Categorized | Education, Starting Preschool

Getting Your Toddler Ready For Preschool

Starting preschool is a major phase in your toddler’s life. It is a big step and he is afraid of not knowing what to expect. Ease out his frustrations and help him get ready for preschool with these tips.

Increase Social Interaction

If your toddler has not spent much time interacting with other kids or was not enrolled in a day care center, then most likely, he will have difficulty getting along with other children once he starts preschool. Let your toddler get used to being a part of a group by arranging play dates and other social opportunities where your little one can learn basic social skills such as respect, cooperation, listening, sharing and taking turns. Enroll him in a music class. Join a summer workshop. Organize a swimming party. Make afternoon visits to the playground more frequent.

Adjust Your Child’s Daily Routine

Mimic the schedule of his future preschool class to his daily routine. This will help him get accustomed with the changes. For instance, if he is used to eating lunch at 11:30, yet his class does not eat until noon, adjust the time he eats lunch at home. Train him a few weeks in advance and do it slowly so he will not get shocked with the changes.

Practice Independence

His fine motor skills are still developing so everything is a struggle for your toddler. Opening his lunchbox can turn into a frustrating battle and lead to a meltdown. Avoid this outrage by training your toddler how to do things on his own. Let your little one eat his breakfast and drink water by himself. Mishaps may happen at first, but eventually, he will learn it and this will help him adjust to preschool more smoothly.

Practice bathroom skills. Ease your toddler’s fears of not being able to control his bladder by training him what to do each time he needs to use the bathroom. Inform your toddler that it is okay for him to ask to go anytime. Role play it. At home, act as the teacher and have your toddler raise his hand each time he needs to go to the bathroom. Constant reminders can also help your toddler remind himself that he needs to use the toilet. He will get used to these reminders which will act as his warning signals that he needs to pee especially in the middle of class activities.

Hone Your Child’s Skills

Indulge your toddler in creative activities like drawing, coloring, finger painting and clay molding. Give him basic jigsaw puzzles and connect-the-dot picture books. These activities help hone your little one’s visual and motor skills which helps enhance his writing skills.

Read books to your toddler every day. Preschool classes have at least one reading period each day. Setting a reading time (at least 15 minutes) every day will help make this a familiar routine even before school begins. Since he is not yet an independent reader, he needs to learn how to listen. Read out loud to help improve his listening skills. Question him in between pages, ask him what he thinks will happen next or how he thinks the story will end. After which, ask him about his thoughts. This will help your toddler express his views openly.

Visit The School

Visit the school with your toddler a few weeks before he starts. Have him to take a look inside his future classroom. Introduce him to his teacher. Stay for a few minutes so he can see what goes on, who his classmates are and so on. This will help make him feel more comfortable and less anxious to start his first day of school.

Acknowledge His Fears

Talk to your toddler. Give him a sense of what to expect and ask him what he feels. Most often, the thought of starting preschool scares toddlers. The best way to ease your toddler’s fears is to be honest. Let him know what to expect – where he will be going, what he will be doing and who will be in class with him. Try watching a video together about a little boy starting preschool or read a book about it. Share your experiences. Assure him that you were also nervous at first but everything turned out to be exciting. Information will help calm his fears.

Finally, when the first day of class starts, allow extra time to get him ready. Walk him to his classroom and do not just sneak out. Give him a hug, kiss or a high five as a sign of reassurance. Tell him you will see him later and most of all, to have fun.

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