Three is an age of smoothness and increased self control and integration. There is an awareness of what people like and do not like. The typical three-year old wants to please and is highly susceptible to praise.

Motor behavior is now sure. They enjoy gross motor activities with large objects. Block play usually includes much carrying and lifting, which is as important as the finished product they are building.

Fine motor development has progressed to enable this age child to pick up small objects more easily. In writing with a crayon, the adult grasp is simulated. Movements are still awkward. Sometimes they will pick up the crayon with the nondominant hand and then transfer it to the dominant hand.

Play now goes on with other children. Whereas at two they were involved in parallel play, they now begin to play cooperatively. Play is often structured by the children's imagination.

Language has expanded and the three-year old now has the ability to have fun with language. They like to make up new words and enjoy silly rhyming. They like guessing games. The concept of space and the understanding of place words have developed so that the three-year old can respond to directions which include prepositions, such as "put the ball under the table."

Three-year olds can be induced to respond by using words such as: help, needs, guess what and how about. They like the idea of a surprise and a secret. Compliance is more assured by giving the three-year old a feeling that they have a choice.

Three and one-half is an age of transition developmentally and visually. Children are more sensitive, noncomforming, and anxious in their behavior. Stuttering, eye blinking, faulty eye coordination, and trembling hands of manifestations of motor difficulties.


At the age of four, children begin to test and feel their power. They need climbing apparatus, ladders, boards, and building blocks to release energy as well as learn. They enjoy dramatic play, excursions around the neighborhood, books and stories, and talking.

Four is not an easy age for children. They are considerably more powerful than at the age of three; language is developing very rapidly; time sense is increasing; and they can identify with a larger social group. They are self-sufficient in many of their personal needs. This leads many adults to think they can perform on a high level at all times. When they retreat temporarily to needing help, or when they are suddenly defiant, it may be that they are exhibiting a persistent need to experiment and test others. At four they have not learned all they need to know about the ways of their own world, or about other children or adults. Consequently, they still require acceptance of feelings and help with limits, just as they did at age three, but always with due recognition of their increased growth.

The four to five year old seeks to satisfy curiosity through a discovery process. A school learning environment arranged with centers allows the freedom and materials to provide for individual and group learning. Each child should be provided with opportunities to create, explore, discover, and experiment through their own experiences to enable them to find their own unique place in the world..


Five-year old children have lost the top-heavy look of infancy and are usually about twice as tall as at two. They are dependable and obedient with a certain capacity for friendship. They are at their best in small group situations where they can deal with something they can see for themselves. They are relatively independent and self-sufficient but still need to be able to count on adults for security in the unfamiliar and unexpected.

Five to six-year old children think in concrete terms, therefore, they need concrete experiences in the learning environment. They have a special need to experiment and discover things that can be related to their own experiences and the world around them. Expression through movement and music is necessary for growth. Dramatic and rhythmic activities are especially appropriate for the 5 to 6 year old.

This age child is interested in creative expression through language by the introduction of sounds, letters and words. They enjoy learning games that give them opportunities to tell stories, read books through memory, and write language experience stories.

The self-assuredness of the five-year old is no longer the characteristic of the five and a half-year old who is said to be restless. During this period the child is in a more-or-less constant state of emotional tension. Many difficulties arise out of an inability to shift and to modulate behavior. Teachers can help guide this behavior by planning a smooth transition time when changing from one activity to another.


Listed below are the Oklahoma State Department of Education's basis skills and knowledge all students should learn in the appropriate grade level. I have listed the skills Kindergarten children should have learned at the end of the school year.


    By the end of the school year, the child will:

  1. Work and play cooperatively in a variety of settings (large groups, small groups, learning centers, etc.).

  2. Exhibit behavior that demonstrates an understanding of school and classroom guidelines (routines, rules, schedules, procedures, etc.).

  3. Listen to others while in large and small groups.

  4. Stay involved in a self-selected activity for an appropriate length of time (approximately 15 to 29 minutes).

  5. Follow simple verbal directions.

  6. Work independently and/or cooperately to solve problems.

  7. Select and complete a task while working at a learning center.

  8. Choose a variety of materials and activities from learning centers.

  9. Recognize dangerous situations and take action to protect self (use of telephone, safety rules, etc.).

  10. Attend to personal tasks (clothing, personal hygiene, etc.).


    By the end of the school year, the child will:

  1. Express thoughts and ideas about work and play.

  2. Develop and verbalize solutions to simple problems.

  3. Think of new uses for familiar materials.


    By the end of the school year, the child will:

  1. Complete simple rhyming pairs.

  2. Hear and repeat sounds in a sequence (hand rhymes, vocal sounds, numbers in a sequence, etc.).

  3. Hear and repeat a simple eight-to-ten word sentence.

  4. Tell what happens first, middle and last about an event or activity.

  5. Dictate a story about an event or experience.

  6. Answer questions and contribute ideas that are relevant to the conversation or group discussion.

  7. Speak using complete sentences that include a subject, verb, simple phrases and some adjectives.

  8. Tell what is happening in a picture.

  9. Identify and read first and last name in print.

  10. Reproduce a three-object pattern from memory.

  11. Identify and name eight basic colors (black, brown, red, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple).

  12. Match at least half of the upper-case letters with the lower-case letters.

  13. Begin to use initial and ending consonant sounds.

  14. Begin to name the letters of the alphabet.

  15. Begin to recognize, name and match words in context.

  16. Read their own "writing" to the group, teacher and/or parents.

  17. Demonstrate left-to-right and top-to-bottom eye movement when engaged in appropriate activities (looking at pictures in sequence, following print on a page).

