Tips To Prepare Your Child For Preschool

Is your child beginning preschool for the first time? It can be a difficult transition for a toddler, making the switch from being home with family to entering a child care program, even when the caregivers are top notch and the environment is loving. Preparing your child for the first day can be both exciting and scary at the same time.

There are many things that we as parents can do to ease our children into preschool. To help prepare for this great new adventure, we are sharing our tips on starting preschool on the right foot!

Talk about preschool with your child…

Build up to the big day by talking about the positive and fun aspects of beginning preschool. The thought of an exciting new adventure will help your child look forward to the experience! Encourage them to ask questions and share your own stories from when you were small. The weeks leading up to the first day offers us meaningful opportunities to connect with our children. It also gives us the chance to build enthusiasm, and help eliminate any worries our little ones might have.

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Discuss their worries and answer questions…

It is so important to let your child know that their worries have been heard. Listen to them carefully and without judgement and answer any questions they might have. No matter what their concerns are, big or small, a child’s worries about preschool can significantly influence their experience there. Will the teacher be nice? Will you remember to pick him up at the end of the day? Let your child know it’s normal to feel happy, sad, excited, scared, or worried. Explain that starting something new can feel scary and that lots of people feel that way. It can be very helpful to share an experience when you started something new and how you felt. When you allow your children to share their worries, you can help think through solutions to deal with them.

Encourage independence at home…

Preschool marks a big developmental leap for your child and independence will become a much bigger focus. You will be surprised at how quickly your little one’s independence develops once they begin attending preschool. To help prepare them, allow them some independence at home through teaching self-help skills, like washing hands, using the toilet, putting shoes and socks on, and using utensils at the table.

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Build confidence…

Putting your child in charge of a regular, simple, age-appropriate task will build their sense of competency and confidence. If you see your child trying get a book from a shelf that they can reach using their stepstool, or putting their shirt on the wrong way, pause before racing over to help. Perfection isn’t necessary, working towards independence is the goal! This is how they learn best.

Introduce routines ahead of time…

When your child starts preschool, it is a great idea to set routine at home. This will prepare you for a much smoother day and ensure you are able to get them ready in the morning without complete chaos and meltdowns. In the weeks leading up to the first day, adjust your schedule so your child is going to bed and waking up at the time they will need to during the preschool year. An easy way to do this is to start by pushing bedtime earlier by about 10 or 15 minutes per night, till you’re in the sweet spot. The night before, let kids pick out their clothes, pack their lunches with things they look forward to eating, and having their backpacks ready. And while choices for breakfast are great, they’re best made the night before, too. This will help with the morning flow.

Some other important routines to start introducing are: eating at the table, washing our hands before eating and addressing toileting needs.

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Learn to take turns and share attention…

Teach your child that they need to share attention with others, whether this is with their siblings and cousins or with other adults within the home. Do not let your child demand your attention immediately if you are doing something else. They are soon going to be in an environment with many other children and it will be necessary for them to learn to wait their turn. Patience is an excellent quality to work on.

Practice the idea of preschool with pretend play…

Act out common daily routines, such as saying good-bye to each other at drop-off, taking off your coat, singing songs, reading stories, playing outside and sharing. Take turns being the parent, child, and teacher. Reassure your child that preschool is a great place where they will have fun and learn. Answer their questions and address concerns lovingly and patiently. This helps children feel more in control which greatly reduces their anxiety.

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Tour the preschool & meet the teachers…

This is perhaps the most important of all of our tips. Since change can be hard for kids to accept, it is essential to check out the new classroom and meet the staff ahead of time. A child familiarizing themselves with the preschool space and the teachers ahead of time goes a long way towards easing beginning-of-the-year anxieties. Give your child a chance to explore the room and show them where they’ll keep her backpack and personal things. Play on the playground and walk around the building. Explain what is going to happen there — like story times, meeting classroom pets, eating snacks with new friends and learning new things.

Leave a special item for comfort and familiarity…

Start thinking about any “lovies” your child wants to pack for moral support. If your daycare allows it, giving your child a comfort object to help them during moments of separation anxiety is a great idea. If your child has a special little blanket or stuffed animal that they use for sleep and comfort, it may be worth packing in case of an emergency. Their security object doesn’t necessarily have to be something soft and cuddly- consider a favorite book, which the caregiver can read aloud to the whole class at storytime. You could also give your child a personal belonging of yours like a favorite scarf or bandana so they know you will come back to get it. Comfort items can help reassure them during hard times and make the transition easier

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The Kaleidoscope Kids Childcare is dedicated to providing an outstanding learning environment for children between the ages of birth and 8 years. Our goal is for each child to fulfill his or her potential in a safe, caring and challenging environment. We aim to provide a stimulating environment for children to learn and express themselves with an emphasis on self-esteem.

Kaleidoscope Kids prides itself on providing high quality care at an affordable price, where our programs encourage individuality and value the uniqueness of every child. It is our pleasure to guide your child through their life stages and prepare them fully to start school as intelligent, respectful, and well rounded.

Contact us to schedule a tour and learn more about the Kaleidoscope Kids difference! Call us at 203-403-7271

To request more information about our program click here: MORE INFO! 

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

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