Time flies and it can feel overwhelming to think about sending your little one, who was a baby yesterday, to their first formal education experience. As you think about your child’s first day of school you may be experiencing excitement and a bit of anxiety as well. Whether your child is a social butterfly or shy, it is important to prepare them for their first day of preschool.
Here are 10 ways to prepare your child for preschool
Visit the preschool together
One of the best ways to prepare your child for their first day is to visit where they will be attending. King’s Schools, a private school in Shoreline, WA, offers monthly Open Houses where you and your child can connect with staff in person. These allow you to see the wonderful preschool building and campus, ask questions and talk to teachers and staff, and discover how young hearts and minds thrive in a caring, Christ-centered community.
Most preschools require your child to be potty trained. This is a crucial piece in preparing your child to be independent and confident in preschool. Here are some great tips for potty training.
Spend time reading
Reading to your child every day will help them become familiar with listening and will allow them to have an easier time when they start learning how to read. Choose stories that are easy for your little one to engage in. Find moments in your reading to stop and ask your child questions about the story. Engaging in story time together will help your child practice sitting still for longer than one minute. Your preschool teacher will be thankful your child has learned this skill before coming to school.
In preschool your child will need to listen to their teachers and peers. Reading is one way to practice your child’s listening skills. Another way is to have your child sit still in one place while you give them directions to follow. You can make this a game by starting with one direction at a time and slowly adding more directions, building it up over time. Preschool teachers will be giving your child directions to follow during lesson plans and activities. You can also practice listening skills while you play together by engaging in conversation, with questions that require a response from your little one.
Get your child ready for preschool with playdates. A large aspect of preschool is learning how to get along with other kids. You can plan several different activities during these playdates to simulate what a day at preschool might look like, while also giving the kids time to figure out what to play together on their own.
Prepare yourself emotionally
We know sending your child to preschool is a huge step not just for them but for you as well. Your child will mimic your attitude about this milestone. If you express excitement about their preschool and teachers, they are more likely to feel the same way.
Share your experience
The more information your child has about what preschool will be like, the less anxious they will feel. A fun way to do this is to share your own preschool experience with them. Pull out some photos of you from preschool and tell them stories about what your days in preschool were like.
Establish a routine
Preschool will be a structured environment for your child. At home, establish a routine for your child with a set wake up time and bedtime. To help them prepare for their school day, also set a time for lunch that is consistent every day.
Build confidence in your child by teaching them how to eat independently. During snack time and lunch your child will not be given help. You can prepare your child for this by having them eat at home without help. Teach them how to open their food and how to clean up on their own.
Plan for goodbyes
Goodbyes with your little one can be emotional. Make a plan for how you and your child will say goodbye and then practice. Be sure to make these goodbyes cheerful and positive!
This next milestone in your child’s life is exciting. While preparing them for preschool, make the preparation fun and upbeat so they can be excited for the first day. If you’re in the Seattle, WA area, schedule a visit to King’s Preschool to discover what preschool can be like for your child!