What Kids Learn in Kindergarten

Kindergarten is a new experience for many children. It teaches them to be away from their parents on a regular basis and develops social skills in a group setting.

Kindergarten curriculum includes work on the numbers 1 to 30 as well as basic addition and subtraction concepts. Kids also learn to compare objects using size and color.


Children pick up oral language skills from birth, and kindergarten is a great place to expand them. They’ll learn the sounds that letters make, and begin to recognize upper- and lower-case letters. They’ll also start to read about 30 high-frequency words—like and, the, and it—that they’ll see often in their environment, such as street signs and magazines.

Kindergarten students will also learn about basic sentence structure, including subject-verb agreement and punctuation (periods, question marks, exclamation points). This is a great time to get kids excited about reading and writing with some fun activities.

The word “kindergarten” comes from Friedrich Frobel’s German school of psychology, where he encouraged development through free play and activity. It became popular worldwide, and was adapted to other cultures. In Peru, for example, kindergarten is called nido. In the Netherlands, it was called kleuterschool, and until 1985 was a separate non-compulsory form of education from primary school, now referred to as basisonderwijs.


Just like learning the alphabet, kids need a strong foundation in math before they can learn more advanced concepts. Kindergarten math is focused on the basics of counting, sorting, recognizing numbers and their names, skip counting, creating patterns, and basic addition and subtraction.

They’ll also be learning the days of the week, months of the year and how to tell time. These are important early-childhood skills that will help them as they progress in their academic careers.

Children will also work on understanding the relationships between numbers and will practice decontextualizing a problem to translate it into an equation (for example, 7-3 = 4). They’ll begin to recognize number words and numerals, as well as develop a sense of how many different ways a number can be represented. They’ll start to use their number skills to create simple calculations and will be introduced to measurement. They’ll also be learning about shapes, and the shapes of objects around them.


While the science curriculum can vary by state and school, most kindergartners learn some of the same science concepts. They are encouraged to experiment and observe the world around them, such as tracking how a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly or how a seed grows into a plant.

During scientific exploration, kids use observation skills and communication skills to express their ideas and observations. These skills are important for success in science and transferable to other academic subjects and real-life situations.

The McRuffy Science series introduces children to Life Science, Earth Science and Physical Science with a hands-on approach that does not depend on reading. Kids experiment with objects, sort piles of items, take things apart, and make collections. This helps them identify the properties of objects and materials like color, size, odor, temperature, flexibility, and shape. This gives them a foundation for understanding the changes of matter, such as water turning from liquid to solid and back.

Social Studies

In kindergarten students learn about the world on a social level. This includes history, geography and civics. It also helps students develop critical thinking skills.

Early childhood experiences should establish the foundations for a classroom community based on inclusive and democratic values. They should be rooted in children’s interest and curiosity about the world around them, including nonverbal yet observable social cues.

The kindergarten curriculum should allow children to explore their families, school and neighborhood in order to increase their understanding of a sense of place. This includes learning about the different locations in their city, state and country, recognizing national holidays and exploring their own personal histories through family stories.

In addition, children should be able to understand time and chronology. This includes identifying the difference between past, present and future as well as distinguishing between days of the week, seasons and maps. Children should also be able to identify the countries of their home and the world using various resources such as magazines, physical maps or interactive websites.

What Kids Learn in Kindergarten
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