Is your child school ready?

Whilst there are certain expectations for children beginning school, there is also a wide range of normal. Children learn at their own pace and may begin school with various “school readiness” skills.  School readiness includes social skills, language skills, emotional skills, concentration skills, visual-motor skills, pre-writing skills, self-care skills, fine and gross motor skills.

If your child has difficulty with one or more of these areas of skill development, it doesn’t mean that they’re not ready for school, but it may mean that they need some help… including Occupational Therapy.

It is worth speaking with your child’s educators (kinder or childcare) to help you determine if your child is school-ready.

Here are some tasks that are generally required from children when starting school, which occupational therapists can help to develop:

Fine motor skills:

  • Using a pencil with an age-appropriate grasp
  • Writing their name
  • Can draw a recognisable person
  • Cutting simple shapes
  • Copying simple shapes
  • Knowledge of basic colours
  • Knowledge of some letters
  • Can count objects and recognise numbers
  • Can complete interlocking puzzle (8-10 pieces)



  • Dressing/undressing themself
  • Toileting independently
  • Managing their lunch box and drink bottle


Social skills:

  • Listening attentively at group time
  • Able to follow multi-step instructions
  • Can cope with transitions
  • Following a structured classroom routine
  • Understanding the rules
  • Able to socialise and play cooperatively with others
  • Able to share and take turns
  • Can play imaginatively
  • Able to problem solve


Emotional regulation:

  • Can manage frustration and avoid temper tantrums
  • Able to make needs known
  • Can manage school environment independently
  • Able to deal with the structured nature of a formal learning environment


Sara Khraim
Occupational Therapist


Christine Harkin
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