All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

This post was originally posted on 12/29/15. I have updated the post and made a new printable.

Written more than 25 years ago, Robert Fulghum’s best-selling book of essays, All I Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten, still speaks to millions of readers today. I discovered his ideas some years ago during a conference. I made an 8″ x 11″ sheet with this essay and laminated it and added a magnet. I have had it on my refrigerator ever since.

I periodically re-read the words and am always touched by his wisdom. Today, I share this essay with you. It is nearing the end of the year, and as we consider changes or resolutions to improve our lives in the coming new year, I suggest we all contemplate these simple truths. If each of us cleans up our own messes, lives a balanced life, and sticks together, consider how much happier our families, communities, nation and world would be.


All I Need To Know Inspirational Printable

You can still get this 2015 free printable:   Download


All 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 sand pile at school.

    These are the things I learned:


  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re 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 every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam 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 Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books 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 equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.



And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.





Over the years, I’ve made 3 versions of the quote. The second version was first offered in 2015 (above). I’ve developed a new version which I hope you like. This is more colorful with leaves and flowers. It is sized 8.5″ x 11″.












I made a larger 11″ x 14″ version for an easier to read copy.








As with all my printables, they are for your personal use.   Please do not post these images on your own site unless you link back here.




“ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN” by Robert Fulghum. See his web site at Robert Fulghum







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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

7 thoughts to “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”

      1. I tried to print this, but kept getting denied. I don’t know if it’s my computer or a problem with the link 🙁

        1. thank so much for telling me. I will fix it immediately. I am so sorry you had a problem. Give me about 10 minutes and try again.


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