learn to carefully use and combine different mediums to create a desired or intentional outcome.

Music Exploration:

  • Rhythm and Beat: Children are introduced to basic music concepts like rhythm, beat, and tempo.
  • Creative expression: They learn to use their voices and instruments to express themselves and tell musical stories.
  • Appreciation of Different Music: Children can experience and appreciate different styles of music and instruments different cultures use.

Social-Emotional Development in the Classroom

Kindergarten is a crucial period for social-emotional development in children as they learn to interact with others and handle their emotions. Here are some essential aspects of social-emotional development that a kindergarten classroom can offer:

Creating a welcoming classroom environment:

  • Teachers create a safe and warm environment to encourage children’s social-emotional development. Teachers welcome all their students with smiles, greetings, and open arms to establish a connection, trust and comfort.

Positive Reinforcement:

  • Teachers use positive reinforcement by praising and rewarding children for their excellent behaviour and achievements, which boosts their self-esteem and encourages them to try again even when they make mistakes.

Classroom activities:

  • Several activities prepare children to participate in teams, promote collaboration and empathy, and interact with their peers. Activities include storytelling, sharing, and problem-solving.

Emotional Regulation:

  • Emotional regulation is essential for all kindergarten children, helping them cope with anxieties and manage anger. Teachers teach children effective ways to constructively identify and express their feelings in class or at home.


  • Play is crucial to social-emotional development, creating real-life scenarios that children can investigate, understand, identify areas of growth and apply social communication techniques. Teachers encourage free play and set up activities that provide opportunities for children to participate in outdoor activities.

Developing Healthy Habits for Self-Care in Kindergarten Students

Developing healthy habits for self-care is a crucial focus for kindergarten students as it sets the foundation for a healthy and fulfilling life. Here are some ways kindergarten students are taught to develop healthy habits for self-care:

Personal Hygiene:

  • Personal hygiene is an essential aspect of self-care, and kindergarten students are taught the importance of daily routines like brushing their teeth and washing hands.

Healthy Eating:

  • Kindergarten students are taught about healthy eating habits by introducing them to balanced meals and healthy snack options, emphasizing the importance of proper nutrition for growth and development.

Physical Activity:

  • Physical activity is vital for maintaining good health, and kindergarten students are encouraged to participate in structured and unstructured physical activities like games, outdoor play, and movement during lessons.

Rest and Relaxation:

  • Kindergarten students are taught the importance of getting enough rest by establishing routines such as nap time, quiet time, and mindfulness strategies like deep breathing exercises.

Self-Regulation Skills:

Kindergarten students develop a foundation of positive self-care habits by teaching these personal hygiene habits, healthy eating, physical activity, rest, and self-regulation. Students who learn to understand the importance of self-care in kindergarten are likelier to carry these habits throughout their lives, promoting a healthy and fulfilling life.

Kindergarten can be an exciting and sometimes overwhelming experience for students, parents, and teachers alike. We hope this article has provided insight into kindergartners’ meaningful learning opportunities throughout the school year.

Through age-appropriate curriculums, experiential learning activities, math and literacy building blocks, scientific exploration, art and musical education, social-emotional development tools, and healthy habits fostering self-care behaviour – kindergarten is designed to equip students with skills necessary to thrive as a learner from the very start of their educational journey.

With a little structure and guidance for kindergartners to explore and play in a safe environment, these children will be well prepared to take on any new academic challenges ahead!

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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