Early Childhood Years

Early literacy and early learning experiences are linked to academic success, higher graduation rates, and better productivity in adult life. The most important thing you can do with preschool children is to prepare them to become good readers by reading aloud and discussing books with them.

Every child grows, develops, and learns at a different rate. Your child may already be successful with some skills and may need more time to develop others. The key is to give your child plenty of opportunities to practice and learn these skills by interacting naturally with family and friends.

The following skill areas are based on the Utah State Office of Education Early Childhood Core Standards. Review these skill areas, observe your child, and identify areas of strength and areas for improvement.




Self-Help Skills (Not a complete list)

  • Eats independently.
  • Uses restroom independently.
  • Washes hands after using the restroom.
  • Removes outerwear independently.
  • Asks questions and seeks out adult help when necessary.
  • Knows how to care for and use books.
  • Cleans up after self.

English Language Arts (Not a complete list)

  • Listens attentively and responds to stories and books.
  • Speaks in complete sentences.
  • Speaks clearly enough to be understood by unfamiliar adults.
  • Has a vocabulary that includes words to name colors, parts of the body, and positional words (e.g., in/out, to/from, around, upside down).
  • Expresses feelings and ideas.
  • Knows poems and songs.
  • Identifies signs, symbols, or logos in the environment.
  • Identifies many letters of the alphabet (10+), especially those in own name.
  • Writes using drawings and made-up or real letters.

Mathematics (Not a complete list)

  • Counts to ten/twenty by ones.
  • Creates groups of up to five/ten objects.
  • Places like items together (e.g., red cars and blue cars).
  • Plays with, identifies, and names the shapes (e.g., circle, triangle, and rectangle).
  • Uses comparative words (e.g., heavier, shorter, less, taller, bigger).

Approaches to Learning and Science (Not a complete list)

  • Demonstrates confidence in a range of abilities.
  • Develops abilities and skills that promote learning.
  • Persists in completing tasks.
  • Works collaboratively with others.
  • Approaches tasks with organization.
  • Attends to colors and textures in the natural environment.
  • Asks questions for further information.
  • Recognizes the difference between day and night.
  • Recognizes changes in the seasons.
  • Understands hot and cold.
  • Identifies objects that area part of the non-living world such as rocks and manmade objects.

Creative Arts (not a complete list)

For additional ideas
on specific arts areas,
click on the following:
Drama       Visual Arts
Music   Dance/Movement

  • Learns several simple songs.
  • Uses voice and instruments to create sound.
  • Uses body to move to music and express self.
  • Recognizes and names colors (e.g., red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, brown).
  • Uses a variety of media and materials to create drawings, pictures, or other objects.
  • Learns to express ideas, information, and feelings through dramatic play.
  • Portrays a variety of events, characters, or stories through drama, props, and language.

Social/Emotional and Social Studies (Not a complete list)

  • Displays a sense of curiosity and willingness to try new things.
  • Takes turns.
  • Shares materials.
  • Listens while others talk.
  • Shows concern for others.
  • Plays cooperatively with other children.
  • Works well independently or in small groups.
  • Separates from parent without undue anxiety.
  • Knows parent or guardian's first and last name.
  • Knows own first and last name and can tell an adult.

Physical, Health and Safety (Not a complete list)

Large Motor Skills

  • Hops, jumps, and runs.
  • Bounces, catches, kicks, and throws balls.
  • Walks in a straight line forward and backward.
  • Balances on dominant foot for five seconds.
  • Participates in simple games.

Small Motor Skills

  • Holds writing instruments correctly.
  • Holds scissors correctly.
  • Uses scissors to cut straight or curved lines.
  • Turns a single page in a book.
  • Puts together simple puzzles