Every parent has a big question in their mind after the toddler’s “SECOND BIRTHDAY”. “Is my toddler READY FOR PRESCHOOL ?” How to know whether my toddler is ready? Are there any signs or lookouts for when my toddler would be ready? Can you prepare your toddler for preschool?
Yes when we think about toddler’s preschool we get a lot of questions in our mind. We start thinking about which school would suit your child the best? Which are the best schools in your locality? But the first question parents should always look into is “Is my toddler ready?”.
The right age for preschool according to many professionals and researchers is 3 years. But there will be times when you need to start preschool early, may be because of your work or because your child is getting bored at home, no playmates nearby. Schools now a days take admissions after 2.5 years of age. This post is just about getting your toddler ready for preschool. It does not tell anything about the schools or requirements about schools. This post is to help you prepare your child for preschool. If you toddler is well prepared before he or she starts her preschool, it will help them enjoy and get adjusted in the school environment soon.
12 Amazing Tips For Getting Your Toddler Ready For Preschool
Communication plays a vital role in preparing your toddler for preschool
Is your child communicating with you? Does he tell you his needs ? Your child should be able to communicate his basic needs to people around him. If he is now just communicating with parents only, help him communicate his needs to other caregivers to make him comfortable with communication. It is important that he can understand his hunger or pain or exhaustion. Understanding and communicating is the necessity in the school environment because there will be many children around, so even if teachers miss out on any signs (which happens rarely), you child should be comfortable in communicating with the teacher. Helping him communicate is a huge step towards getting your toddler ready for preschool.
Even if your child is communicating only the main and basic necessities, It is okay to send him, he will soon start communicating more. Sending to school does this to children. When there are many other children around playing, talking and communicating your child tends to catch up. Before you know your child would be pro in communication.
Read our article on How To Encourage Your Toddler To Talk for amazing tips and tricks to help your toddler with his communication skills.
Get Toddlers Help in Chores
Giving toddlers simple chores related to them e.g putting their shoes away in the shoe stand, picking up their toys after playtime is going to help the toddler a lot in preschool. If you haven’t been giving your toddlers any chores until now, it is a good idea to start now. Give simple age appropriate chores like keeping her own dirty dishes in the sink after eating food.
This is not to burden them with any kind of work. Giving them small, easy and SAFE chores around the house teaches them responsibility. When your child is in the toddler stage, she would love to help you with the chores because she is watching you do the chores around the house. Toddlers love imitating. Soon your toddler would know that he needs to wash his fruits or vegetables before he eats them (even when you are not around).
In preschool children have to pick up their toys, clean up after themselves. So teaching them the chores around the house helps them ease through the preschool process and know the basics well. Consequently helping your toddler get ready for preschool.
Let them make their own choices and decisions
In preschool children are given a lot of choices and asked to make decisions. This becomes difficult often if they are not really used to getting choices at home. Prepare your toddler for preschool by providing him or her two to three choices regarding which dress he or she wants to wear or food options etc. Ask them what do they want to play with bus or train etc.
Does your toddler understand simple directions and instructions? Is he able to follow the instructions given to him? Simple directions like “ Please pick up your book and keep it in the red book case?” “Please take your brush and dip it in pink colour.” etc. If not, don’t worry. Make simple games at home about following directions and then keep rewards when they follow the directions properly. For example, pick up the white pen and keep it in the book shelf and bring the shapes book from the shelf and keep it on the table next to the vase. On the table keep a treat for when they keep the book on the table.
Name and Greetings
Your child must know how to pronounce his or her own name well. There is no need for spelling as such. But they should be able to tell their name when asked about it. Help them learn a few details like address, parent’s names, phone numbers etc. This can be done by regularly repeating it to them right from when they are 1 year old.
Another thing to teach your child basic etiquettes like wishing and greeting someone when you meet them for the first time. Good Morning, Namaste anything that your child is comfortable with. Teach things like Say Sorry when you hurt someone or say Thank you when somebody helps you etc.
This helps them make new friends and blend well with the teachers. Consequently helps you prepare your toddler for preschool.
