Get Your Child Ready for Preschool
Updated: Sep 11, 2019
A child’s first day of preschool is a very exciting time for both the children themselves and their parents. Parents tend to have a lot of concerns worrying if their child is really prepared. Below are some tips to check and see if your children are ready for their big day.
It is important for your child to have basic social skills before beginning preschool. Arranging to have a few play-dates in the months leading to her first day of preschool will help her understand the concept of sharing with others, taking turns, learning how to show affection and concern for her peers, and using basic manner, such as saying please and thank you.
He should be able to vocally express himself. He will now be around other children and grownups that don’t understand him as well as you do at home, so he should be comfortable expressing his emotions. You can help him along by expressing your feelings to him and showing him how you deal with certain situations. Children learn best by imitation.
Your child should also be emotionally prepared to say goodbye in the morning and know how to spend some time away from you. Don’t worry if on her first day she sheds a few tears, that’s extremely normal. She will most likely gain her composure after a few minutes and will enjoy the rest of her day. You can ask the teacher to call you if she doesn’t stop crying after a while but you should give it at least 15 minutes. Children need familiarity, so try and visit the classroom prior to her first day and take some pictures. You can look at these with her in the week leading up to her first day to get her excited. Children tend to be nervous about this transition in their lives. Reading your child stories about how to be brave and making transitions to the classroom a few weeks prior to the first day of school can help.
He should be completely potty trained before beginning preschool. He should also know the rules of basic bathroom hygiene. He should know how to wipe, flush and wash his hands on his own. If you can visit the classroom ahead of time, you can practice this in the bathroom at his new school. There are many ways to teach your child how to us the potty. Using a potty-training doll and having you and your child teach the doll together has proven to be very effective.
Your child should know how to dress herself. She’ll need to know how to put on her jacket and zip or button it up and down. She should be able to put on her shoes and backpack on her own as well. If she struggles with this, there are great tricks to help her overcome these obstacles. For example: you can put stickers on the inner part of the side of her shoe letting her know that when she wears them, they should face each other.
He should be able to have independent play time and not be reliant on a grown-up to support or guide him with what to do. Independent play also enhances his problem-solving skills and helps him learn how to make decisions on his own. In addition, independent play helps him be more resilient if he gets frustrated when a certain game or toy isn’t going his way.
Your child should know how to follow instructions with 1 or 2 steps. For example: “Please take your lunchbox to the table” or “Please clean up the blocks and go sit on the carpet”. If you’re worried because your child has a difficult time following instruction at home, try helping her along by creating simple rules together with her. She will be more likely follow instructions for rules she helped create which makes for great practice.
He should have basic letter recognition and be ready to learn to read and write. Help him along by playing fun letter learning games. For example, you can fill a tray with sand or sugar, call out a letter and let him trace it in the grains. This also helps him know that learning can be fun!
If you feel your child might not be ready for preschool, see if they have a half day program you can try for the first month to ease him in.