Preschool is a period of discovery that lays the foundation for the rest of your child’s education. You want them to feel excited and confident when they walk in on the first day — and a little bit of prep can go a long way.
Skills to Practice Before Preschool
To prepare your child for preschool, you can practice these 10 skills with them at home:
Listening: Children have active minds and lots to say! They may not understand listening yet, so they will mirror you. Speaking with your child and waiting for them to finish before responding shows them good listening practice.
Asking questions: You can encourage curiosity and conversation by asking your child questions. When they ask you questions, respond by restating and answering them to show the connection between your words.
Sharing: Learning how to share is a developmental process that comes easier to some children than others. Many kids need practice to get used to sharing. If your child asks to borrow something, tell them you need it for a few more minutes, then actually give it to them so they know sharing is like a promise.
Following routines: Preschool may be the first time your child follows a schedule. When kids are young, they need time to prepare before beginning a new activity. You can practice by giving 10-minute, five-minute and one-minute reminders before transitions at home.
Identifying colors or patterns: Preschool teachers will start with foundational concepts like colors, patterns and shapes. You can start practicing with your child by pointing out the color of their shirt or the circular shape of their toy.
Recognizing numbers or letters: Numbers and letters are everywhere. Reinforcing these figures early can make spelling and math lessons more exciting in preschool. Your child will love writing down their name or age, so you can help them.
Reading: Reading to your child is one of the most important things you can do before, during and after preschool. Choose engaging stories with simple concepts and see what excites your child. The best way to help kids succeed later with writing and spelling is by showing them how reading can be fun.
Making mistakes: When your child begins preschool, they will be asked to complete tasks or projects that may challenge them. Making mistakes is an excellent way for kids to grow. Giving your child options when they make mistakes shows them how to create solutions.
Independence: Chances are it will be difficult for your child to say goodbye on the first day of preschool. You can encourage them to be excited for school by showing them that you’re excited, too.
Having fun: In preschool, children learn through play. Your kids will have more fun at school when they’re eager to learn. You can combine learning and fun by mixing paint colors, playing dress-up or finding patterns in your backyard.
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