Preschool Prep

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How to Prepare Your Child for Preschool

Children are considered ready for preschool around the age of three, but many parents will struggle with having their child adjust to their new routine.  Here’s what you can do to prep your toddler for preschool.

Understanding If Your Child Is Preschool Ready

Preschools admit kids as young as 2.5 years old, but that doesn’t mean your child is necessarily ready for preschool by that age. Your child is preschool ready if she or he:

  • Is potty-trained
  • Can eat and wash his hands by himself
  • Is able to spend time away from you without getting anxious
  • Likes to engage in arts and crafts, playing, and sharing with other children.
  • Can follow instructions

What to Do in Advance

If your child is preschool ready, you can prepare him or her during the weeks ahead of actually starting preschool. Here’s what experts recommend:

Arrange playdates: Try to encourage your child to play well with other children, share toys, and work together on projects.

Talk to your child: Explain what preschool is, what her day will be like, and how much fun it is going to be. Answer every question she asks, even difficult ones, patiently and honestly. You can also read bedtime stories about preschool to your child.

Visit the preschool: Shortly before the start of preschool, take your child to visit the preschool to meet her new teacher and see the classroom.

What to Do on the First Day

Before setting off: On the first day of preschool, let your child choose his clothes and take his favourite toy or blanket with him. Pack his favourite snack for lunch too and answer any questions he may have.

Explore together: When you get to the preschool, spend a good 20 minutes with her getting to know others and work on an activity together. Once your child is into the activity with other kids, prepare to leave.

Say goodbye: Say goodbye to your child cheerfully with a kiss and a hug. If you appear sad or tense, he may become anxious and fearful too! Reassure him that you’ll be back to pick him up soon.

Allow independence:
Your child may be anxious for the first few days and you may feel the urge to “rescue” her. It is normal for kids to start crying out of separation anxiety, but teachers know how to handle it. Let your child and her teacher work this out. However, it’s perfectly appropriate to call the school and check if she’s okay. 
When preparing your child for preschool, remember to make it fun for her. The more fascinated she is about preschool, the easier it’ll be for her to make the transition to her new schedule.

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