School Prep For Little Ones
Are you or your child anxious about preschool in the fall? Here's some important information you should know, educational play ideas to introduce now and tips to help prepare you both for the big change ahead.
Preschool separation anxiety
Some preschoolers experience separation anxiety in one form or another. Typically, separation anxiety will not happen on the first day or during the first week. It’s usually once your child realizes he will be staying at preschool all day, for multiple days in a row, that it begins. Here are some tips to help ease and reduce separation anxiety while still reassuring your child.
"Give hugs and kisses, but don’t prolong the goodbye process."
Implement and maintain a preschool routine in the home
Call your child’s new preschool to find out their daily routine for the fall. If you can implement a similar routine at home, your child will go into his or her new preschool environment with a better sense of security and consistency. While you don’t have to structure your day to match the school’s schedule perfectly, you can plan snack, lunch time, outside play and nap or rest time at or around the same time as the school to help familiarize your child with the pattern of what’s to come.
Preschool prep at home
Preschool helps a child’s cognitive development and fine motor skills. To enhance your child’s cognitive development, encourage play through exploration and imagination. Preschool-aged children learn by doing and, in turn, they work to master fine motor skills, coordination and dexterity.
Preschool prep play ideas
Prepare your child emotionally for preschool
Young children can and often do experience anxiety in new situations — especially when they realize they are returning to preschool consistently and staying for a long period of time.
Tips to emotionally prepare your child for preschool
Tip: Consider bringing the same crib sheets for your child’s cot, pillow case and a copy of your child’s favorite book.
Expect and prepare for some changes
Your child will be coming home from preschool physically, mentally and emotionally stimulated and may express these changes different ways and through different behaviors. He may need an earlier bedtime, an extra afternoon snack or increased cuddle time with Mom and Dad to help calm his senses. Night terrors and separation anxiety can and often occur during the first few months of preschool due to a child being overtired and from prolonged separation from parents. If they persist, contact your child's doctor for advice.
More on preschool