In our last post, we explored the intricacies of preparing your child for preschool that looked at routines, teachable moments and emphasizing craft time along with reading and vocabulary practice. Preparing your child for a toddler program or preschool doesn’t have to be a rigid, sit-down-and-do flashcards, type of environment. It’s letting your child be who they are as they develop and grow within the world around them. There are certain lessons that can make this transition easier, so with a little time this summer practicing these tasks, your child will have a solid start to their toddler education!
If you’ve been searching for a toddler program and haven’t settle on the one yet, there is plenty of time to register for one of our two toddler programs including Tiny Turtles or Bumblebees. At ABC Early Learning Academy, our toddler learning fosters the development of curiosity and exploration while strengthening what they’re learning at home. Follow along in the second part of this series as we look at valuable lessons that will help guide them as they approach preschool.
Lessons That Will Help Prepare Your Preschooler For Their First Day
When teachers were asked if they could spot a child who have had parents or caregivers helping them prepare for preschool or toddler learning at home, most responded that it becomes apparent almost instantly. It’s not necessarily book smarts that makes a child successful, but their socioemotional skills and ability to communicate and cooperate within the structure of the classroom.
The Skill: Cooperating With Peers
The importance?: Because there is a classroom with the upwards of 10 to 20 kids, it is imperative that your child is attuned to playing nicely and cooperating with those around them. The teacher likely has a curriculum they follow, so a bulk of their time can’t be given to classroom management. Understanding concepts such as taking turns and sharing will be helpful to help ease your child into the preschool transition.
Get prepared: You can help your child in learning cooperation skills by getting them involved socially — this can be in play groups or classes and activities outside the home. When your child is exposed to different children and their personalities, it will help give them social cues for the upcoming school year.
The Skill: Listening
The Importance?: A toddler’s attention span is quite limited as they’re prone to interrupting and moving about. Teaching your child listening skills is highly advantageous because preschool will require them to sit still during circle time, be still, and listen.
Get Prepared: The best way to help your child with listening is developing a story time with them where they sit and listen. You could also take your child to storytime at your local library, this way they’re part of a group and asked to listen to another adult other than you.
The Skill: Focusing
The importance?: In preschool and toddler learning they will be tasked with independent activities such as coloring and puzzles. To be successful in the classroom, a child must have the ability to focus and concentrate for periods of time without getting distracted and disrupting others around them.
Get prepared: You can foster this skill through practice! The more your child can work independently with few interruptions, the better at it they’ll become. Give your child many opportunities at home to acquire this skill. Ask them to look through a book by themselves or have them quietly color or draw while dinner is being made. It’s also important to limit the amount of screentime they have each day, because when images are constantly changed it can make it harder for kids to focus.
The Skill: Structure and Routine
The importance?: While structure and routine may seem cold and uncreative, preschool introduces an environment where these things are important for the success of the child. In school, your child has a set schedule from the beginning, so learning that they can’t get up and roam freely anytime is a good skill to have before starting preschool.
Get prepared: Start adopting a routine to their daily activities and communicate about it with them. You can make a schedule and post it on the refrigerator or bedroom door about the plans for the coming week. The best thing is to keep things consistent and introduce the concept of delayed gratification.
The toddler age is an expansive time of growth and development and knowing if they’re ready to start early learning education can be scary as a parent or caregiver. When you help guide them in learning skills such as cooperation, listening, focusing, and structure before they start a toddler program, this will only benefit them and set them up for success.