Starting preschool is constantly an emotional experience, both for our little learners who are doing initiated within an entirely new routine and for their mothers who are trying difficult to cope with their own mixed emotions of not needing to let go & celebrating their toddler’s newfound independence!
While every parent and child undergo this development at their own pace, setting some ground rules & operating from a place of understanding helps in easing the problems that are typically associated with this transition. Here are some activities to prepare your child for preschool that will assure a smooth transition from home to school.
Pre-School Settling Activities
Most preschoolers are still in the method of creating an identity that is independent of a specific primary caregiver, so they will display the anxiety or the confidence radiated by the mother. So, Mammas…..always say a hearty goodbye before leaving, never sneak out while your learner is working, and be on time to pick him/her up. This will establish a routine that will encourage confidence in young learners who are in the method of developing coping skills.
Roleplay is something that all kids enjoy, and it can be used as an efficient tool to teach social-emotional skills. Role reversals during pretend play can help your toddler view the situation from a different perspective, and empower him/her to deal with reality. Listen to your toddler carefully, and nevermore dismiss their fears as ‘being silly’ or ‘childish’.
Spend time reading books regarding preschool, such as “Maisy Goes to Preschool” by Lucy Cousins, “Little School” by Beth Norling, or “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn. All those books deal with separation anxiety & expressing and acknowledging those feelings will make the transition to a different routine much smoother. It is equally essential for us, as adults also to acknowledge our conflicted feelings and deal with them to not pass them on. Also set aside a reading time among your child that will familiarize them with books & develop a fondness for them.
As your preschooler becomes ready to take a big step towards adulthood, it is an opportunity for us to reflect on how we are preparing him/her with the self-help skills needed for this transition. Setting simple routines like picking up behind themselves, dressing skills & basic toilet training will help guide them into school routines. You might also notice changes during your child’s behaviour as he works through his feelings. Children usually regress in one area as they make the developmental increase in another. You may notice regressions in toilet training, sleep patterns etc, however, with training support, these can be overcome together. This training is the most reliable way to prepare your child for preschool.
Keep In Touch
Also if your child has attended a toddler programme, a new school & a new set of teachers may create awareness of anxiety. Communicate with teachers regularly, and seek their help when required, because teachers have an immense repertoire of experiences to draw solutions from.
Preschool is a time of great growth and opportunities. With just a little preparation, you can make that transition a confidence-building and fun activity for both you & your child.