Preschool Education Based Skills: Ages 2-5
Educational,  Pre-K Learning at Home

Preschool Education Based Skills: Ages2-5

I am a stay at home mom and I have had my babies here with me all day every day. My oldest is now in First grade and doing wonderful. He is the golden boy and not just because his hair is perfectly blond. My youngest is in PreK and loving having a little independent time from mom. In the years before they started school, I created a lot of fun learning activities for them. I have the teacher background and I worked to put those pre-learning skills into a lot of the games and activities we play. I try to add these Preschool education-based skills to all the busy boxes I create.

Preschool Education Based Skills: Ages 2-5

Here in this post, I wanted to break down those pre-reading, pre-writing and pre-math skills by age for you. It’s helpful to see your kiddo aligned with their developmental age. For example, a two-year-old should not be expected to write their name and a 5-year-old can be doing a lot more than a shape puzzle. Stay at home moms, homeschool moms, work at home moms, teachers, and daycare providers- here is a quick guide for those pre-school educational-based skills kids aged 2-5 should be aiming for.

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All this information is generic and based on average kids and what they learn as they are developing.

Kids are all different and many will learn faster or slower than others. I just created this post as a guide! I wanted to help you understand the skills your kiddo may be capable of. When you are creating learning activities and experiences for them at home it will be helpful to know what skills she should be able to handle.

Age 2

Age 2. Print Motivation and Fine Motor Skills are Preschool Expectations.

At the age of 2, they are still babies! This age is all “I do what you do.” Everything needs to be kept very simple. One activity at a time. Do NOT expect anything to hold their attention for long. Activities need to be childproofed in a sense. Board books are the best! Take it from my experience- I left my daughter with a paper library book at naptime thinking she could handle it at this age. She proved my way wrong and ripped every page from that book.


Print Motivation is where it’s at! Kids are just identifying what a book is and the actions we go through when looking at a book. They can hold the book and turn the pages(maybe not even correctly). They can look at the pictures. Some may even babble to match how we sound when reading out loud to them.


Fine Motor Skills is the name of the game here. Look for games and activities to get them to practice using the small muscles in their fingers and hands. Pinching, moving, stacking, touching, feeling, grabbing… you get the point.


Very, very basic- matching shapes and maybe sorting objects.

Age 3

Age 3. Print Motivation and Fine Motor are Preschool Expectations.

At this age, independence is not strong. You must show, model and give attention often. Board books are still better as indicated by my earlier story but kids are all different. At the age of 3, I could fully trust my son with a paper book.


Print Motivation is still a big deal. Print Awareness is now knowing the correct way to hold the book and turn the pages as they look at pictures.


Fine Motor Skills are still at the same level of expectation as the 2-year-old. I do encourage you to add some writing tools into the mix now. Practicing holding a crayon in their hands- choosing which one feels more comfortable. Just remember to know your kiddo and the level of independence- don’t trust a kid alone in a room with crayons and a giant blank wall unless you want some crayon art to remember them by.


Very basic with- matching shapes, comparing sizes, sorting, counting and number songs.

Age 4

Age 4. Print Motivation, Print Awareness, Letter Knowledge and Fine Motor Skills are Preschool Expectations.

These kids want to be independent almost as much as they want to still be babies. This age is a time of big growth- body, and brain.


Print Motivation and Print Awareness are still being practiced and mastered at this age. Letter Knowledge is stating with the ABC song and the letters in their names. They can practice identifying the letters and even talking about uppercase and lowercase.


Fine Motor Skills being practiced are the same as I mentioned earlier. Just now even more time can be spent with those writing tools. Tracing or even copying letters, names and some shapes can be a fun way to start some purposeful writing.

Pre- Math

Matching, comparing, counting, sequencing, and patterns are all wonderful math skills to start at this age.

Age 5

Age 5. Print Motivation, Print Awareness, Letter Knowledge, Phonemic Awareness, and Fine Motor are Preschool Expectations.

At this age, your kiddo is in or about to begin school. If you have decided to homeschool or just have them at home for the beginning of their 5th year here is what you could expect them to be ready for in the learning department.


Print Motivation and Print Awareness should be mostly mastered. Letter Knowledge can still be a big area to practice especially the difference between upper and lowercase letters. Many kids this age are ready to start Phonemic Awareness or the learning of the letter sounds.

Pre- Writing

Fine Motor Skills are always good for practice. The stronger the hand and fingers the better and more confident your child will be when it is time to get writing! Tracing and copying letters, numbers, and shapes are wonderful to practice.


All those same skills mentioned above are still wonderful and fun for your 5-year-old to practice. They help build a base for all other math your child will encounter in the future. Identifying sets of numbers and sequencing them is perfect for this age- especially since that is the very beginnings of addition and subtraction.

I compiled this list of the skills most kids are ready to learn by age here for you to make it easier when creating your own busy boxes. You will usually get a few different options based on age when I create Busy Boxes for you. I wanted you to be able to have that knowledge for your self. It is easy to think kids should be capable of more and get frustrated when they do not. This quick list is a little reminder to take things slow and let those skills build!

Please Subscribe to my email list and you will be given access to my Busy Box Freebie Library. In there will be a printable checklist of these skills just for you!

Subscribing will also get you loads of DIY or use what you have ideas for getting your preschoolers working on these skills.

Busy Boxes for Kids
Want to know more about these busy boxes I have been talking about? Check this blog out.

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I am a mom of two sweet kiddos. One boy who is 6 and one girl who is 3. Before kids, I was a Kindergarten teacher. My purpose here is to build a positive place for Moms (or any parent for that matter) to learn, share and support each other in our life quest for Happiness!


  • Jessica B

    I love this breakdown for different activities at different ages. I’m realizing that I may have been expecting too much or not challenging my son enough at times and that’s where his attention span was cutting short. Thanks for the great tips!

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