Physical Skills That Are Important for Kindergarten

Physical Developmental Milestones for Kindergaten

kindergarten child physical skills
Vgajic/Getty Images

As with every age and stage, your kindergarten child is mastering new physical skills. She is now more able to move her body the way she wants to and, most likely, can run like the wind. Although this year she will show a number of new physical skills, some are more important than others to help make her kindergarten year a highly successful learning experience.

Physical Skills Children Should Learn By Kindergarten

1. Skill:  Has begun to establish right or left dominance, that is, show a preference for using one side of the body more strongly than the other.

Why it's important: Hand dominance helps children write more legibly, cut without difficulty and perform other fine motor tasks more efficiently.

2. Skill: Shows increased flexibility, strength, and dexterity in small muscle groups.
Why it's important: An increase in the ability to control small muscles, such as the fingers, makes children more independent in the classroom. They are now physically able to perform self-care tasks like buttoning, zippering and tying shoes.

3. Skill: Has the ability to climb stairs using alternating feet, can balance on one foot, hops, runs, skips and jumps.
Why it's important: The most basic reason these skills are important is so that students have the trunk control and balance needed to  sit in a chair for a substantial period of time. Additionally, these skills enable students to participate in fitness activities in physical education class and socialize with other children on the playground.

4. Skill: Has the ability, coordination and muscle strength to be able to control breathing, i.e., take deep breaths or shallow breaths at will.
Why it's important: Kindergarten students face many new challenges when they begin school, not all of which are comfortable for every child. The ability to control her breathing will allow your child to practice self-calming and relaxation techniques.

5. Skill: Can mimic movements and move in a variety of different directions (zig-zag, backwards, forwards, sideways).
Why it's important: Many kindergarten classrooms use music and movement as a learning tool. Being able to mimic movement allows your child to fully participate in finger plays, dances, skits and other movement-related activities.