A preschool program is a wonderful way to help children to get accustomed to a school setting while also allowing them time to interact with children their own age. Adjusting to a preschool setting can be difficult for some children. It is helpful for parents to talk to their young children about what to expect, things they’ll be doing throughout the day, and reassure them that you will be back to pick them up in the afternoon. This helps your child feel prepared, secure and safe.
Here are 5 things you should do to prepare your child for preschool:
- Work with your child on following simple directions. This will help them learn and will help them in the day-to-day preschool activities. Whether doing a simple project or playing a game, your child will have a lot more fun if they’re already capable of following simple directions and can just focus on the fun at hand.
- Before enrolling your child in preschool, work with them to alleviate some of their separation anxiety. Some kids have no problem with being dropped off at preschool but others will have a hard time. Before going to preschool, try dropping your child off with a relative or close friend for an hour or two to see how they do. If they have a hard time with it the first time, don’t give up. Keep allowing them to spend time with someone you trust so that they get more comfortable being without you and realize that you will be coming back for them.
- Set up some play dates to see how your child does interacting with a group of kids his own age. Playing with a smaller group of kids is a great way to get your child used to being in a group. This helps ease the transition to being in a room of about 10-15 other kids when they go to school.
- Work on a goodbye routine. Taking time to say a proper goodbye to your child before you leave is a great way to make them feel comfortable. If your working on tip #2 you can also try working on a routine so that saying goodbye becomes methodical and commonplace. Whether it’s taking a minute to give them a big hug and tell them that they’ll have a great day or perhaps taking some extra time to get them started on a puzzle or game before you go, scheduling in a few minutes to make your child feel comfortable before you go is a great way of making sure they are set up for a successful day.
- Have fun doing art projects and reading with your child. Preschoolers spend a lot of time doing fun projects and reading books. If you are already doing these things at home, then it will feel very normal to them at school as well.