We all know that preschool is a big step for our children, and it can be even more of a challenge for parents. How do we prepare them? What should they be practicing? These are just a few questions parents may ask themselves when their child is about to start preschool. Lets take a look at how to prepare for preschool
Preschool will prepare students for formal education, but parents can help prepare their children for preschool; Simple letter and number games, teaching colors while drawing, introduce different foods and arrange playdates with other children will all help develop their skills and prepare them for preschool.
This article will provide some tips and advice on how you can make the transition from home to preschool as smooth and welcoming as possible for your children.
Play Games to Start Developing Preschool Social Skills.
Preparing your child for preschool starts with helping them to build social skills. One of the simplest approaches parents can help their preschool children develop and learn these social skills is by playing games with them.
For example, when having a family game night at home, including some simple board or card games will give your kids an opportunity to learn how to take turns and play together as part of a group. You can include brothers and sisters to help them learn appropriate behavior.
Also, encourage positive behavior between siblings when they play, such as saying please and thank-yous after receiving items from one another. This teaches our little ones about being kind, and respecting others.
It also, unless they are incredible at playing games or insanely lucky, teach them how to deal with loss and disappointment. It is much better to learn these behaviors in the safety of a family setting, than in the middle of a classroom full of new children!
Preparing your preschooler how to tackle thee emotions is going to benefit them hugely, and save you some embarrassment down the road.
Spend Time Outside with your Child Exploring the World
Preparing your child for preschool also involves helping them to feel comfortable exploring the world around them. Children are often excited about venturing outside their homes, but they may be apprehensive if it’s a new environment or setting.
Going on walks with your little one is a great way to help familiarize them with different sights and sounds while encouraging conversation between you both. It can allow you to talk through what you see and discuss how it makes you feel when looking at nature.
Preschoolers tend to learn best by doing, so this will prepare kids for educational activities in school where students usually create art projects such as painting or making models out of recyclables like boxes and toilet paper rolls, or where they go looking at school gardens, or ponds.
It gives them a base knowledge of the world outside their yard or home, and makes those first few days less traumatic for them.
Also it is will be of immense benefit to go to any open days the preschool may have before the start of term. It allows your preschooler to experience what will happen when they go, and teaches them it is a safe fun and interesting place.
Teach Colors Using Crayons Or Paint
One of the best strategies to help children prepare for preschool is by getting them engaged in tasks that are both fun and educational. Teaching colors will happen almost automatically but you can encourage your preschooler to get a firmer grasp with some activities and games.
We have some worksheets, although in our kindergarten section, that can help you with this. There are plenty of online games as well to help them learn, as well as loads of songs.
Speaking of songs, if you haven’t introduced your preschooler to educational songs then we recommend doing so. There will certainly be plenty of singing when they get in preschool and starting them off will give them a chance to prepare for this. You may even teach them some they will revisit when they are in class.
Make Sure Your Child Can Hold a Crayon and Draw Lines
Developmentally it may be a little early to make sure your child can hold a crayon or pencil correctly, especially before they start preschool. The use of pencils, pens and crayons are a fine motor skill that need children to develop at their own pace. .
However, it is perfectly ok to start to teach them how to hold crayons and pencils and have them practice using them for fun. They will have probably been coloring and drawing for a year or so at this age.
Just make sure you guide them rather than over correct as they will develop the strength and skills in time and to much pressure may actually slow down their progress.
Practice counting by 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s until they reach 10
One of the essential learning tasks for preschoolers is understanding how to count and what numbers mean. Parents can support their little ones by encouraging them to learn counting in small groups such as from one until ten, then twenty until thirty-five, and so on.
This will build up a child’s math skills and foster an early love of mathematics, which can lead to future success later in life. Parents can also teach their kids to count at home by pointing out numbers on a clock or saying random digits while the little ones are playing.
This activity is fun and easy for parents to integrate into daily care routines, such as taking baths, picking up toys in bedrooms, and even during car rides.
There are also counting songs that can be used, and are really popular.
Have your Child Try New Food
Parents can help their little ones prepare for preschool by encouraging them to try new foods combinations. Kids will not only learn how to adjust their diets but also expand them as well.
Parents might want to start with a simple dish such as adding some cheese on top of plain spaghetti noodles or butter spread onto the bread to get kids accustomed to different types of food that may be served at school instead of just the same thing day in and day out.
Some schools you may bring your own lunch of food, or Preschool may just be a morning or afternoon session. However teaching your children about different food, and the importance of eating healthy early will prepare them not just for preschool, but also for life.
Teach them how to be independent and self-sufficient
A useful skill preschoolers need to start to learn is how to be independent and self-sufficient. ( as much as is possible for a 3-4 year old of course! Not sending them out to work just yet!!)
Parents can help their children to cultivate such skills by giving them simple responsibilities such as putting away toys, helping tidy the hose or garden or folding laundry.
These activities will allow children to practice problem-solving, working independently, and also teaching responsibility so parents can easily integrate into other tasks like mealtime prep and organizing family outings for the day.
The key is to allow them to develop their confidence in doing things for themselves. We do mean age appropriate tasks, but the more they can start to work on their own, or do things without constant parental support and supervision the more they will be prepared for life in a classroom.
Prepare for Preschool: Be a good role model –
An essential part of teaching your kids skills for school is showing them how to do it. Parents should be good role models by demonstrating good behavior, following through on their promises, and being an overall positive example that children can look up to.
if you want your child to share with others then try doing so yourself instead of just telling them over and over again without practicing such behaviors daily, if you want them to be polite then make sure you are saying please and thanks you and holding doors open.
You are the biggest influence on your children’s life, be the person you want them to be.
Though parents can teach their kids many different skills for school, it’s important to remember that learning is a process, and children will naturally accomplish these tasks in the long run. DOnt push them to hard, it takes the joy out of learning.
Children, especially at this age, do things for fun. they are not worried about what primary school, or college they may latter get in. (Or if they are you need to think how healthy that is) They want to have fun with their Mum and dad, just steer that fun into something a little more targeted and your child will be well prepared for preschool.
Parents should encourage good behavior while not being overly critical about small mistakes so young learners don’t lose motivation or feel discouraged from continuing with what they have started. Overall, preschoolers learn best by doing, and parents should encourage independent thinking and problem-solving at home whenever possible not matter what age yoru children are.
These are the skills that will allow them to prepare themselves for new experiences later. Instill them early on and your children will be well prepared not just for preschool, but for whatever life throws at them later.