Starting preschool is a brand-new phase in your child’s development. But, many parents worry about whether or not their child is ready. Even if your little one has already attended a toddler program, once he or she starts preschool, they will be making new friends, gaining confidence, and learning new skills.
Below we discuss tops for getting your child ready for this big transition.
Before Starting Preschool
- Visit the school – Once you have seen several day care centres and decided where you will be sending your child, take him or her to visit the classroom and meet the teacher a few days before starting. Show your little one the class schedule and share to your child what to expect during an average day.
- Read – Spend time reading books about preschool to your child.
- Act it out – Use your child’s love of pretend play to prepare for preschool. Pretend you are going to school, putting your backpack away, and sitting down for story time. Read stories, play games, and even make a little snack. Remember to teach your child a couple of basic social skills and talk about things like taking turns and joining play.
- Self-help skills – Going to school is a big leap in your child’s development and independence is going to be in the spotlight. Help him or her master self-help skills like using the toilet, washing hands, and putting on socks and shoes.
- Express feelings – This is an exciting adventure, but it’s normal for your both to feel anxious. To help your child, allow him or her to express feelings, and listen closely, acknowledging his or her fears.
- Change your schedule – As your child gets used to the first few weeks of preschool, make any necessary changes to your schedule and routine. Try to have a peaceful and calm environment at home, enjoy family meals, and make sure that your child gets to bed at a decent hour. Having predictable and consistent routines several weeks before they start to go to school will make the transition a lot smoother.
The First Few Days of School
- Organise – As the first day gets closer, make sure you have labelled and organised backpacks, socks, shoes, and clothing.
- Stay a while on the first day – Stay at school for the first 20 minutes or so on your child’s first day, point out activities in the classroom, and encourage your child to get involved. Introduce him or her to other children, and then offer a hug and a quick goodbye.
- Be involved – Stay involved with your child’s development by keeping in contact with the teacher and finding the right balance for your child to become more independent.
Preschool is going to be a time of enormous growth for your child. With just a little effort and preparation, parents can make this process a way to build confidence for the both of you, and one that will be exciting and enjoyable.