Kindergarten Benchmarks
Levels of a Five
Year old...
Five year olds characteristically are eager to please, they are more accepting of
the limits and boundaries set by adults and are better able to control their
emotions and emotional outbursts. Imaginations and creative thinking are
abounding at five. As the level of play moves into the cooperative stage, five year
olds are becoming quite skillful in settling disputes. They enjoy having a best
friend as well as choosing their own friends.

Becoming increasingly independent, they enjoy taking on responsibilities and
are able to take pride in their accomplishments.

Five year-old children include the developmental benchmarks of the three and
four year olds with the addition of the following skills:

Language Skills:
Uses correct language structure, form and usage
Uses adjectives and past tense. Puts together long sentences – such as: "My mom bought me that big brown dog at the toy store."
Knows and uses plural endings: car/cars, cookie/cookies
Answers the telephone properly; may be able to take a small message
Reads a familiar story by looking at the pictures.
Makes up his or her own story when looking at pictures in an unfamiliar book
Knows most colors
Has a vocabulary of over 2000 words
Cognitive Skills:
Enjoys counting objects
Counts by rote to 100
Matches and sorts objects into two or more categories, such as color and shape
Seriation – ability to order pictures or items from smallest to largest
Ability to complete sequential patterning
Understands what a clock is, and its function. May be able to tell the o'clock hours and know certain events that happen at that time.
Can draw intricate pictures from memory; puts all features on human drawing
or painting, proportions are more realistic
Learning to solve problems
Learns through both adult instruction and exploration
Answers questions and likes to ask for information
Attention span is increasing
Fine Motor Skills:
Puts together simple twelve to one hundred piece puzzles
Holds a pencil with correct pincer grip
Prints numerals and letters
Prints name
Cuts on lines with scissors
Cuts out simple shapes
Copies shapes, designs and letters
Displays hand dominance
Traces patterns
Lace and tie shoes
Large Motor Skills:
Marches to music; ability to keep a beat
Plays and understands circle games such as tag
Able to perform simple tumbling exercises such as a somersault
Walk heel to toe - both front and backwards
Throw a ball
Skips alternating feet
Catch a ball in mid-air
Ride a scooter
Ride a tricycle or a bicycle
Hop and jump forward 10 to 12 times without falling
Balance on one foot for 10 to 15 seconds
Social and Emotional Skills:
Understands and able to take turns
Able to share
Displays better emotional control; fewer tantrums and frustrations
Ability to solve problems by using words
Able to follow directions; likes responsibility and is more reliable
Play is at the cooperative play level
Enjoys imaginative play scenarios and becomes the director of play; will listen and use others' ideas
Enjoys friends. Seeks one or two special playmates
Enjoys table games
Likes to be the center of attention
Ability to tell jokes and make others laugh
Shows pride in accomplishments
Ability to express and share creative thoughts and fears