Early education is very important to give kids a good head start when they first begin 'big school'. So, how do you prepare your child for entering the exciting new world of education at kindergarten? Here are some top tips to help set your little one on the right track.
Learning to mix with other kids
If your child is accustomed to mixing and playing nicely with other kids of their age, they will find settling into kindergarten much easier than if they are isolated and have few friends. Take advantage of local mother and toddler groups to teach your child about socialising before they are placed in a class environment with lots of other kids.
It's very important that your child is happy to share toys, take turns playing on swings, etc. If your child has issues with bullying or resents having to share with others, you should mention this to the kindergarten staff well in advance of your child's first day.
One key activity at kindergarten is storytelling. Your child will be expected to sit with their classmates and listen as the teacher tells a story. Practice this at home from when your kid is very small, so that they get used to the idea of listening without interrupting. As the child gets older, you could consider attending a story hour at your local library, which mimics the kindergarten environment and helps to prepare your child for what's to come.
Encourage your child to make up stories to tell you too. This helps to develop a fertile imagination and teaches the child how to impart information to others without stumbling over their words.
Letters and words
It's a really good idea to introduce skills such as learning to recognise letters and words, perhaps in story books as you read to your child.
Teach your child to recognise the letters in their own name too. A good way of doing this is by getting the child to trace the letters onto tracing paper. You can extend the exercise to numbers too and even simple sums. Even simple activities, such as being able to hold a pencil correctly can help to prepare the child for pre-school activities that they will enjoy in kindergarten.
Make notes for teachers
As you begin to explore these activities with your child, you may discover some things that frustrate or anger them, or there may be some activities that they particularly enjoy. Make notes of all these situations, and pass them on to your child's kindergarten teachers. If the staff members are forewarned, they can take steps to help your child overcome his or her anxieties.Share