Sending your child to preschool for the first time can be difficult for you and your child. And while there are several things you’ll both need to do to prepare for preschool, like buying supplies and registering, your primary concerns are likely what your child needs to know before that monumental first day. Making sure your child is prepared to start preschool will help him to feel confident in his new environment. Here are five things your child should know before starting preschool.
1. How to Say Goodbye
Not permanently, but your child should be able to spend at least a few hours away from you, even if it is with someone close, like grandparents, aunts, or uncles. There are also smaller ways you can build up to letting your child go with someone else. Try setting up a game in a room and then move to another, so your child grows more confident about not having you around constantly. Little steps like this will make the transition to half-days or even full-day preschools just a little easier.
2. How to be Around Other Children
If your child is an only child, he may not have a lot of experience interacting with other children. (For instance, our kiddo gets along great with older kids, like his cousins, but struggles with children his own age.) To keep your child from becoming overwhelmed with being in groups or dealing with the rules and expectations that come with group play, start consciously going out more. Arrange play dates or go to a children’s museum. The more time your child has had learning to communicate with others, the more prepared he or she will be when it’s time to go to preschool.
3. How to Follow Instructions
Most toddlers know how to follow basic instructions. Sit down. Stop that. Come here. But, when children start preschool, they’ll be expected to follow slightly more complex instructions. Try increasing the number of steps you give in your instructions. For example, tell them to get their crayons and sit at the table. As their concentration grows, so will their ability to follow the teacher’s directions.
4. How to Recite Simple Personal Information
While it’s great if your child knows how to count or say the alphabet, these aren’t required when starting preschool. What is required is for your child to know basic facts about him- or herself. They should be able to say their full name, age, and maybe even their address and phone number. Take time to learn these things together. It will be great practice for learning in the classroom.
5. How to Complete Simple Tasks
Your preschooler will feel more comfortable starting preschool if he or she knows a few basic tasks beforehand. To keep your child from feeling behind, you can start teaching a few things that will prepare him or her for simple independence. Before starting preschool, make sure your child can wash his own hands, flush the toilet, wipe himself, and dress himself.
What would you add to this list?
If your child is feeling nervous about his or her first day of preschool, try reading a few of these books before the big day. Click the picture for the full list!