Preschool education is one of the important keys to a child’s academic success. In preschool, children are exposed to letters, numbers, shapes and other essential foundations of learning. It is also in preschool that kids learn the skills that help them become successful individuals. While preschool can benefit your child in more ways than one, sending them to one is a huge transition.
How to prepare your child for preschool?
As parents, you have an important role to play in making the transition easier for your kids. Take a look at the following tips to help you prepare your little one for preschool.
Explore the idea of preschool by using pretend play
The idea of preschool doesn’t have to be scary when you use the right approach. There are plenty of ways to make preschool more exciting for kids, one of which is using pretend play. Act out the actual events on a normal school day, such as getting dressed, wearing socks and shoes, putting on their bags and saying goodbye to mommy and daddy. Also act out the common activities in a preschool classroom, such as reading books, playing games and singing songs. This approach should help reduce their anxiety because they are being introduced to the actual routines once preschool starts.
Reading books about preschool is another effective way to get your little one ready for the big change. There are plenty of books about going to preschool that can be found in bookshops and libraries. Spend time reading them to your little one before school officially starts. Also take time to discuss the story further and ask questions to learn about how they feel about going to preschool.
Acknowledge your child’s feelings
While starting preschool should be an exciting adventure, feeling a little anxiety is inevitable. Help ease your child’s anxiety by acknowledging their feelings. When they express their fears about going to preschool, pay close attention to them. Let them know that you understand. Then, help them work through their feelings by assuring them that everything’s going to be okay. Shift their negative emotions into something positive. Highlight the good things about attending preschool, like being able to meet new friends, playing games in the classroom, singing songs, making art and a lot more!
Practice independence and self-help skills
Being independent and self-sufficient are some of the things that children learn in preschool. Help your child be ready for this by practicing it at home. You can make a game out of it to make it more fun for your little one. For example, have a race with your child to see how fast they can get dressed or how quickly they can put on their socks and shoes. Then give them little prizes for winning. Gradually let them master independence by allowing them to do certain stuff by themselves, such as washing their hands, cleaning their room, making their bed, and so on.
Give them some art activities
Painting and making arts and crafts are always fun for children. Give them these activities before preschool starts. Tell them that these are some of the things they will be experiencing in preschool. Not only will it hone your child’s creative skills, it will also give them more great reasons to look forward to attending preschool.
Visit the preschool
One of the reasons why children suffer from separation anxiety is that they are not at ease with the new environment. Their comfort zone is your home and being in a new setting without their parents can be extremely overwhelming for them. What can be done is to bring them along to visit their new preschool. Take them on a preschool tour so that they can get a feel of their classroom and the entire setting. Introduce them to the teachers and allow them some time to play on the playground. This visit will increase their comfort in the new environment.
Attending preschool is a big milestone for any child. While this change brings about several benefits for children, approaching it involves many conflicting emotions. Follow these tips to help your little one get ready for preschool!
If you’re looking for a preschool that offers the best quality early childhood education, please feel free to visit Children Central.