Linda Kaye from Sylvan Learning is here to explain what your child should know before starting kindergarten.

It is amazing how time flies. One day you have a toddler and then all of a sudden it is the first day of kindergarten and your little eone is entering a major stage in life: going to school. There are some things we think are important for children to know when they enter kindergarten to make that experience more enjoyable and successful.

Many parents think their children should already know the letters of the alphabet, numbers, colours and shapes going into kindergarten. However, many kindergarten teachers are not concerned about this. For most teachers, it is more important that children are able to share, follow instructions and interact with other children cooperatively.

With that being said, here are items of general areas of knowledge we think children should know prior to entering kindergarten. But we caution parents not to "drill and kill" their children to know each and every item; this is just a guideline. Parents should remember that each kindergarten program is different and will expect different things of the children who enter.

1. Gives full name -- first, middle, last

2. Gives address -- number, street, city

3. Gives phone number

4. Calls home, calls the operator, answers the phone

5. Gives parents' and siblings' names

6. Knows basic colours -- can match colours, point to a colour when asked, can name colours

7. Knows basic number concepts -- understands difference between one and many, recognizes numerals to five

8. Knows basic alphabet concepts -- can sing or say the ABCs, may be able to identify a few letters (perhaps the ones in his/her name) but may not be able to name any letters

9. Sits quietly for five to ten minutes and listens to a story

10. Tells simple stories with correct sequence, i.e., The Three Bears or Little Red Riding Hood

11. Relates experiences to someone who was not at the event with correct sequence

12. Recites simple nursery rhymes

13. Names basic shapes

14. Identifies the source of sounds in the environment, i.e., telephone, doorbell, toilet, dog barking, birds, crickets, etc.

15. Knows some basic opposites, i.e., big/little, hot/cold, boy/girl, man/woman, day/night, light/dark, heavy/light, near/far, etc.

16. Sorts objects/pictures into categories and names the categories, i.e., animals, foods, clothing, etc., and why they go together, i.e., they are living creatures, we eat them, we wear them, etc.

17. Names basic body parts and identifies their functions

18. Names basic coins –- penny, nickel, dime

19. Understands some basic needs and can express these -–what do you do before you cross the street? What do you do if you are cold? Hungry? Thirsty? Lost?

20. Recognizes own name (at least first name), but may or may not be able to write it

21. Understands act/action relationships -– hit with a hammer, cook with a stove, read with a book, cut with a knife and scissors, drive a car, bounce a ball, fly a kite, etc.

22. Knows basic prepositions, i.e., in, out, up, down, in front, behind, in back, around, over, through, inside, etc.

23. Bounces a ball, walks forward and backward, skips, balances on one foot, hops on one foot, hops on two feet, catches a ball that is bounced, catches a ball that is tossed, gallops

24. Follows simple directions –- three-part commands, i.e., take the pencil, walk to the door, turn off the light

25. Holds a pencil correctly and "writes" with it, cuts with scissors, paints with a paintbrush

26. Is aware of sounds in words –- rhymes words, identifies if you are saying the same word twice or two different words, i.e., cat-cat vs. cat-pat

27. Plays cooperatively with other children.