As a mom of two kiddos I am no stranger to preschool. My now 17 year old loved his day school as a little guy. It was a time of hands-on play, discovery, and skill development.
Fast forward about 10 years here again we are sending a little one through the education system. This August our daughter will be entering Transitional Kinder. (shed tear) This is a bittersweet time because while I will miss our daily walks, library visits, arts and craft time there are important developmental benefits on the horizon.
Early childhood education was not my chosen formal education, but motherhood, auntiehood, cousins, and extended family have provided me much education in helping ages 3-5. These tips are meant to inform, inspire, and encourage.
With that here are ways we are preparing for preschool.
Tip #1 – SAFETY FIRST
- Teaching kids ages 3 – 5 boundaries lays the foundation for self-regulation. A growing independence and self-awareness means litle ones will have a tendency to be more risky. Understanding dangerous situations can easily help to keep harm at bay.
- Fire safety
- What to do in an emergency
- Stranger Danger
- How to proceed if they get lost or separated
Tip #2 – POSITIVE PARENTING
Nurturing healthy parent child relationships, sibling interaction is important to a peaceful home. Helping our little ones feel loved, confident, encouraged means whatever challenge develops they will be free to communicate openly. The below can help with positive parenting.
- Interactive play
- Providing opportunities to explore
- Banishing baby speak for adult language
- Giving the gift of literacy, reading, library visits
- Establishing routines keeps the family schedule moving like a "well oiled machine." (no they aren't robots, just had to complete the sentence.)
Tip #3 – Focus on Fun
Though preschools today tend to be more academic at home we can focus on making learning fun. We try to do this by:
- Providing opportunities for our preschooler to seek out adventure
- Create singing rituals, local fun day trips to provide variety to daily routines
- Games, games, and more games. Card games, board games, tag, hide and seek encourage quick thinking, and concentration. Monopoly, Candyland, and Connect Four are our current favorites.
Tip # 4 – Emotional Control
It can seem like this tip is to much for a 3 – 5 year old to handle, yet when working with our daughter on this she surprises us.
- Breaking the news that everything doesn't revolve around our little ones is a helpful lesson
- Teaching empathy and providing scenarios for them to exhibit it
- Getting on our child's level if she has a meltdown
With the new school environment it will be a task to continue reinforcing good habits. It is our hope these tips will help encourage caretakers to continue in your efforts to make preschool a success.
What steps have you taken to prepare your child for preschool? I'd love some new ideas. Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a GREAT school year!