Starting kindergarten is an important point in both your and your child’s life. It is so, as it is a major transition to something new and different from what toddlers are used to. You as the parent have the responsibility to prepare your child for this period and there are a few things you should teach your child before embarking on this journey. For example, since your child is old enough for kindergarten, he or she is able to understand some concepts, so start by explaining the concept of kindergarten. After that, you should get your child familiar with it by taking him or her to the facility a few times. You should definitely try to teach your child some social skills and let him or her have their playtime. What’s essential is actually establishing a morning and evening routine, so your child starts creating some life habits. Besides these, you should encourage independence and self-care as much as possible. An additional but useful thing can be a cheat sheet about your child and his likes as well as dislikes for the teacher. Read more on the topic of how to prepare your child for kindergarten.
1. Talk to your child
The process of starting a kindergarten should start with a conversation about it with your child. As your child is mature enough to grasp some concepts, you should try explaining the concept of kindergarten in the best way possible. If you approach the topic seriously, your child will also take it seriously and be proud because you want to talk to them and explain some things. In this way, they will be more willing to be a part of the process.
2. Take your child on a kindergarten tour a few times
This is a crucial thing to do as the child gets familiar with the concept by visiting the facility a few times, with somebody they trust, such as their parents. Kindergarten institutions such as St Ives preschool offer the possibility of such visits, which is important for your child. It’s amazing how much this helps in easing the children into an educational institution of this kind.
3. Let your child play
Even though your child is about to start kindergarten (or has started it already, but you’re still getting used to it), you shouldn’t limit their playtime as well as toys. You might be tempted to do this in all the chaos and the desire to have your child learn as much as possible and, in that way, prepare better for school. In fact, children need their playtime now more than ever. Playtime is essential as, through these kinds of activities, children also learn. If children learn to play at home, they’ll probably do the same in kindergarten as well. Plus, they might make more friends by playing together with their peers.
4. Teach your child some social skills
By this point of your child’s life, you have probably observed how they react to other children, how they play, share toys and behave generally. If your child hasn’t socialized much before kindergarten, you might face some difficult time in teaching them to do so. On the other hand, if your child has been socializing since a very early age, the chances are that they won’t have any problems related to socializing in the kindergarten as well. It will definitely be easier for a sociable child.
5. Establish a morning and evening routine
Other essential aspects you should focus on are the morning and evening routine. You need to get your child used to get up at a specific time, getting ready, having breakfast and going to kindergarten. It will take some time to create this routine. For the child to be able to get up early, you should make sure they go to bed early, to get enough sleep, as it is crucial for children at such a young age. You could practice these routines before starting kindergarten, in which case you would replace going to the kindergarten with some other activity.
6. Create a cheat sheet for the teacher
This is an optional and yet useful thing to do, both for your child and the teacher. Since teachers are only getting to know the children, this is a useful tool for them. It should be quite a concise one-page sheet with some basic information about your child as well as their likes, dislikes, favourite activities, toys and food.
7. Encourage independence and self-care
Encouraging your child to be independent and to care about themselves is a crucial skill. In kindergarten, it is expected that children can dress on their own, clean themselves and perform a number of simple everyday tasks.
Starting a kindergarten is a stressful period, both for the parents and the children, but with these few simple tips and tricks, we’re sure that the transition will be easier.