3 Things Toddlers and Preschoolers Need to be Ready for School!

It’s probably not what you think… getting ready for school is easier than you thought!

A friend asked me what she can do this summer to get her three-year-old ready for school this fall.

It made me realize that this is probably a question on many moms minds – how do I get my kid ready for school? 

So if you want to get your three-year-old ready to go to preschool, here are three main things that you have to consider:

3 things toddlers and preschoolers need for school

1. Executive Functioning

This basically means their self control, flexible thinking, and working memory.

It’s not expected that they master all these things (even as adults we are still mastering and working on these skills) but anything you can do to support these three areas can really make a difference and help them have a better start when they go to preschool.

For example, flexible thinking means that things can change or that it’s okay if somebody sits in a different spot one day. It means things don’t always have to be the same.

Working memory is just being able to remember where or what things are, like how to follow a three-step direction or the words in a new song, or where to put a toy away after they have taken it off the shelf.

And self-control takes years of practice but even just beginning building some strategies on how to wait for things. Using activities that reinforce routines and predictability can be a really huge help. These can help in getting your child to understand how to be patient and wait for things. Playing games like freeze dance, or follow the leader are going to be some really great ways to reinforce self-control.

kids washing toy trucks

2. Language

The other big thing that you can do for your child to help them get ready for preschool is language-related. Not just books, not just reading and writing, but actual language exposure. Exposure to sentences, exposure to conversations, exposure to include encouraging them to talk, encouraging them to express themselves with any kind of words.

All of those things are going to help them. Books are great, but it doesn’t have to be just books. It can be having a conversation about what you see when you’re standing in line at the grocery store or when you’re walking around the block.

3. Curious Play Experiences

The third thing you can do is provide opportunities to be curious in their environment with people they love. This will help them become critical thinkers that help them learn how to problem solve.

For example, hands-on opportunities to play with various materials such as sand, water, or rocks gives them the ability to manipulate different textures and to learn math concepts such as weight and physics. Or time to build with different kinds of blocks, boxes, or pillows will give them the chance to experiment with basic engineering.

And, if you give kids a chance to experience open-ended play or encourage them to focus more on the process of art than the product, you encourage creativity and imagination. When children become users of the world around them they become thinkers.

Young children learn that things have a cause and effect, how to make things go and how to make things stop.

Pair these experiences with an adult talking about what they see and asking questions. That way you build in opportunities for children to reflect on their experiences. And when children are given encouragement to talk about what they do, their brain builds more neurons solidifying their learning.

That’s why open-ended experiences are so powerful! When your child has creative experiences you’re also building in self regulation and language skills at the same time!

To gain some new activity ideas and learn more check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en6kVNAUX6s

Or get this book filled with over 50 activities to keep your kids engaged in play while learning!

Play and Learning Activity Book
Play and Learning Activity Book
Ready for Kindergarten checklist
Ready for Kindergarten checklist
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school drop off routine

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