Stepping into preschool is a huge milestone for all children. This is the first time they're going to be away from home and from their parents. Some children will have difficulty with the transition. Here are simple tips and strategies to ease the transition as you prepare your child for preschool.
Preparation before the big day
Before the first day of school, make sure you are prepared.
Visit the school premises
Visiting your child's preschool classroom in advance will familiarize them with it. Show your child where they will be spending their day, and let them meet their teacher if possible. Take a tour of the preschool premises and show them where they'll be putting their bags and playing with other kids.
Buy school supplies together
Hype up your child's curiosity and interest about going to school by bringing them along when buying materials for school. You can even let them pick out their new bag for school.
Read books to them about going to school
To prepare them even more, introduce the idea of school to your child by reading books. Libraries and bookstores have books about children going to preschool, so make sure to check one out or buy it at the store. These books will pique your children's interest as they get to listen about children their age going to school.
Act it out
Long before preschool starts, pretend play school at home. You can let your child be the teacher. Create activities for her to enjoy like recess and snack time. Teach them nursery rhymes and other children's songs such as "Mary had a little lamb," "Itsy bitsy spider," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," and more. Play games at your pretend school and teach your child some basic social skills by using puppets to role play.
Talk to your child about how things work at school
Before preschool starts, talk to your child on what typically happens in a preschool classroom. Talk about what toys she'll get to play with, about making friends, about eating snacks and lunch with other children, about the playgrounds, about activities such as writing and coloring, and many more. Tell your children what to possibly expect in school so that they will know what they're getting into.
Make your goodbye simple, short, and sweet
Despite feeling your own separation anxiety, remember to keep a reassuring smile on your face. Your child will sense your confidence! They'll feel less anxious as you show them that you trust the school to care for them. When saying goodbye, make it sweet and simple and short. Tell them goodbye, that you'll be back by the end of their class to pick them up, and then, don't linger. When you turn around to walk away, don't look back even if they call out your name through tears. Some children may cry the first couple weeks that you leave them. Rest assured that most kiddos stop crying within minutes of mom or dad leaving after dropoff and have an amazing day filled with fun and learning!
The first couple weeks
The transition to having your child go to school can be challenging in the first few weeks. Both parent and child will need to make adjustments. While these changes may be tough, they can be handled with proper preparation. Preschool is a big deal, and having your toddler take this big step in his young life is in itself an achievement. With a little preparation like the tips listed above, you will surely prepare your child to enjoy this confidence-building experience.
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