Getting Ready For Starting School – How to Prepare for your little ones to start school.

We have the summer ahead of us but if your little ones are starting school this September you may be feeling a little apprehensive? It is completely natural; it is a big life event not only for them but us too!

My daughter started school 2 years ago so I know exactly how you feel except you have to do it twice on the same day! There are some things that you can do to get them prepared for school to make it a smoother transition & they can be encourage with play & fun too!

1  Promote Independence

Although they will have the teacher & teaching assistants, becoming more independent is really important, being able to get their shoes & coat on themselves, wash their hands, go to the toilet independently & use a knife & fork makes things a lot easier for them if they don’t have to keep asking & waiting for help.

Activity Idea

Spaghetti Play – A great activity to practice their knife & fork skills is messy play with cooked spaghetti, you can add food colouring to it to make it look a little more interesting & see if they can cut the spaghetti into small pieces then scoop into a bowl.

2.  Encourage Listening

Throughout the day, your little one will need to listen to their teachers’ instructions, so if they don’t attend preschool then practice listening at home. Playing games which follow directions is a great way to encourage listening & also starting to practice listening with a certain action – teacher normally use clapping.

Activity Idea

Flick Dance – Listen to a variety of genres of music (classical, hip hop, rock etc) switch the song & change the style of dancing.

3.   What to expect

Talk about all the exciting things that will happen like making new friends and playing in the playground. There are some great books about starting school but you can also enjoy some role play & act out what school will be like.

Activity Idea

Role Play some of the things they may do at school. Sitting on the carpet listening to the teacher read a story/call the register etc. Take it in turns to be the teacher & let them take charge, model being a good pupil listening, being kind etc. 

Don’t forget to make it fun too, the first year of school is mainly play based.

Don’t worry about your child being able to read & write as they will teach this at school, most schools prefer them not to start before as they can pick up bad habits, instead work on their fine motor skills & build up the strength in their hands.

Lastly be positive, try not to show them you are feeling apprehensive and from one mama to another, the first term is the hardest & after that it will become part of your routine. Enjoy the time you have together this summer & you will treasure the school holidays & lazy mornings so much more.

You have got this Mama!

Written by Karen Sidell, Founder of It’s Playtime Tots  Play Expert & Parenting Mentor.

If you would love more support with your little one’s play, learning & development, Karen offers support via 1:1’s & pre-school prep as well as offering a children’s activity subscription service with a variety of activities set around a new theme each month.

If you would love more ideas & information to prepare your little ones for school, keep an eye out for more pre school tips & more play ideas to get them school ready.

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