Kids grow up so fast. Before you know it, their backpacks are slung on their shoulders, all set for school. Starting preschool is a big milestone that sparks mixed emotions. It doesn’t help that we are smack dab in a pandemic that has tinkered with the learning process.
As we inch closer to in-person school reopening, we are juggling many intricate balls, hoping that none of them escape our grip. We have to take into account our kids’ safety from the infamous pandemic and their ability to chin up in the new school environment.
How can you ensure that your preschooler gets a smooth sailing in school? How can you help them take the flurry of changes in their stride? We are glad you asked. Thoughtful preparation is the secret to a happy and eager preschooler as they dip their feet in learning. Here are 7 tips to help you prepare your child for preschool.
7 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Preschool
#1: Give Your Preschooler a Sneak Peek of Their School
Kids thrive on routine and predictability. An abrupt detour from their daily schedule tends to ruffle their feathers. It is therefore prudent to wean them gently into big changes such as joining school. If possible, take them for a tour of their new school a few weeks before school opens.
Let them meet their teacher, savor their classroom and even trot around in the playground. This will help endear them to school and snuff out anxiety before D-Day.
#2: Use Pretend Play to Mimic School
Perhaps you have been working from home since the Coronavirus pandemic reared its unsightly head. This means that you and the kids are now joined at the hip. They have been hovering around you, reveling in your company.
Sending your young child to preschool may therefore get a little bumpy. Your child may exhibit intense separation anxiety. You need a few tricks to coax your child and pretend play is a brilliant way of endearing them to school. Create a well-organized learning area with ample storage. Our Combo Bin Storage Unit with versatile shelves, baskets, and bins is ideal for this.
Pepper the storage unit with some learning resources such as numbers & shapes activity books, color posters, alphabet worksheets, ABC Flash Cards, and counting games, among others. Additionally, stack up some preschool supplies such as crayons, pencils, sharpeners, scissors, glue sticks, folders, etc.
Acting as your child’s teacher, dedicate some time each day and engage in some of the activities that your preschooler will be involved in at school. These include reading stories, singing, coloring, drawing, writing, and playing.
This will help break the ice where school is concerned and taper down your child’s separation anxiety. Furthermore, your child will cherish this space as their learning sanctuary at home. This storage space is also ideal if you are homeschooling your kids. It helps contain all your kids’ learning resources, crafts, and classroom essentials in a neat display.
#3: Help Your Preschooler Get Organized
You already have oodles of toys to contend with in your home. When your child joins preschool, you are inadvertently inviting more items to join your household. It can feel a tad overwhelming when you constantly stumble upon toys and school essentials whichever side you turn.
You, therefore, need to maximize your space and at the same time arrange your preschooler’s materials meticulously. The Magnetic Create-a-Space Bundle from Learning Resources helps you rein in on your child’s school essentials. It contains the following:
- 8 colorful containers in a circular tray,
- 4 magnetic storage bins
- 4 magnetic storage pockets
- Write & wipe labels
This set provides ample space where your preschooler can arrange their markers, pencils, scissors, glue sticks, paintbrushes, flashcards, and many more items. Your child can switch up the items to their little hands content. You can either perch the magnetic bins and pockets on the storage unit or stick them on whiteboards and refrigerators.
#4: Let Your Preschooler Tag Their Lovey to School
Loveys are transitional objects that children clutch on to during bedtime or whenever they are feeling frazzled. If your child uses a lovey, you may want to have them bring it to school in the first few weeks. This could be a toy, a stuffed animal, a board book, a blanket among others. You can also sneak in a photo of your family in their backpack and ask them to take a peek at it when they feel homesick.
#5: Boost Their Fine Motor Skills
Preschool is awash with activities that are aimed at stoking your child’s fine motor skills. This refers to the ability to move the small muscles in their hands and wrists. Such activities include drawing, cutting, molding, kneading, tying shoes, buttoning clothes, writing among others.
You can give your preschooler’s fine motor skills a head start by letting them engage in these activities at home. Let your child wipe tables, tie their shoes, fold clothes, make their bed, etc. Another brilliant way of strengthening their hand muscles is by letting them take charge of their school essentials.
To achieve this, our versatile Combo Bin Storage Unit comes to the rescue again. It has ample room where your preschooler can practice sorting, organizing, and cleaning up. Allow your preschooler to take the steering wheel in sorting and arranging their school materials.
You can also enthuse your little learner with a Create-a-Space Mini-Centre where they can line up their pencils, markers, scissors, glue sticks, sanitizer, etc.
As your child fiddles with the items, arranging and rearranging them, their hand muscles are strengthened. This gives them an edge as they join preschool.
#6: Remain Positive
As a parent, shooing away your child to school is not a walk in the park. You have a flurry of worries nipping at your heels. Will my child cope? Will the other kids be kind? Will my child be safe? You can get extremely anxious, sometimes even more anxious than your child.
You however need to exude a positive attitude for your child’s sake. If your child catches a whiff of your anxiety, they will think that school is a horrible place. Perk up your child and let them know that they are stepping into a land of fun and adventure. Don a positive attitude and let some of it rub off on them.
#7: Tether Your Preschooler to an Early Bedtime.
Maybe your child’s daily routine is currently in disarray. Maybe they don’t hop into bed early enough because they are yet to join school. Tidy up their daily routine in the weeks leading up to their joining school.
Wean them into an early dinner and bedtime. Ensure that they wake up in good time to squeeze in a healthy breakfast before scooting off to school.
Enrolling your child in preschool is a big transition that can throw your child off balance. As a parent, ensure that you wean your child gently into this big change. Creating a mock school environment at home is one of the most effective ways of preparing your child for preschool. We trust that the tips we have shared will help fizzle out your preschooler’s separation anxiety and add a spring in their step.