Preschool can be both scary and exciting for you and your toddler. Once you have researched and found a preschool you feel comfortable sending your little darling to, you want to ensure they are ready. Setting a timeline to prepare your child while keeping a relaxed attitude will help them feel excited and confident rather than scared and anxious. You want to make sure your child is prepared to handle being away, take direction from other qualified adults, perform well and get along with their classmates. Here is a list of topics to help your child successfully handle the transition from being at home to attending class with their new schoolmates.
Sharing is Caring
Teach your child to not only share their things, but also the attention. Your child should also feel comfortable talking to adults about their needs or sharing if they are uncomfortable with a situation. You want them to speak up for themselves and know how to ask if they need to use the bathroom, or are too hot or too cold or have an allergy. Make sure they know the difference of doing what is being asked of them and their own personal safety.
Respect Your Elders
Explain to your child that their teacher is a special guide to help them learn fun new things. In order to participate in school, they need to be a good listener with a can do attitude and to respect their teacher’s classroom rules. Helping them understand how to respect rules in your own house and in others homes is important. Taking them out in public and social events early on will also be beneficial to their listening skills and help develop respectful behavior.
Play Days Are the Best Days
Take your child to the park often and get them used to playing with other children. Have play dates at home before they start preschool. Play games with your child at home that are not only fun but add an element of learning. Board games, card games, outdoor games and ballgames are all important to their social interaction and education.
Gather Round For Story Time
Take your child to the local library and get them used to being a quiet and attentive listener. Ask them questions about the story later and read to them at home. A big part of preschool is group reading, so having story time with your family at home will help them prepare.
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Get your child used to spending extended periods of time away from you. Maybe allow them to spend the night at their grandparents or another relative’s house. Take them to daycare or hire a babysitter and have a date night. They should get used to being away from you while engaging in other activities and in other environments.
Your child should be prepared to have routines in their life as well as unstructured events and change that occurs daily. They need to get used to a balance so they can adjust to change but also be diligent about sticking to routines that are necessary like bathing, eating, etc. Try waking them up and having your child brush their teeth and go out for breakfast one day and the next day have them brush their teeth and help you with breakfast in the kitchen wearing their pajamas then get dressed. Switching daily activities slightly will help them handle the changes in their environment in school and the different way their teacher and classmates may organize their activities and lives.
Lend a Helping Hand
Your child should know how to tidy up after themselves, put away their possessions and pack up things to bring home with them at preschool. Start teaching them to clean up and help at home. Get your toddler to help you pack up the refrigerator after cooking dinner or help you pack lunches. Try activities that encourage them to pick up after themselves like when they are done playing with their toys or finishing a game or project at home.
Dress to Impress and For Success
Allow your child to choose outfits for school by laying out a couple options and letting them choose what they want to wear. Make sure they are wearing something comfortable and easy to move around and play in that isn’t going to get caught or cause safety concerns. Make sure their hair is tied back and they have good hygiene.
A Good Attitude is Key
Lastly, their enthusiasm to learn and be kind to others and open to new ideas and information is their key to success. This is something you should develop with your children everyday and the best way to do so is by having a happy outlook and positive attitude yourself. Remember preschool is an exciting time and a major milestone for your child so make sure you are happy and encouraging and help them do the same.