Photo Credit: Pregnancy and Baby – Preparing your child for preschool or daycare
The pre-schooling transition may be something big for your child; it was perhaps less so for mine as they had been in nursery for a while, but new situations are never easy for little people. It is natural for them to feel a little un-sure, what matters is how you help them cope with this change. You are, of course, here to turn their pre-schooling phase into a pleasant one as much as you possibly can.
Here are a few points to consider before they go to pre-school:
Help your toddler know some of the preschool games beforehand
“Everything will be new for them!”
Though this is the main concern of every parent, most of us know many of the games that they will be playing at pre-school. We can therefore play them with our children to help prepare them for the interactivity with other kids. Since some of the other toddlers may have only played games with their parents, your child won’t necessarily be on their own in their reticence. Offering to play with them regularly will give them that bit of extra comfort and space to get prepared for pre-school games they will be playing with kids of their own ages.
Check this wonderful pinterest board from Laura Justice with some excellent Pre-School Songs to teach the kids from both the US and the UK:
Follow Laura Justice’s board Preschool Songs/Fingerplays/Chants/Cheers on Pinterest.
Practicing reading or sharing books about pre-school will make it a lot easier
In the pre-school environment, it may be that your little one will read with their key workers each day. To make this experience an enjoyable one, you can develop his reading habits before pre-school begins, perhaps as part of a bedtime routine. You can even introduce books about pre-school, or featuring characters within this setting. Even reading for just 10 minutes a day can make a big difference. The American Academy of Pediatrics has highlighted this really well too in these useful instructions to help your toddler read.
Giving them their favorite snacks for lunch can make a difference
Let’s go back to the time when I was a kid. If the lunch box contained my favorite snacks, I used to really want that lunch time to come around…but then I was always a bit ruled by my tummy…
The same scenario applies to our kids too, right?
So, if they are having a lunch box rather than a hot meal, why not make a list of their favorite snacks and pack their lunch box with these in mind? Don’t worry if your little one is too picky. Why not try searching out t’internet for some yummy pre-school snacks, like these suggested by Heidi Murkoff.
Time to talk about the pre-school fun
Though your child is going to learn the basics of everything from socialising to learning letters and numbers, you need to be sure that they are not anxious about all these new things. The best way to make it interesting to your little one is to talk to them about what will be happening. Telling them that they will make new friends at their pre-school is worth the time you invest. The more they are excited about learning new things and all the fun that a pre-school setting can bring, the better it is for their acceptance of the new situation.
Adjust your toddler’s routine according to pre-school timings
You may already have a fixed bedtime routine for your kids. If you don’t, as they enter the pre-school phase of life it is worth considering one. They may feel resistant to waking up in the morning and having to follow a fixed schedule – something they haven’t been introduced to before. To help them cope with this change, you can be positive about it, giving some much needed support. We have a few great resources on the site around bedtimes; from encouraging them to have a positive bedtime routine, to making sure that you have a great structure to a bedtime routine to help them settle to sleep as soon as possible. We also have a great chat with a parenting expert on why routine is so important for kids.
Finally, if you are struggling at bedtime, or to get your child to settle at pre-school, why not try our care charts to explain to them who is looking after them each week, or a reward chart to encourage them to be good at bedtime. Do contact us as well if you have any other questions about starting pre-school. Our experts are here to help.