As we enter into the spring season, a child’s school year is just winding down, usually, around May or June, they’re out for summer break. If your child wasn’t quite old enough to be in a preschool program this school season, now is the perfect time to help prepare them for an early education program when August rolls around.
Beginning an early learning program, namely preschool, is a big and scary step for some kids so helping them prepare a few months before the big day can help them better adjust to their new environment. Follow along as we give a few essential tips on how to assist your child with the transition of preschool learning!
Don’t Make it Overwhelming!
While preschool preparation is important, don’t draw out the process and overcomplicate things because kids can become overwhelmed in the anticipation. Begin by starting a conversation and communicating with your child what preschool is and why they’re going. It can be as easy as “soon you’ll be starting preschool. Preschool is a place where you’ll go and learn new things and meet new people — it’s really fun!” You can also make statements such as “At preschool, they’ll have a book like this one or a playground like the one you have fun on.” Taking walks over to the school and them where they’ll be is also a great way to familiarize them with the environment.
Prepare a Daily Routine
A routine is one of the first things a preschooler will learn in their new early education program, so easing them into one at home will make the transition go much more smoothly. It can be as small as “today we are going to make your bed, practice writing your name, and learn about emotions,” then following a similar schedule each day. You can make as formal or informal as the child requires. Schedules and routines help kids learn how to make decisions and how to behave responsibly.
Create Craft Time
By setting up a craft time where you make paper puppets or color, it helps your child develop fine motor skills that are handy to have in preschool when they’re cutting, gluing, and making different art projects.
Provide Teachable Moments
Kids are naturally curious about the world around them and have questions about the things they see in everyday life. When you’re out and about, ask them if they have questions about anything or provide teachable moments when they do. If you’re driving and they see a homeless person, describe why they’re out there, or if it’s hot outside and a building doesn’t have air conditioning, talk about that. A good amount of learning can happen in these conversations so be sure you’re having them!
Create Reading and Vocabulary Time
Kid’s vocabulary is increased by reading, so take time to read to them daily and take about the words that are used. Reading also develops imagination and creativity, so the earlier they’re exposed, the more you foster the gift of language!
Preparing your child for preschool can help make the transition more fluid and you can begin by initiating a conversation, following a daily routine, having craft time, talking about teachable moments, and reading with your child.