Categorized | Education, Starting Preschool

Five Things Every Toddler Should Know Before Starting Preschool

So you have chosen a preschool for your toddler and classes will start next month. Think everything is all set? Think again. Does he know everything he needs to know? Here are five little lessons your toddler should learn before starting preschool.

Personal Hygiene

Your toddler should be fairly self-sufficient before he starts preschool. Meaning, your toddler should know how to use the bathroom, recognize and tell the teacher when he feels he has to go, wash and dry his hands, dress himself, raise his hand when he needs something, eat on his own, remove caps and covers and hold things (spoon, fork, cup, pencil, crayons, etc.) correctly. Train him as early as possible so he will not feel so helpless.

How To Interact With Other Toddlers

The first day of class is always terrifying, especially for toddlers. This is normal. But, do keep in mind that your preschooler has to co-exist with other students. Having appropriate social skills will make everything easier. Teach your toddler to say “please” each time he asks for something and “thank you” whenever he receives something. Spend more time at the playground so he can mingle with his peers. Organize play dates. Let him order his food at the restaurant. Try role playing and have him introduce himself to you. Read books or watch videos about friendship. These things will teach your toddler essential social skills such as sharing, cooperation, taking turns, listening, respect and making friends.

Basic Math and Reading Skills

No, your toddler does not have to know a lot of words nor memorize the multiplication table. Expecting your preschooler to learn those things is unrealistic. Knowing how to recite the alphabet, recognize letters and shapes, count to ten, identify numbers, sing songs and nursery rhymes, talk in 5 to 6 word sentences and write his name will put him at an advantage. Let him read a lot of books and practice drawing shapes, counting and sorting objects and writing his name at home.

Safety Basics 101

Safety is an important lesson preschoolers should know. If his mode of transportation is a school bus, attend practice rides. Take a walk with your toddler to his bus stop and give him a list of information he has to know – what time the bus will arrive and leave, where he can find his bus after school, how to use a seat belt, what will happen once he is inside the bus, what he needs to do once he gets off the bus and how to obey a crossing guard and watch for vehicles when crossing the street. Tell him that he should never talk to strangers. Make him memorize your phone number and address.

Confidence

A few days before school starts, take your toddler to his school. Let him see his classroom, meet the teacher, walk the hallways and play on the playground. Talk to him about school and at the same time, acknowledge his fears. Assure him that you also got scared when you were little and share stories about how you made friends with your classmates. The more acquainted your child is with school, the less nervous he will be.

Preschool is a place for learning and fun. By teaching your toddler these things early, he will be able to savor this important milestone in his life.

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