EIGHT WAYS

Build­ing lit­tle rou­tines and tech­niques into home life can help your child pre­pare for school, says INGER-LISA HURST

Little Treasures - - CONTENTS -

Tips to get tod­dlers school ready

es­tab­lish a good ‘get­ting out the door’ rou­tine

Cre­ate a pic­ture chart to make it easy for them to see what next step to take. Make sure they can ac­cess what they need for this process – for ex­am­ple, a step by the basin so they can brush their own teeth and hair, and a bas­ket for shoes and hats and low hooks for jack­ets by the door.

let them pack their own bag

Hand over the re­spon­si­bil­ity of pack­ing for swim­ming les­sons, play dates, preschool or a night at Nana’s – your tod­dler will rel­ish the re­spon­si­bil­ity. You’ll prob­a­bly need to do a bit of post-pack­ing su­per­vi­sion, or even pack a sep­a­rate bag if needed.

build up pe­ri­ods of concentration in your tod­dler

Concentration is an es­sen­tial skill and all too of­ten we ca­su­ally in­ter­rupt our chil­dren when they are ab­sorbed in a task. Next time you go to call your child just check they are not about to put the fi­nal block on their tower or the es­sen­tial wing on their Lego jet fighter.

teach your child to wait their turn be­fore speak­ing

Make eye con­tact, re­mind them to wait their turn and rest a hand on their shoul­der so they know you haven’t for­got­ten them. As soon as there is a break in your con­ver­sa­tion, let them speak.

es­tab­lish some knowl­edge around maths and lan­guage

They may find their early days eas­ier if they know the names of colours, the al­pha­bet, can count from 1-9, and can hold a pen­cil cor­rectly. Knobbed puz­zles are great for learn­ing pen­cil grip.

show your child how to be or­gan­ised

Get them into the habit of know­ing where and how to put their things away (coats, shoes, lunch­box) and they’ll be­come con­fi­dent at know­ing how to get what they need when they need it in the class­room.

teach the art of com­plet­ing a task from start to fin­ish

In­volve your tod­dler in ev­ery­day chores such as pack­ing their lunch­box in the morn­ing, then emp­ty­ing it, clean­ing it and putting it away at the end of the day to help them learn rou­tine.

help them de­velop their com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills

En­cour­age your tod­dler to talk by tak­ing the time to sit and lis­ten to them, as well as en­cour­ag­ing them to talk calmly and face-to-face when any con­flicts arise.

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