All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

I was rummaging through my “filed” papers (read papers that were put in a file – about a year ago – to be further sorted and filed!) for some bits and pieces to read up on as I prepare for the Storytelling For Young Children Workshop, coming up on the 8th October – and of course I got a bit lost in all the other wonderful things I found in there … including this gem, which I can almost recite by heart, I love it that much. It is written by Robert Fulghum, and I would cite the source if only I knew it. I recommend reading Robert Fulghum’s writing, particularly if you are a dad. Parenting from a dad’s perspective is so important.


All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Robert Fulghum

Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school. These are the things I have learned:

 Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back that aren’t yours. Say sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.

 Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

 Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup – they all die. So do we.

 And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living.

 Think of what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes. And it is true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.