Tag Archive | "preschool readiness"

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.


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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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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