Preschool provides the bridge between daycare and kindergarten. As a more structured environment designed to prepare children for the classroom, it offers a wide range of fun activities that keep kids engaged. If your child recently entered preschool, use the following tips to help your the little one thrive.
How to Help Your Child Succeed in Preschool
1. Encourage Hand Washing & Other Hygienic Practices
Work on hand washing, covering their nose and mouth when they sneeze and cough, and wiping their nose to foster healthy habits at school. This also limits the spread of germs, so your child doesn’t come home sick too often.
Use these practices as opportunities to encourage thoughtfulness and sharing — which will help your child make friends at school. For example, if you have to sneeze, ask your preschooler to help by bringing you tissues. If they’re washing their hands and you need to wash yours, ask if they will share the soap.
2. Ensure They Get Enough Sleep
Ensure your little one is always well-rested for school, so they arrive every day feeling energized instead of tired and cranky. Read them stories before bed as part of your sleepytime routine, including those about going to preschool, sharing with others, and making friends. Talk about what’s on each page and how the characters feel to help your child express their feelings about being away from home five days a week.
3. Listen & Empathize
Always listen to your child and provide thoughtful answers to help them feel heard and respected. Processing strong emotions is often challenging for young children, so show you empathize with them. Whether they’re having trouble adjusting to being away from you, don’t like one of their teachers or some of the children, or have any other issue, listen carefully and discuss how to recognize what they’re feeling and why.
Children with the freedom to express their emotions feel validated and are often more willing to work on solutions. For example, if one of the other children always tries to take your child’s favorite toy that they bring to school every day, alert the instructors. Suggest leaving the toy at home and asking your child if they want to bring two old toys to school —one for them and one for the other child — to encourage sharing and helping others.
If you wish to change preschools or are still researching options, consider Big Blue Bird Early Childhood Center. Based in Lexington, KY, this infant daycare center and preschool helps children develop a love of learning through games, music, crafts, and other creative activities that promote self-confidence, curiosity, and friendship. Call (859) 299-9277 today to schedule a tour or visit the school online for program information.