The transition from home or childcare to Preschool is a major milestone for both your toddler and yourself. Learn how you can be prepared!
Preschool can be an exciting era of new experiences for your child as they begin to make friends, learn new skills and gain a new sense of independence. Preschool is also a crucial aspect of child development and has benefits far beyond academic preparation! This next chapter in both of your lives can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be!
Let’s talk about how to be prepared and take on preschool like a pro!
Preparing your Child Academically
You may be scrambling and thinking you need to get started with preschool prep, fear not, you already have!
Everyday activities like reading, playing, and exploring can go a long way in preparing your child for academic success. Try doing a puzzle together, going for a nature walk, or taking field trips to the library or a local playground to help your kiddo stimulate their mind. It’s also helpful to mix in quieter focused activities with free play. Quieter activities such as blocks, coloring books, crafts and play-doh can go a long way in helping to build those fine motor skills!
So you’ve become puzzle masters and read every book in the house, what’s next? Below are some specific guidelines to help your kid acclimate to their new environment and routine!
The Preschool Playbook: Easy to Follow Steps to Be Prepared for the Next Chapter:
- Visit the Preschool: Bring your child to meet their teacher in their future classroom. This is a great opportunity for you and your child to ask any questions you might have leading up to the big day. You can show your toddler around the building, show them where to put their personal belongings and explain to them their daily schedule. Don’t forget to take a peek at the park, this is bound to stir up some positive emotions!
- Read Books about Preschool: Spend time getting your tot in the school mindset by reading books about preschool. Some great ones to check out are: “Preschool, Here I come!” by David J Steinberg, “This is How We Get Ready” by DK, and “I Am Too Absolutely Small for School” by Lauren Child.
- Practice Makes Perfect: Take advantage of your child’s imagination and play “pretend preschool.” You can walk them through the imaginary preschool door, have them hang up their things, and engage them in several preschool activities such as quiet story time, play time, and snack time. This is a great way to teach your child how to take turns, grab someone’s attention, and engage in quiet play!
- Help your Child Become Self-Sufficient: It’s time to crank up those independent skills! Have your preschooler practice using the bathroom, washing their hands, tying their shoes and eating with utensils. Try doing this in a casual-fun manner to avoid putting pressure on your toddler!
- Help Them Share Their Feelings: This new chapter of preschool is an exciting adventure, but can also rack up some nerves in your kiddo. Ask your child about their feelings towards starting preschool and be sure that you are actively listening to and acknowledging these feelings. Don’t be surprised if you notice some changes in your child’s behavior around this time, kids may regress in one area while growing in another. These changes should be temporary with the right love and support!
- Establish a Routine: To help best prepare and acclimate your child to their new schedule, be sure to make any necessary changes to their routine in the weeks before preschool begins. This could mean an earlier dinner and bedtime, a more consistent nighttime routine, or even changes in their diet. Providing a healthy breakfast, limiting screen time and spending time outdoors can all be highly beneficial changes. Here’s an incentive: Earlier bedtime for them- more free time for you!
Tips for When Preschool Begins
Now that you’ve got your preschooler out the door, what can you do to make this experience the best?
Make sure you are staying organized! This is a very simple, yet crucial step. Turn in all the necessary forms, have supplies such as a backpack, clothing and shoes ready, and stock up on healthy snacks and meals to make lunch prep painless. Let your kiddo pick out their own backpack and back to school clothes to make this step super fun and build up that beginning of the school year excitement!
Help your toddler get acclimated! Stay with your child for 10-15 minutes on their first day and help remind them where to put their stuff, point out classroom activities, and introduce them to a few other classmates to help them start off on the right foot. When it’s time for you to leave, make sure to end on a positive note by giving them a big hug and a positive affirmation that today is going to be great!
Children of Tomorrow Learning Centers provide Preschool programming at all four of our Carver County, Minnesota locations. Contact one of our locations found below for more information and enrollment availability.