Starting pre-k is a milestone. It’s the beginning of a new phase in a child’s development. Emotionally preparing your child for preschool may take effort. Simply reading and playing with them will help them with the transition. As a parent, you play a big, important role in preparing for your child’s new adventure. There are many activities you can do to emotionally prepare your child for preschool. Some you might even be doing without realizing it. Here are a few ideas and simple strategies to help ease a child’s transition to pre-k education.
Read to your child
Reading aloud is important for preparing children for school. Parents can start with the classic nursery rhymes. This can be helpful in teaching the children about language, rhyming, and phonics. Parents can also read them age-appropriate bedtime stories that will help with their imagination. There are hundreds of books on the market, you just have to choose the right ones and make time to read to your children.
Make a new schedule and routine
Start adjusting your morning schedule 3-4 weeks before preschool starts. This will give a child enough time to adjust and get used to the new routine. Plan your lunch around the same time that the kids will eat lunch at school. You can also plan nap time and play time around the same time as in school. This will help them get used to the routine and will ease their transition to a preschool.
Buy special things for school
Hit the back-to-school sales with your child. Let them pick out their own bags and school supplies. They can also pick out their new lunchbox! This activity will excite the kids on their first day of school. Letting them pick out their new things will also let them feel like they’re grown up. It’s also a good idea to let the child practice zipping and unzipping his bag and lunchbox. Let them also practice how to put their things into the bag after use.
Let the children play outside
Have the kids play on the playground before they even go to preschool. By letting the children play outside, it will let them become accustomed to meeting new kids. So when they finally start preschool, they’ll be more friendly and excited to meet new playmates.
Talk to them about school
Before school starts, talk to the children about school. Introduce this new concept to them and tell them wonderful stories about it. Tell them the fun activities they get to do in school. This is a great way to prepare them and get them excited for school! But try to keep conversations about school in a casual tone so as not to overwhelm the little ones.
Visit the preschool beforehand
To get your children adjusted and familiar to the new environment, visiting the campus will be helpful. Weeks before school starts, it would be a good idea to visit the school grounds with your child. While visiting the school, you can also let your child meet with their teachers. This helps them feel less overwhelmed when school finally starts.
Practice being away from your child
To help your child get used to being away from you for a couple hours during school days, practicing separation can be key. This will help the child get used to the process of being dropped off and picked up. Places you could leave the children can be a church nursery or at their grandparents home.
Don’t forget to reassure your child
Do simple ways to reassure your child. This can be done by packing up their favorite toy or blankie in their bag or making them their favorite lunch. Establishing a goodbye routine will also help your child in this area. Make your goodbyes simple and sweet. Kiss them and wish them a good day and tell them you’re coming back to pick them up after class. When you leave, don’t look back even if they are crying. The preschool teachers are well-trained to deal with this. Continue doing this, children will learn to adjust after days.
Preschool is a wonderful time of growth and development for every child. Don’t skimp on the preparations and follow the tips listed above to guide you on how to prepare your child to pre-k education.