Starting preschool is one of the first huge milestones for you and your toddler. This will be the first time he will be apart from you for a few hours every day, the first time when he will be interacting with many other children and adults, a first time for many other things. It is a time when both you and your child will be pretty anxious about the new changes in both your lives. He will need some pre-preparation to make this journey a great one for both of you. The last thing you want is a preschooler who is totally resistant to the idea and you, totally helpless in the next course of action. Try these helpful tips at preparing your child for preschool. These tips are aimed at getting your child to do the three most important things in a preschool – listen, follow directions and get along in a group.
As one important quality a child should possess is to get along with other children, it's good to start planning more social activities with children his age. Plan effective get-togethers with other children of the same age; where they get sufficient experiences in sharing toys, taking turns to play games and playing cooperatively. It may seem difficult at first, especially if you have a single-child home. As you keep having session like these, you will see that your child learns a lot of personality traits that he needs.
Adults have fears, often irrational when attempting something new. The same rule applies to children as well. They will be nervous and excited at the same time; they may break out in cold sweat thinking of hours away from you. Don’t belittle their fears; they are very real to them. Resist the temptation to tell them that they will have the best time of their life here or that there is nothing to be afraid about, and most importantly, do not tell them to "grow up". You will need to validate his fear yet without being too lenient. What you can do to help your little one is to supply him with enough information for his fears to subside on their own. Tell your child, over and over again about the tiniest details of his new preschool. What time he will be waking up, who will be taking him to school, where he should go once he is there, what he will be doing, where he should go for help and where the toilet is. Little details like these will equip him to handle the whole situation better. It would be a good idea to tour the school with him before he starts so he is more comfortable and less nervous about the whole experience.
The first thing a child thinks of when you start dropping him off to school is a fear that you will not be back to pick him up. Children can sometimes have the feat that you would forget where to find her in school and would give up and leave! Kids and their imagination and fears have no limits. What you can do to ease this situation is to invent a special parting habit or ritual – a big hug and kiss, and nice words like ‘I will be here before you come out’. Be sure to keep to your end of the bargain – for the first few weeks, don’t be late when picking up your child after school.
Spend Time Reading
As most preschools do focus on reading activities, start reading to your child for 15 to 20 minutes every day. As preschoolers do not know how to read, they will be expected to listen when being read to. When you read aloud to him daily, he will learn how to pay attention to what you are saying and will learn to engage himself. He will also learn how to listen to a story and enjoy it, just like he should when he starts preschool.
Immerse in Arts
Have your child spend some time each day doing something artistic. Whether he does some finger-painting, clay moulding or crayon colouring, all these activities teach him fine motor skills and visual skills needed for preschoolers. These activities also get your child used to being focused and doing an activity for longer periods of time.
With these helpful tips, your child will be ready for preschool in no time!