How to Prepare Your Toddler for Preschool
Your child starting preschool is a very important new beginning in their life and in your life too. In order to make things better for everyone, stress-free and ensure a smooth transition from spending the whole day home with the family to starting a more independent life at preschool, you need to ensure good preparation. Indeed, for you as a parent, this important milestone in your child’s life will initiate some conflicting emotions from you.
Yes, it may be hard to see how your child is quickly growing up and starting preschool. However, it is important to help your kid transition to a more independent life and socialization with other kids and teachers. These emotions are completely normal and there is nothing wrong in feeling sad and happy at the same time. Your child is most probably also going through an emotional rollercoaster, especially considering the fact that this is something absolutely new in their life. Very exciting, indeed. However, very frightening too. In this short guide article, we want to help you prepare your kid, yourself, and the entire family for the upcoming changes in your lives. So how to prepare your toddler for preschool?
There are a lot of things you can do in order to prepare your kid for the important first day at a preschool in the weeks before the big day. However, try to not get over the board and keep things simple and casual, otherwise, you may make your kid start feeling overwhelmed with emotions and excitement.
Pretend Play to Help Explore the Idea of Preschool
The pretend play is a very efficient way to help your kid explore the idea and concept of preschool. You can take turns being in the roles of a parent, a child, a teacher. You can start by acting out simple everyday tasks and routines, for example saying goodbye to mom and dad, taking off your coat, singing songs, playing with friends, reading stories, taking naps, etc. Make sure your child understands that a preschool is a place, where they will have a lot of fun and they will feel good, being able to make new friends and experience a lot of good things. You will get a lot of questions, for sure, so answer them patiently.
Books about Preschool
There are a lot of child-friendly books about preschool available on the market. You can get these and read them and show them to your child. When you finish a book, make sure to take the time to discuss the story, how the characters acted and felt, etc. Don’t forget to ask your child how they are feeling and they are thinking.
Self-Help Skills as a Game
It is important that your kid starts training its self-help skills and practice them regularly as this will contribute to they feeling more independent and experiencing preschool in a better way. Start practising skills such as zipping and unzipping their coat, handing their coat on a hanger or a hook, putting on and off their backpack, fastening their shoes, etc. Playing these games with your child will help them practice all these simple everyday tasks and prepare them for the time they will start preschool and they will make all these things on their own.
Play at the New Preschool
You can visit the new preschool with your child. This will help them feel the new place more familiar and comfortable once they start visiting regularly. You can ask the new preschool if you can tour it with your child. Before your child starts the preschool program, you can also visit the preschool’s playground and play there a few times. These visit will help your child get used to this new setting.