Your child's transition into the local child development center might be tough. Small children who have spent their entire lives at home near their parents can get nervous or scared in new environments. If your child is going to be enrolling in preschool this fall, now is the perfect time to get your child ready. In the months ahead, you can help your child adjust to new environments and get used to spending time with other children. With adequate preparation, your child may find the transition into preschool to be less frightening and more interesting or exciting.
Plan a Visit
Plan a visit to the preschool so your child can see the environment, meet the teacher and watch the other children at play. If possible, go more than once. Small children tend to forget things, so it may take several visits before your child will remember what the preschool is like and whether or not he or she likes it there.
Enroll Your Child in a Play Group
By enrolling your child in a local play group, you'll accomplish several things at once, including:
- Your child will get exposure to groups of people outside your home.
- Your child will learn to interact with other children of his or her own age.
- Your child will start spending time away from your side, and will begin to feel safe without having you nearby.
Alternatively, you can get a similar benefit from enrolling your child in classes at a local rec center.
Teach Your Child to Follow Basic Directions
If your child doesn't follow basic directions, he or she may find life in a preschool very difficult at first. Help your child by practicing simple instructions like:
- Sit down
- Stand up
- Line up
- Move from point A to point B
- Put things away
It will also be helpful if your child is able follow simple two-step instructions. You can practice these skills by asking your child to put away toys, clean up messes and deliver objects to family members in other parts of the house. Also, tell your child where to go when you need your child to move, instead of physically lifting your child and moving him or her yourself. This helps develop your child's sense of responsibility and independence.
For more suggestions about ways that you can prepare your child for preschool, speak with the teachers at the child development center (like Small World Early Learning & Development Center). They can observe your child's behavior and give suggestions as needed.