How do I prepare my toddler for preschool?
From summer camp to trips to the family cottage, to stops at the community swimming pool, there are lots of activities to keep your preschool-aged children busy during the summer break.
But as the days get shorter and the sun sets sooner, you and the kids will come to realize that the start of another school year is afoot. And this means that there are certain things you can – and should – do to ensure that your kids are ready to kick off preschool without a hitch.
What follows are some tips that you can use to get the little ones ready for preschool.
Nighty Night (Sleep Tight)
Getting your kids on a regular bedtime schedule is important, but sometimes parents relax this requirement during the summer months when their little ones don’t have to go to preschool. But well before the first day back, you need to get your children back on a regular bedtime schedule so that they have the routine nailed down before the first day of preschool. With a good night’s rest, they’ll be alert, attentive, and ready for preschool.
Self-Help Skills Boot Camp
While you may have already invested the time to teach your children some self-help skills, it certainly won’t hurt to refresh their abilities since you won’t be by their side at the preschool facility to remind them. Teaching your children to zip and unzip their jackets, tie their shoelaces, and put on their backpacks will go a long way towards giving them a sense of independence while they’re at preschool. So if they don’t know these sorts of skills, teach them; if they do know them, practice with them so that they are ready when these skills are needed.
Limit Screen Time
If your children use computers, smartphones, tablets, or anything else with a screen, you need to ensure that they aren’t spending too much time using them. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), you need to limit screen time based on the age of your children. For instance, kids who are two to five years old should be limited to no more than one hour per day of high-quality programming. Some dangers of excessive screen time include, among other things, compromised social interaction skills and even eye strain.
Read for Readiness
Reading with your children will help them in more ways than one. Of course, it will ultimately help them to become better readers, but it will also teach them about the importance of taking turns — in other words, you can read certain portions, and your children can take turns reading as well. If you read something about preschool, you can also take time to discuss whatever concerns they may have, and this dialogue can help to prepare them for the start of preschool.
Yes, there are definitely some things you can do to get your kids ready for preschool. Follow the recommendations above, and you’ll be well on your way towards ensuring that your little ones have a school year filled with fun, learning, and new experiences.
Cassie Brewer lives in Southern California. In her free time, she enjoys writing about her passion (healthy living of course!). Nothing makes her happier than helping other be the best version of themselves they can be. You can follow her on Twitter @Cassiembrewer