Eat their own food independently
Your toddler should be able to eat food on his own. This you can begin helping them with right when your child starts sitting. Give them finger food. Do not worry about mess, mess can be cleaned later. But this is the best way your child learns how to eat. In school they have to eat on their own. Hence eating independently is important to prepare your toddler for preschool. If your toddler hasn’t started to eat on his own yet, start soon. It does not take much time for them to learn because they are very curious about everything.
Dressing and Wearing their own shoes
Once your toddler crosses 2 years of age, he or she would be very much interested in doing everything on their own. They crave independence in only a few activities for example dressing up, putting on their own shoes etc. Let them. It is very important for them to learn how to dress themselves. Do not give too complicated clothes like button ups etc. It is good to give them slip on dresses or ones with zippers. Doing these things on their own gives them a sense of achievement. Consequently another important tip to get your toddler ready for preschool.
Interfere if your toddler is getting irritated and looks like he might need help. But before you do, Please ask whether he or she needs help. If yes, help otherwise help them vocally try to keep them calm.
Teach them and help them socialize
Socializing is an important step to get your toddler ready for preschool. In preschool your toddler is going to make many new friends and he or she has to socialize with the teachers as well. Do not worry if your child does not like socializing yet, try to help by taking her to play dates with children she knows. Slowly have play dates with new friends. Do not pressurize her to socialize, let her open up on her own. Sometimes they learn socializing in school.
Imbibing Routines helps getting your toddler for preschool
Routine is crucial for children. Preschools have their own routines set up for the children according to their ages. There are many homes with no structure at all and there are a few with tight and strict structures. If you do not have any structure at home, try to imbibe one structure and routine for evening time (specially for unwinding) and slowly introduce for morning hours as well. This structure will help prepare your toddler for preschool.
Make sure you are providing some unstructured time and play as well.
Independent play crucial to get your toddler ready for preschool
Has you child started playing independently? If not, start encouraging independent play for small times in the house. Independent play another important activity to help you prepare your toddler for preschool. Play with your child for 10 minutes and then excuse yourself for some work and try to be as invisible to your child as possible. (For I am sure, if he or she sees you, no more independent play! They love attention). One thing to remember is do not pressurize your child for anything. If he or she does not like something, try it after a few days or next week maybe.
Developing a Cooperative streak
One thing much need in preschool is “Cooperation” and “Waiting for your turn”. This is expected in all schools. Try this cooperation at home first. Children tend to take time to learn these two important skills. Give them time. Start plenty ahead of time. Take it in playtime you and your child play with the same toy, you wait for your turn and next teach him to wait for his turn. It is important to get your toddler ready for preschool.
Help the toddler learn cooperation by using the house chores as well. You can ask your child to wipe the dishes while you wash and hand it over to your child for wiping. Sometimes on purpose be a little late in giving the dishes and ask your child to wait for his turn. This way he will learn to “Wait for his turn” and also “Cooperation”. Sometimes kids do not cooperate with parents. Don’t worry. Children tend to do this mostly only with parents (because they are very comfortable with you and they know you will love them no matter what. See it’s a good thing 🙂 ). Your toddler will start cooperating more as he or she starts his or her preschool.
Potty Training (Optional)
This is an optional because readiness for potty training is different in most of the children. Try and start potty training in early toddler years because they are amiable and you can use fun ways to teach them. (They learn to be adamant as they enter the third year. This is because they have recently learnt that they have an opinion too 🙂 and their opinion must be considered.)
Again if your child is not potty trained do not worry, it is not compulsion in most of the school. Some schools even help with potty training. ( My little one’s school is really helpful in this matter!! Lucky right?!!). So potty training is not crucially important to get your toddler ready for preschool.
Important thing is your child should be able to communicate whenever he needs to use the potty. The teachers or other helpers might take them and guide them.
Just these simple tips will help your child a lot in preschool. He will catch up soon and begin to enjoy even sooner. Preschool is all about playing and learning all in one. Toddlers enjoy preschool once they get grounded and adjusted there. So Keep Calm and Start Preschool For Your Toddler!!!
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