Going to preschool may be the most significant of all toddler milestones. When children start school for the first time, their worlds expand in ways they could never have imagined at home, allowing them to develop an entirely new set of abilities. While school is a place for learning and growth, parents and caregivers can still do some work ahead of preschool.
If your child is entering preschool soon, you may be feeling conflicted about this significant milestone. You're probably looking forward to all of the fun your child will have and all of the new friends he'll make. At the same time, you may be upset that your kid is leaving for the great world without you. These feelings are natural. Your child is also likely to experience a range of emotions due to this transition. They might feel proud of becoming a big kid while simultaneously being concerned about being apart from you.
To prepare them for the journey, teach these crucial skills at home.
8 Activities To Prepare Children For The Preschool
1. Establish a routine.
According to Tovah Klein, the author of "How Toddlers Thrive," a good early childhood classroom has clear routines, and children know what to expect over time. The major activities that benefit a kid when they attend preschool, however, are the routines that they have at home.
While preschool is a great time to learn routines, building solid habits at home for everyday tasks like hand washing and dressing can assist the transition. Preschool kids still require adult supervision, but being routined prepares them for going to school and being accustomed to the routines they would face there.
Few children can resist a make-believe school, and luckily, this age-old, make-believe activity is excellent preschool preparation. If the kid wishes, parents and caregivers can help by bringing in stuffed animals or dolls and taking turns as teachers.
You can act out activities like singing songs, eating snacks, and constructing with blocks. Rehearsing saying goodbye at drop-off and then reconnecting at the end of the day when a parent or caregiver returns will also benefit a kid.
3. Communicate with them.
Talking to children is a simple yet essential method to make them ready for preschool learning. It is critical that parents and caregivers discuss how they feel about their first day of school with their children. Pose questions and collaborate to address future problems. Most importantly, listen to and respond to the child's needs.
Your preschool kids may be both nervous and enthusiastic, which may be perplexing! While talking to children about the "big day" is essential, it's best not to bring it up too frequently – or too far in advance. Because young children have a limited sense of time, waiting until the week before school begins is a good time to begin discussing preschool. Doing it too long ahead of time is confusing and might lead to more concern about school rather than excitement about it.
4. Practice identifying feelings.
Helping children describe their feelings can be beneficial if you want to know the core of their fears. Preschool may be the first time some children engage with others outside of their immediate family, and there will be an emotional learning curve.
The most crucial abilities a preschooler may need are social-emotional skills, often known as soft skills. These abilities include the capacity to identify and describe their feelings, fundamental emotional management methods and the ability to interact with other children.
5. Flower breathing.
Naming feelings is the first stage towards emotional control, but it does not end there. Children must also learn how to relax when they are agitated or anxious. Flower breathing is a technique that might help with this. Teach younger children to breathe deeply to aid them with emotion control methods. Hold out two fingers and instruct them to inhale the flower [one finger] and expel the candle [the other].
Talking to youngsters about your own feelings — and how you deal with them correctly — also aids in the development of this capacity and will help them in preschool.
6. Play Simon Says.
Do you have a child that enjoys Simon Says? You've come to the right place. Common games such as Simon Says, frozen dance, and sorting/matching games can assist children in developing their executive function abilities, which helps them plan and learn to regulate their emotions. These abilities assist children in adjusting to new conditions and deal with stress.
7. Assistance with jackets and backpacks.
When children play school at home, their bags may be half-opened, and, let's face it, they may be in their underpants. But that's not going to fly in a real preschool. As a result, parents and caregivers should assist their children in brushing up on these seemingly simple abilities.
8. Arrange playdates.
It is critical for toddlers to spend time with their peers, engaging with as little adult involvement as possible. Visit a playground or arrange playdates with other children of similar ages before school, and then step aside and allow the kids to play together.
Let a child remain close to you until they are ready to join the other children in their play. When the children are playing together, watch their interactions and ask them how they are feeling. If they had a good time, find out what they liked. If disputes or awkward times arise, assist them in problem-solving strategies to deal with those circumstances in the future.
There is a lot you can do in the weeks leading up to the big day of preschool. However, try to keep your efforts understated. If you make too much of this occasion, your child may become more concerned than thrilled.