Starting preschool is a milestone for a child and a big change for a parent. The first few days before school can be tough. There are some simple and fun ways to make this transition smooth and fun.
How to Prepare Child for Preschool?
For a toddler to be left with a complete stranger in a totally new environment, the experience can be scary. The most important thing a parent can do to ease this transition is to make preparation time as fun and exciting as possible. Remember, learning should not be considered as a chore.
These 11 ideas will help build your child’s self-confidence and independence. There are three stages of this preparation process – before schools starts, on the first day of school, and after drop-off
Before the Big Day
1. Visit the preschool a week before school starts
Choose a preschool where your child knows a lot of kids. If that is not possible, have a school visit before the big day. This helps with familiarization. Walk along the corridors hand-in-hand. Let your child feel the comfort of having you around in this new place.
2. Meet the teachers
Meet the teachers and spend some time getting to know them. Make your child feel comfortable having them around. Teachers will spend most of the day with your toddler. It is important that they feel safe and secure having a different adult they can trust.
3. Schedule a sit-in
Coordinate with the school if your child can drop in on one of the classes before the big day. Let your child observe the routines and activities in school. It will provide comfort and security while your child gets exposed to these activities with you near.
4. Shop for new school supplies together
Make shopping for new school supplies fun. Let your child choose new shoes, backpacks, lunchboxes, crayons, pens, and coloring books. This will give your child some independence and self-sufficiency in knowing they can be trusted to decide for themselves.
5. Play a game of “pretend” play
We all know how kids love to play games. And pretend plays have benefits. At home, pretend that you are in school and do some activities together. Your child can even be the teacher. Do school works like drawing, sharing things, going to recess, or fixing books in the library. Play famous nursery rhymes and games like Simon Says or the Hokey Pokey.
6. Describe an ideal preschool day
Based on your experience, share stories about your preschool days. Even if you do not have any idea about a typical preschool day, provide some clues about what happens in preschool. Introduce your child to some scenarios, like eating at a scheduled time, sitting down and listening for story time, or taking a nap.
On the Big Day
7. Get enough sleep
The night before school starts, make sure that your child sleeps early and gets quality sleep. It is important that they have enough energy to start the day. Prepare a hearty meal, or serve their favorite breakfast. Form this habit so that your child will have something to look forward to in the morning.
8. Review the day’s routine
While having breakfast, talk to your child to make them feel calm about going to school. Review what preschool will be like and how exciting it will be.
9. Pack a lunch box together
Select food that your child loves. Make sure to also pack healthy foods like yogurt, some fruits, and enough water.
10. Give some token that will remind your child of home or yourself
Let your child choose a favorite blanket, stuffed toy, or a family photo to bring to school. These familiar objects will ease the transition to school. It can also make their naptime a lot easier. And when your child feels lonely, these items can be a reminder that you are nearby and they will be picked up later.
11. Leave calmly, nicely, and swiftly
Avoid the drama and make your goodbye short and simple. Try not to look worried and sad when you have to leave. Your child needs to know that you trust the preschool and are confident that the teachers will take good care of them.
When it is time to leave, do not linger. Try not to go back when you hear your child crying. This will only make the adjustment harder. Teachers are all experienced to handle such situations.
The first few days can be tiring and stressful. But with these simple parenting tips on how to prepare your child for preschool, they will learn independence and self-sufficiency.
If you need a school to trust and with teachers who are experienced in handling toddlers, visit us at Young Scholars Academy. We have the best preschool in town and fun activities your toddler will love.
Tyler Johnson says
That’s a good point that having some new school supplies would be fun. I would think that if your kid could get some new crayons and things like that they would feel much more about going to preschool to be able to use them. I’ll have to consider doing that if my son feels uncomfortable about going to preschool.