What Happens in Kindergarten?

Kindergarten is your child’s first experience in a structured learning environment. The class and teacher will set a foundation for his social, emotional and intellectual development.

Kindergartners will learn early math concepts including counting and recognizing numbers up to 10. They will also start adding and subtracting with hands-on discovery activities.


While children pick up oral language skills from birth, kindergarten is where they gain the ability to use those words in a structured classroom setting. Oral language activities include answering questions and participating in group work like show-and-tell.

During reading time, kindergarten students practice new concepts through story-based games. They learn how to predict what will happen next in a story; evaluate character’s thoughts; and retell events from a book in sequence.

Encourage your child to develop imaginative play at home by assembling a collection of dress-up clothes. You can also encourage creativity by letting your child play with art tools and materials, such as coloured paper plates, wool, felt pieces, old magazines and coloured glue sticks. Encourage them to use these materials for creating visual stories.


In kindergarten, children learn math skills that will help them in their everyday lives. They learn to count and identify shapes, colors, and objects in their world. They learn about 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional objects, as well as basic equations and addition.

Other important kindergarten math concepts include understanding money and time, counting coins and small numbers, and basic graphing. Children also begin learning about shapes, which is the foundation for understanding geometry in later grades.

Kindergarten is an important year to teach kids words like “behind,” “above,” and “in front.” These are not just language skills, but the beginning of an understanding of spatial relations. They will start to measure things and sort them into groups – for example, placing the boxes of food in the refrigerator or stacking their toys into rows of tallest, middle, and shortest.


Children’s natural curiosity and need to make sense of their world is an important part of science learning. It is also a way to develop social skills and the ability to work with others.

Kids won’t conduct complex scientific experiments in kindergarten, but they will explore the characteristics of objects and materials through observation and simple activities like sorting piles of items by color, shape, size, temperature or odor. They may study weather and seasons or the life cycle of a plant or animal.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is important at any age but especially in early childhood when children are developing critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities. You can support your child’s kindergarten STEM education by encouraging their budding curiosity at home.

Social Studies

In kindergarten, children learn to be aware of the community around them. They also learn to respect their own family culture and the customs of other people. This molds young minds in the primary learning years, preparing them to tackle more complex issues of geography, history and civics as they move through elementary school.

Social studies encompasses many different subject areas, including history, geography, sociology, civics, economics and anthropology. These are the subjects most often taught in schools, but others such as art, literature, ethics and philosophy are also considered social studies.

Integrating social studies experiences into the curriculum is helpful, but they should be carefully designed to assure that the content reflects a logical sequence and allows for depth. This is not always possible when social studies is tucked into ELA.


Children’s natural curiosity drives their desire to explore their world, which is why the arts are a great supplemental learning activity. Through creative expression, kids develop self-esteem and build confidence.

By the time they reach kindergarten, young children have mastered many basic art concepts. They can use tempera paints, crayons and pencils to create drawings and paintings that represent their experiences.

Grabbing crayons, drawing big scribbles and using scissors strengthen fine motor skills, which are needed to hold a pencil or pen when they write in elementary school. Group art projects such as creating a mural with handprints also teach cooperation and teamwork.

Get crafty with this woven paper project for kindergarten that teaches patterning and spatial concepts like over and under. Plus, it’s a fun way to practice gluing!

What Happens in Kindergarten?
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