3 1/2 years old

Preparing for Preschool


Ethan starts at his new preschool today, and I am such a combination of emotions about it all.  He's been going to nursery for a couple of mornings a week already, but now we've moved him to a preschool closer to our new house.  So he's moving onto the next level and also dealing with the transition of leaving his old school for this new one.

We've been trying to prepare him in as many ways as possible, especially as he can get quite shy and he is a bit of a worrier.  So we've been reading lots of books about starting school and discussing what the characters in the books are going through as well.  How they might feel nervous, but that there is nothing to worry about as they all have fun once they get there.

We've been working on some practical skills so that he feels more confident at preschool. When he started nursery he was just 2 1/2 and had only just been potty trained so the teachers were helping him with all of that, but now that he's nearly 4 he's less likely to ask for help (and I'm sure that they would assume that he's capable of going on his own.)  So I made sure to take him into the washrooms and show him where everything was when we were visiting the preschool.  I pointed out the hand soap and the paper towels and talked to him about being able to go there whenever he needs to.  I also send him to school in clothes that are easy to take off (trousers without difficult buttons) so that he can get undressed on his own.

We're also talking about eating his meals at preschool without any help, as I know that they encourage the children to serve themselves (which I think is great) but it's not something that Ethan's used to doing.  We've been talking about trying new foods and using his cutlery properly, so hopefully he'll be able to manage mealtimes at preschool without any trouble and can focus on chatting with his friends.

We revisited this school bus craft that we made last year when he was still in nursery, and talked about the names of the new friends that he was making at preschool settling in sessions.  He's not great at asking children's names, so I'm encouraging him to try to listen for them when the teachers are calling them out.

We've also been playing this back to school memory game that Ethan loves, he keeps asking to play it again and it's so simple to set up that I always say yes!  I use different objects each time though, now we're onto things that he's seen in his new preschool and that he enjoys playing with there.

And of course we've been back to school shopping!  We've got name labels and a new pencil case and an assortment of other back to school essentials.  We've also got new school shoes and a rain coat (it's looking like a very wet September!) and all of this talking and shopping is getting Ethan very excited about starting this new adventure.

I've been trying to talk about preschool with Ethan a little bit each day, not to overwhelm him with questions but to keep him thinking about all of the fun that he's going to have there.  My main focus is for him to meet other children and to form bonds with his classmates and teachers, so that he's happy to go into school and enjoys his time there.  If he's happy then everything else will fall into place.

Have a look at our Pinterest board for more 'Back to School' ideas:

Follow Play & Learn Everyday's board Back to School on Pinterest.

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