Preparing Your Kids For Preschool
Looking for a preschool for your child is kind of like the next chapter in their development.
One of the questions that gets asked a lot “is my child ready for preschool?”
Believe it or not, you're not the only one asking this or question. It's one of the most popular questions parents ask themselves because it's such a big decision for both the parents and their kids.
So what the positives of them attending the preschool?
Not only will they start to make new friends and start developing their social skills, but they will also gain a self-confidence not always possible when they are at home in the same environment day in day out.
They start to gain independence and also start to learn new skills from qualified preschool teachers.
A lot of people say that placing your child in preschool is like setting them up for later success for when they start going to school.
Now, you've probably got mixed emotions at the moment, and this is perfectly normal. If you didn't have the slightest bit of apprehension, you wouldn't be human.
You may feel a dose of sadness fall over you as you contemplate not being with your child for a large section of the day. Again, this is normal, and it's something that every parent grapples with when trying to make a decision.
If you do decide that this is for you and your child, then there are certain things you can do to prepare yourself.
So, a good idea to start or continue reading, playing and exploring together.
This is probably what you're doing at the moment anyway. However, if you truly want to prepare them for preschool then increasing fun family activities like puzzles, board games and nature walks, etc. is an excellent way to get them ready.
Not all of the activities need to be that active.
Often the quieter experiences will allow your child to be a lot more focused which means they will find it easier when it comes to tasks all games with the need to use their mind.
Like I said before, there's quite a big chance that you're already doing this all things and if that's the case it's just a case of doing more of it.
Here are a few ideas to make the transition easier:
Pre-preparation tips before preschool starts
Visit the preschool
If you have decided that your child is going to attend preschool the best thing you can do to put your mind at rest and to alleviate your fears is visit a few preschools that you have in mind.
This is a good chance to meet the teachers/workers, go over what the schedule is throughout the day.
Depending on how far you've got with this process they may even show your child around, where they keep their backpack and their personal items etc.
In preschool, a lot of their time is spent listening to stories of really popular books.
This would provide a good opportunity to find out what the reading list is and start reading these stories to your child in advance.
Do a test run
The preschool might advise this, but if they don't, you might want to arrange to do a test run yourself where you start preparing your child for preschool.
Taking them to preschool and showing them where to place their backpack and personal items is a great idea.
You may even get the chance to introduce them to some new friends before they even start.
Depending on how well you get on this test run, you could go a little further by allowing them to join one of these sessions or classes to see what they think.
Work on self-help skills
Again, you're probably doing this already, but you could teach your child how to wash the hands, use the toilet (including flushing), putting shoes on a rack and how to use utensils around the table.
Always remember that your child is a small adult who also needs to be communicated.
This means acknowledging their feelings, constantly asking them questions and trying to answer any questions they may have so you can start to put them at ease.
If you start noticing a change of behavior, then sitting down and asking questions about how they feel is important.
Changing the schedule
In the first few weeks of preschool, you going to have to make some changes since the old routines that you kept can no longer be used.
Where possible, try to make this transition as slow and as smooth as possible.
It is a good idea to make the home environment as calm and as peaceful as possible, and a great way to do this is to limit the amount of television or media they watch in the weeks and days after their initial attendance.
Where possible try to have as many family meals together, ensure that they go to bed at a reasonable time, provide a healthy breakfast and spend as much time outdoors as possible.
Preparation Tips for the First Few Days of Preschool
As the first-day approaches try to get as organised as possible by arranging clothes shoes and backpack.
It's also a good idea to either stitch or iron in their name on any personal items.
This way there's no confusion and things won't get lost. Normally food is provided, but if your child is a little bit picky with their food or they have any allergies, then it's a good idea to get stocked up on their special foods.
This is so you won't be rushing around at the last minute trying to get this together.
Stay with them initially
Part of the transition process is to make things as easy and smooth as possible for your child.
The best way to do this is to spend the first 15 or 20 minutes of preschool with them, so they're not completely with strangers.
This gives them a chance to meet new friends and feel a lot more at ease before it's time for you to go.
When it is time for you to go, make sure you give them a nice big positive hug and act like this is totally natural.
It's not a good idea to break down in tears in front of your child, though it might be a good idea to leave that until you get outside.
Wish them a really good day and tell them you'll be back to get them soon.