  18. Show basic parts of a book (front and back), hold book correctly, indicate where to begin reading.

  19. Print first and last name on unlined paper.

  20. Trace, copy and generate shapes, letters and numerals. Children may still be reversing some letters.


    By the end of the school year, the child will:

  1. Identify, name and draw a circle, square, rectangle and triangle when shown an example.

  2. Identify some three-dimensional objects (box, can, etc.).

  3. Sort objects, group into a set and tell what the objects have in common (color, shape, size, etc.).

  4. Build groups or sets that have more than, less than and equivalent quantities and tell which have more and less.

  5. Pair and count objects using one-to-one correspondence.

  6. Count orally from one to twenty.

  7. Count objects in a set orally one-to-one from zero through ten.

  8. Construct, identify and name sets of objects zero through ten.

  9. Identify and name numerals zero through ten, in and out of sequence.

  10. Match sets of objects to numerals zero through ten.

  11. Point to objects and name their ordinal position first though fifth.

  12. Write numerals zero to ten, in and out of sequence, on unlined paper. Children may still be reversing some numerals.

  13. Identify and name sizes such as big, bigger, biggest; small, medium, large.

  14. Identify and name lengths such as long, longer, longest; short, shorter, shortest.

  15. Put objects in graduated order from shortest to tallest, thinnest to thickest, etc.

  16. Identify and name a penny, nickel, dime and quarter.

  17. Help create and explain a simple graph, such as a bar graph, showing how may boys and girls are in the class.

  18. Complete and construct simple patterns with objects such as car, block, car, block.

  19. Demonstrate (with objects)spatially related terms such as on, above, below, beside, under, on top of, behind and over.

  20. Identify the days of the week and months of the year.


    By the end of the school year, the child will:

  1. Demonstrate basic locomotor movements such as walking, running, jumping, hopping, galloping, and skipping.

  2. Demonstrate nonlocomotor movements such as bending, stretching, pulling, pushing, etc.

  3. Balance on one foot for approximately five seconds.

  4. Walk and balance on a four-inch line or balance beam.

  5. Coordinate large arm movements such as easel painting, woodworking, climbing, throwing, playing rhythm band instruments, writing on chalkboard, playing with blocks, catching and tossing.

  6. Demonstrate strengthened hand and eye coordination while working with pegs, stringing beads, using pattern blocks, using crayons, pencils, paint brushes and fingerpaint on plain paper, cutting with scissors, using glue and a variety of puzzles.

  7. Hold and use a pencil, crayons and marker using thumb and two fingers.


    By the end of the school year, the child will:

  1. Observe and describe characteristics of the four seasons such as temperature, weather, appropriate clothing, etc.

  2. Observe and describe characteristics of weather using vocabulary such as sun, rainbow, clouds, fog, shadows, dew, frost, rain, hail, sleet, snow, lightning, thunder, temperature and tornado.

  3. Observe and describe what various plants and animals need for growth.

  4. Observe, classify and describe the sensory attributes of objects according to taste, smell, hearing, touch and sight.

  5. Observe, describe and classify real objects according to their common properties (animals, plants, etc.).

  6. State the opposite properties of some objects, such as magnetic-nonmagnetic, float-sink, heavy-light, rough-smooth, hard-soft, wet-dry, etc.

  7. Observe and describe the sequence of "simple" life cycles such as plants, frogs, butterflies and chickens (egg/chicken, seed/plant, etc.).

  8. Discuss basic health needs of human beings such as good nutrition, dental care and exercise.

  9. Describe simple conservation measures used to protect our environment.

  10. Observe, describe and experiment with vibration and sound such as rubber bands, bottles of water and homemade telephones.


    By the end of the school year, the child will:

  1. State their full name, age, birthday, address, telephone number and name of parent or guardian.

  2. Identify the title of various school helpers and the individual who occupies that job in the immediate school setting, including principal, secretary, custodian, counselor, librarian, nurse, cook and teacher.

  3. Identify common occupations that occur within their immediate surroundings (bus driver, police officer, firefighter, etc.).

  4. Identify how children within the local community and around the world have needs in common and are also unique as to languages, food, clothing, transportation and customs.

  5. Recognize Oklahoma (or the state you are in) on a map of the United States.

  6. Begin to develop an understanding of city/town, state, country.



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