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Speech and Language Skills Checklist: PreK and Kindergarten

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

speech therapy group

Preparing for preK or Kindergarten is often a big worry for parents. We get it! This is the start to their educational journey and us adults want to make sure they are as ready as they can be. To help, we are outlining speech and language skills to keep an eye out for when preparing for their entrance to the school system.

One note, speech and language development skills are often listed by age and we’ll do that below to stick with the most up-to-date research. If your child is at a different grade level for their age, just adjust based on their age!

If you haven’t already, grab our 1-7 speech and language skills guide to keep handy and cross off skills as your child develops!


Preparing for PreK (ages 3-4)

Age 3:

  • [ ] Can produce the sounds “P”, “B”, “M”, “W”, “H”, “G”, “K”, “T”, “F”, “D”, “N”, “NG”, and “Y”

  • [ ] Has 1,000+ words

  • [ ] Uses 3-word sentences,

  • [ ] Counts to 3

  • [ ] Uses verb forms such as plurals, present progressive “-ing”, and past tense “-ed”

  • [ ] Follows 3-step unrelated directions

  • [ ] Identifies parts of an object

  • [ ] Answers “yes/no” questions

Age 4:

  • [ ] Can produce all of the sounds listed at age 3 AND “L”, “S”, “Z”, “CH”, “SH”, “J”, “V”

  • [ ] Puts 4 words together & 4sentences at a time

  • [ ] Uses pronouns (he,she,they, him, her, them)

  • [ ] Identifies and uses rhyming words (e.g. cat-bat-rat)

  • [ ] Uses negatives (e.g. nobody, no one) and the past tense "be" (e.g. "She was dancing")

  • [ ] Understands words for some shapes and colors

  • [ ] Answers simple "what", "who", and "where" questions


Preparing for Kindergarten (ages 5-6)

Age 5:

  • [ ] Can produce all of the sounds listed at previous ages AND “R”, voiced “TH” (e.g. “THat”), and “ZH” (e.g. “meaSure”)

  • [ ] Speaks mostly without repeating words or sounds

  • [ ] Names letters and numbers

  • [ ] Tells a story

  • [ ] Understands time words (e.g. today, tomorrow, yesterday) and words for order (e.g. first, last, next)

  • [ ] Understands comparatives and superlatives (e.g. smaller, smallest)

Age 6:

  • [ ] Can produce all of the sounds listed at all ages AND the voiceless “TH” sound (e.g. “THing”)

  • [ ] Explains what objects are used for (e.g. you drink with a cup) and what they are made of

  • [ ] Retells a story or shares a recent experience through story

  • [ ] Understands and can share opposites (e.g. top/bottom, big/little)

  • [ ] Can explain how two items are similar and different

  • [ ] Understands ordinal numbers (e.g. first, second, third)

  • [ ] Knows their address,

  • [ ] Answers questions about the past

  • [ ] Has letter/sound awareness

Not here yet or curious about what speech and language skills we’re looking for in toddlers? Get our complete skills guide made for children aged 1-7 years.

Wondering if your child might benefit from speech and language therapy? Book a free consultation call with us! We are looking forward to chatting with you!


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