Will your toddler be going to preschool soon? Is she ready to transition from home to a preschool? Are you anxious about how to prepare her for school? Do you worry that the sudden change in her routine could lead to distress or anxiety? Are you unsure how she will cope and how you can help?
If you are going through any of these concerns, read our post and know how to prepare your toddler for preschool and a few tips that could help.
At What Age Do Toddlers Start Preschool?
The age you send your toddler to preschool depends on many factors, including her readiness and your comfort level. Most preschools start admissions from the time toddlers are 2 to 2.5 years old. There is no such thing as a ‘good age’ to send her to preschool, and the decision should be entirely yours.
Preparing Toddler For Preschool:
Sending your toddler to preschool is a big achievement, one that marks a new phase in her life. As a parent, you may yourself have conflicting emotions, even though she
[ Read: Benefits Of Sending Your Child To Preschool ]
Before You Take Your Toddler To Preschool:
Before she begins attending school, here are a few simple tips to keep in mind:
1. Do Preschool Role Plays And Pretend Plays To Acclimatize:
Pretend play can help her get ready for a situation of which she is not yet aware.
- Set up a play area in the room and make it look like a small preschool room. You can arrange some fun play items and study materials like drawing books, pencils, crayons, blocks and such.
- Take turns to play the parent and the teacher. You can start by helping her understand what you are doing. Once she is ready, you can start pretend play like how you will drop her to preschool, how you say goodbye and how you do your goodbye hugs.
- Pretend to be the teacher and show how the teacher will welcome her, how the teacher will take her to class and help her adjust. Introduce fun play and learn activities like drawing, coloring, blocks, games and more.
2. Read Stories About Toddlers Going To Preschool:
Read her books that feature stories about toddlers going to preschool.
- You can select books that talk about toddlers going to preschool and how much fun they have there.
- Bring books with bright and happy images that show toddlers having fun at preschool. Show her what all she can look forward to when she starts going to preschool.
3. Visit The Preschool Along With Your Toddler:
Most preschools have sessions for toddlers and parents to come and visit before session begins.
- Make an appointment with the preschool you plan to send her. Take her along and let her interact with the teacher.
- Ask the teacher if she can also try some of the facilities at the preschool. Show her the playground and let her play for a while. In case there are other children around, ask the teacher if your toddler can interact with them and play for some time.
[ Read: Essential Things To Consider While Choosing A Preschool ]
4. Meet The Parents And Toddlers:
See if you know any other parents who are sending their toddlers to the same preschool.
- Connect with the parents and toddlers and arrange some play dates where the toddlers can interact before preschool begins.
- If the preschool is near where you are, you can also walk her down to the preschool every day even before the session begins. It will help her adapt to the environment and the concept that going to preschool is a normal routine.
5. Get New Preschool Accessories To Create Interest:
She will love new things the new things she takes part in, once she begins preschool.
- Take her shopping trip to pick out fun preschool accessories like a school bag, lunch boxes, bottles, cap, pencil box, colors, stationery, etc.
- Tell her that she will be using these things at preschool. Ensure that she can see all the accessories, but don’t let her use them yet. It will diminish her interest in them, before beginning preschool when she will get to use all her accessories.
6. Let Your Toddler Follow A Routine:
Before you send her to preschool, it is important to start a routine that will help even when preschool begins.
- Make wake up and sleep times consistent to how they will need to be once she starts preschool.
- You can also arrange meal times that will help her get familiar with preschool routines. Pack a lunch meal or snack in her favorite Tiffin box and let her eat it all by herself. You can also show her how to pack her bag, as she will in preschool.