Preparing your toddler for preschool in Singapore

Congratulations! You have finally reached a decision and enrolled your child in the preschool that passed your given standards. Preschools, such as First Steps Preschool @ East Coast, can greatly help your child reach their full potential during their developmental years. But, before your child steps into the school’s premises on his or her first day, ask yourself: “Is my child prepared for this change?”

The people that your child has encountered from the day he or she drew their first breath up to 36 months of his or her life may probably be limited to a few family members and close friends. At the same time, the surroundings that he or she has been mostly exposed to may only be within the four corners of your home or some places that your family frequently visit. Being exposed to a whole new environment and a different set of people group can be intimidating and overwhelming for a toddler that is only beginning to learn to process things that stimulate his or her senses. A child that is overcome with fear on the first day of preschool can pose challenges with learning. It is for this reason that parents are highly advised to condition and prepare their child before they set foot for preschool on their first day.

Here are some ways to help your child be ready for his or her preschool transition.

1. Start to condition their mind about attending preschool two (2) to three (3) weeks before their first day.

Using a positive tone, do strike up conversations with your child about the new and exciting people that they will get to meet at their preschool. Also, share about some of the different activities that he or she will get to do. It is also important that you get your child to understand that you will not be beside them while they are in school, but will be there to drop them off before the school starts and pick them up when school is over for the day. In addition, give them the assurance that they can trust their teachers and caregivers. You can also ask your child for questions that they might have in mind during these conversations.

2. Practice doing some activities at home that they will be doing in preschool.

Find time to insert some activities usually done in preschool in your child’s day while still at home. Reading books, singing songs, and packing away things are some of the activities that you can practice at home. You can also help them strengthen their fine motor skills by assisting them in practicing how to grip a pencil and trace lines or a crayon to colour images on paper correctly without going over the lines.

3. Create and enforce a routine for the time that they need to go to bed at night and wake up for school in the morning.

Preschoolers have so much energy to burn. If there is no set schedule for their morning and bedtime habits, then there is a big chance that their sleeping time does not follow a consistent routine each day. This can be a problem when they start preschool. To address this, set a specific time for sleeping at night and waking up in the morning for your child. You may be met with some oppositions regarding this rule, so be ready to patiently explain to your child the implications of these changes in his or her daily routine. 

4. Pretend play daily scenes that your child will experience when he or she starts preschool.

Act out some scenes that your child experience on his or her first day in preschool. Pretend play saying goodbye when dropping them off and greeting them when you come and fetch them after a day in school. You can also act out interactions between teachers and preschoolers. These activities will help set the expectations of your child when the first day of his or her preschool starts.

5. Schedule a visit to your chosen preschool with your child before school starts.

Reach out to your child’s preschool and ask to schedule a visit with your child. If there are programmes that are ongoing, make a request for you and your child to be able to sit in and observe the activities done in the class. This will help your child be familiar with the new activities and surroundings, which can make him or her feel more confident and secure once preschool starts.

Now that you know some tips on how to prepare your child for preschool, do not overlook your own preparation as well. Check if there are things that need to be changed in your own routine, particularly if this transition will affect your work schedule. At the same time, you may experience separation anxieties and other worries when your child begins preschool. Condition your mind that all will be well and that the people who run the preschool that you have chosen are responsible enough and trustworthy to give the best care for your child.

 

First Steps Preschool @ East Coast
89 Marine Parade Central #02-750
Singapore 440089
+65 6247 7333