Discovery Point Blog
Preparing Your Child for Preschool
It may seem hard to believe, but preschool is just around the corner. This first foray into education may have you wondering whether your child is ready and what you can do to help.
Your first thought might be to prepare your child to identify colors, numbers, and shapes or write their name before they walk into the classroom, but they will learn all of these things in due course. There are actually a few more important skills for them to have under their belt in order to get the most out of their preschool experience.
6 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Preschool
As you look toward your child’s upcoming preschool enrollment, it can be helpful to understand the types of activities and tasks they will engage in and be asked to complete. Insight into these areas can give you peace of mind about your child’s skillset or insight into areas in which you can help them grow before they join their future classmates.
Below, we’ve listed six ways you can help prepare your child for preschool.
1. Offer plenty of opportunities for them to explore their curiosity.
Exploration and discovery are essential parts of the learning process. Because children learn so well through play, they need to be given windows of time to pretend, construct, deconstruct, create and probe their surroundings. This is how they figure out how things work and develop their interests and passions.
Children who have plenty of experience imagining, playing, and exploring can more easily adapt to the preschool environment and start learning right off the bat.
2. Allow your child to complete activities from start to finish.
Life is fast-paced these days, and it feels like we are all constantly multi-tasking or jumping from one thing to the next. When our schedules impact our children’s schedules, this can prevent them from learning to see projects through and pay attention to a single task for an extended period of time.
If possible, ensure your child has time during each day to engage in an activity at their own pace, staying focused for as long as they can.
3. Give instructions rather than doing simple tasks for them.
A significant part of the preschool day revolves around students listening to their teachers. Children will be presented with instructions like “put the crayons away,” “get your backpack from your cubby,” and “line up at the door.” It’s thus important for children to have the ability to listen to and carry out one- and two-step directions.
Although you may feel you’re saving time by taking care of basic tasks for your child, do your best to create learning opportunities by providing instructions and letting them try things on their own. That way, when your child arrives at preschool, they can focus on learning rather than learning to listen.
4. Instill your child with confidence to make their voices heard.
Having the confidence to speak to teachers and bring things to their attention can make a significant difference in your child’s experience at preschool. They may need to go to their teacher to say they need to use the bathroom, have spilled their art supplies, or are finished with their snack.
Even if your child is particularly shy, they can start building their communication skills and get in the habit of having their voices heard around people they trust.
5. Role model empathy for your child.
In preschool, your child will be in new situations with other children and will almost certainly have interactions in which it can help to display empathy. Empathy can help your child build relationships and develop leadership qualities.
Role modeling empathy early on in your child’s life by validating their feelings can help them understand the feelings of others and be willing to respect them.
6. Prepare yourself for the big day.
Sometimes, a child’s first day at preschool can be more challenging for their parent than it is for them. You’ve watched your child learn and grow over the past few years. Attending preschool is a huge step in their development and may be an emotional moment for you as well.
Keep in mind that preschool is the exciting start of a long journey of learning, and you’ll be with your child every step of the way as they walk that path.
Is your child ready for preschool? We hope these tips will help you and your child feel more prepared for the big day as they engage in new experiences and develop important skills before finally walking through the preschool doors.