Starting preschool is a big step for a child. Parents have to play an essential role in preparing their toddler for this new experience. Here are a few tips to ensure the transition is a smooth sailing!
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Prepare on time
It’s pointless if children are trained for preschool months in advance. Building up the preparation far ahead of time can overwhelm a child and make her anxious of what’s about to come. She may eventually end up refusing to go to her preschool daily because of the built-up anxiety in her. Instead, it’s a good idea to start talking to your future preschooler in a casual manner about a month before classes start. For example, when you are out buying regular grocery for home, you can say, “When you go to preschool, you shall buy you a pink bag as pretty as that one”, or “Which water bottle would you like to buy from these to take to your preschool”. Grab opportunities from daily lives to gradually introduce the concept of school to your child.
Have a schedule
Having a schedule will help a toddler transition into a preschool setup smoothly. A routine at home will help a child understand the importance of time and the need to complete tasks on time. It’s a good idea to have a fixed time to wake up and go to bed at night, a time limit to finish breakfast, get ready, etc. Once a routine is set, toddlers will be prepared mentally for the day ahead and work towards completing each task without minimal nagging by parents. A lack of consistent routine for your child at home will make it difficult for her to adjust to preschool where time is one of the main constricting factors.
Take Advantage of Teachable Moments
Children are blessed with the trait of being naturally curious about the world. Their curiosity opens the door for parents to teach them at every small instance. Encourage your child to help neighbors, interact with other children, observe natural phenomena around them like rain, sunrise, and more, and talk to you about their experiences and observations. Ask them “How did it feel to help your neighbor”, “Is the sun round or oval”, or “What’s your friend’s favorite nursery rhyme” to help them comprehend their own observations and experiences. Point out and ask children questions about natural phenomena like weather, leaves falling, birds flying, etc. and enrich their learning experiences.
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There are a zillion of free preschool games online that you can get toddlers to play even before they join preschool. Most of these games introduce toddlers to patterns, colors, shapes, sizes, comparisons, alphabets, and numbers and are programed with splashes of colors and streams of animation making it a fun learning experience for kids. If you are keen on your child playing offline games too, have her count the number of bread slices on the plate, tell the color of a cake, or figure the shape of a table, all the while choosing examples from around them.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just the tips above. After all, being a parent, it’s you who’ll know the best what’s the best way to teach your child!