Preschool is both an exciting and scary time for your child. Whether your kiddo was enrolled in a child care program or attended day care during the first few years of their life, preschool is the next big step. While some kids may be excited for this next phase in their life, others may be a bit nervous to get started.
There are many things that you can do to help your little one prepare for this next step in their life. As a parent, you can help make preschool seem like an exciting new chapter that your child is lucky enough to be a part of. While it may be hard for you to watch your kiddo grow up and head to preschool, this time in your child’s life can be very beneficial.
At Inch By Inch Child Care in Bedford, we offer preschool programs that can help prepare your child for kindergarten and the rest of their academic career. We also offer infant and toddler programs that can help get your kiddo ready for their preschool days. While our infant and toddler programs can help them get used to being in a classroom, parents can do a lot to prepare their child for that preschool environment as well.
Don’t Start Preparing Too Early
While you want your child to feel ready for preschool, beginning to prepare and talking about preschool with your kiddo months in advance can make it seem like it is a bigger deal than it really is. Instead, start talking about it a few weeks before they start in a positive and upbeat way. Tell them all the fun things they will do in preschool, what your favorite part of preschool was, and point out their school whenever you pass it. You can point out the front doors and tell your child that is where you will walk them in and meet them after school. Tell them about their teacher and any other information that you may find helpful for your child. This will help them know what to expect and begin to look forward to preschool.
Create A Routine
Creating a routine that you will follow throughout the school year can help make the transition easier on both you and your child. Not only will a daily routine help make everything go smoothly throughout the day, but it will also help your child get used to a structured schedule, which they will have to follow in preschool. Routines help children learn about order, sequences, and develop a concept of time. This will help them while in preschool and makes it easier for the entire family to transition. Start a new routine a few weeks before preschool starts.
A morning and bedtime routine is important for your child to get used to before preschool starts. In the morning, create a routine of eating breakfast together, getting dressed, making their bed, brushing their teeth, packing a lunch, and, once preschool starts, walking or driving to school together.
Bedtime routines can also help your child feel more comfortable and get used to this structure, which they will be following while in preschool. Bedtime routines can also help make sure your child is getting to bed at a good time and getting enough sleep before preschool. Their bedtime routine can include eating dinner together, bathing, changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, watching TV, reading a book, and saying goodnight. When you start following this routine a few weeks before preschool starts, your child will get used to it, which will help them learn structure while also getting used to a healthy bedtime routine.
Not only is reading to your child a great way to teach your kiddo how to read, but it can also help them feel more prepared about heading into preschool. There are many different books about starting school that can help a nervous child feel better. They will be able to recognize that everyone feels nervous about heading to school, but that doesn’t mean they won’t end up liking it! If your child is nervous about preschool, be sure to pick up a few picture books about starting school and read them to your child. You can read these books to your child during your new bedtime routine! Reading these books to your kids can give you some special bonding time, help them feel a little less anxious about starting preschool, and can help them learn how to read!
Visit The Preschool
Going to a new place for the first time can be scary. Rather than bringing your child to their preschool classroom for the first time on the first day of preschool, make sure to schedule a tour of the preschool before the first day. Bring your kiddo in to explore the classroom, meet their teacher, and take a walk around the school. Scheduling a visit to your child’s preschool can help them get a better feel for what their classroom will be like and what they can expect, so on their first day, they will feel more confident and comfortable. This is also a great way for them to meet their teacher so that they recognize a friendly face on their first day.
If you are going to enroll your child in Inch By Inch Child Care, you can schedule a tour at our facility by filling out the form!
Give Your Child Independence
In preschool, your child will need to be able to do some things on their own, since teachers will have multiple kids to keep an eye on. While our classes are small to ensure that the teacher to student ratio is small, your child should still be able to work independently and do different tasks on their own. Before preschool starts, allow your child to be a little more independent. Let them get dressed on their own, let them go to the bathroom on their own, let them put on their shoes, feed themselves at the table, and do other minor tasks independently. This will help prepare them for the classroom setting, where they will not have an adult sitting by their side holding their hand throughout the entire day. Independence is important in preschool and as your child gets older, starting them young can help make this transition easier for them.
Talk About How They Feel
More than anything, talk about preschool with your child and ask about how they feel. When you talk about them going to school, be positive and talk about how much fun they will have, don’t make them more nervous or scared than they already are. Be sure to ask them how they feel and what they are excited about. Don’t focus on their nerves, because that will only amplify those feelings. But be sure that you listen to their feelings and let them know that it is normal they are feeling this way. After hearing their feelings and what they are worried about, try to get them thinking about preschool in a positive way. To do this, ask what they are looking forward to the most, what they think their teacher will be like, what they think they will learn, and what their new friends will be like.
Getting them excited about all of these things can help them view preschool in a positive way and become more excited about it. Just make sure you are not shutting down their feelings, this will only make it hard for them to express themselves and they will still feel nervous about starting preschool.
Get There Early
On your child’s first day of preschool, try to get there early so that they are not walking in to a room full of frantic kids. Get there early, reintroduce your kiddo to their teacher, and help them settle in. If you can stay with your child for 10 to 15 minutes while they scope out the place and get comfortable with everything going on around them, this can help them feel calmer. Getting them early and sticking around will give your child time to take in their surroundings before more kids show up. However, if you get to their classroom and the teacher is ready for you to leave, then do it. Be comfortable with leaving your child when they are comfortable, which will help make this transition much easier for your child.
These are a few of the best tips that we can give parents for preparing their kiddos for preschool. If you are looking for a preschool for your child in the Bedford area, be sure to check out Inch By Inch Child Care! Our child care center and preschool program is a great option for your child. They will learn, grow, develop, and become comfortable in this first step in their academic life. Schedule a tour today and contact us with any questions you may have! We look forward to meeting you and your little one.