15 Items to Have on Your Getting Ready for Preschool Checklist
Sending your child off to preschool for the first time can be overwhelming for both of you. The transition can be made easier for everyone by preparing for preschool. Planning helps your child understand the upcoming change to their life while steadying your nerves.
Here are the top items on our getting ready for preschool checklist:
- Academic Preparation
- Establishing Routine
- Life Lessons
1. Visit the School
Take your child to the classroom and let them see where they will be spending their days. Introduce them to their teacher and let them explore the space for themselves. Show them where they can place their backpack or other personal items.
2. Read to Them
Many preschools offer activities like reading times to help expand a child’s understanding of the world. Get your toddler started with reading activities using books recommended by the preschool. Get them used to sitting still and listening to someone else read out loud.
3. Teach Them Colors and Shapes
Encourage your child to learn about various colors. You can link the colors to items they are familiar with, like red apples or orange, well, oranges!
Follow the same learning principle when it comes to shapes. Let your toddler feel how they differ from one other. Show them how to find those same shapes in the real world to reinforce the lesson.
4. Show Them How to Color
Buy your child coloring books and crayons to get started. Stick with simpler books with a single solid object to keep them from getting distracted. Start them off with larger crayons that are easier for them to grip. Have your toddler fill in the smaller objects first, then work their way up to bigger items on the page.
5. Teach Them How to Draw Lines and Shapes
Let your child practice drawing straight lines on blank paper. Do it with them so that they get a better idea of how their result should appear. Move on to shapes like circles and crosses once they have mastered drawing lines. Creating shapes is an excellent way to help your toddler to start mastering motor skills and preparing for preschool drawing activities.
6. Practice Drawing Letters
It is best to stick with vertical letters like E, F, H, I, L, and T to start. Other letters might be too difficult for preschool children to create. Vertical letters with straight lines are easier to master, which can help them build up confidence in their writing skills.
7. Write Out Their Name
You can do it for your toddler and have them follow along or have them help write it out themselves if they have enough skill. Have the child say each letter out loud to help reinforce their alphabet skills. Be careful about pushing your child too far. The goal is to have them recognize their name in writing.
An excellent alternative to writing out your child’s name is having them create it in another medium. You can buy play dough and fashion the shapes together. Another good idea is having them draw out the letters in a sandbox.
8. Teach Them to Get Ready
Start showing your child the morning routine for preschool. Show them how to get up each morning, eat breakfast and get dressed. Let them help pack their bag that they will take with them to preschool. Going through these activities will make it seem less strange when the time comes for your toddler to put them into practice.
9. Show Them How to Clean Up
Show your toddler the importance of keeping a space neat and clean. Have them put up their toys once they are done with them. Make it clear that they are to put their shoes away in a specific space or put their clothes in the hamper if they are dirty.
10. Make Them Finish What They Start
Gently encourage your child to finish an activity they start. It could be putting together a simple puzzle or building a tower of logos. You want to help your toddler learn to sit still for at least five minutes at a time.
11. Practice Basic Hygiene
Make sure your child is in the habit of brushing their teeth every morning. Break more complex activities like washing their hands down into simple steps to get them used to the entire process. Encourage them to develop neater eating habits and to wipe their mouth and fingers when they are done eating.
12. Encourage Them to Ask for Help
Let your toddler know that it is OK to ask someone for help if they are struggling. Encourage them to make eye contact and make their needs clear. Asking for help can keep them from being frustrated by things like needing to open a milk carton or water bottle.
13. Teach Them Self-Help Skills
Walk your child through activities like putting on their shoes, putting their pants on and taking them off, and eating with utensils. They learn to be more independent and confident in their ability to take care of themselves.
14. Help Them Learn Social Skills
Make sure your toddler understands the importance of taking turns. Start by having them share their toys with yourself or other siblings. You can also use board games like Hungry Hungry Hippos that encourage them to take turns.
Other important social skills you can teach your child expressing themselves appropriately and helping others in need. Show them how to use a proper tone of voice when speaking to others. Use moments in life to help them develop empathy for others and an awareness of when they may be having a difficult time.
15. Stay Connected
Your child may experience some anxiety during the first few weeks of preschool. Talk to them about what they should expect during the drive over. Stay positive even if they break down in tears. Say your goodbyes quickly to avoid lingering.
Encourage them to tell you how they are feeling. Listen for indications of any problems that you may need to address with their teachers. They should be comfortable expressing themselves to both you and their caregiver at the preschool if they are in distress.
Preparing for Preschool at Family of Faith
The Family of Faith Preschool encourages parents in the community to stay involved in their child’s education. We want preparing for preschool to be fun for you and your child and believe in the power of collaborative learning when it comes to rearing healthy, happy individuals. Our staff is always glad to answer any questions about our getting ready for preschool checklist, our curriculum, how we provide academic and spiritual guidance to children, or any other question you have. Contact us today to ask a question or arrange a tour.