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23 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Preschool

23 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Preschool

During the formative years, specifically ages 2 to 5, your child is like a little sponge- constantly learning, understanding, and interpreting the world they live in. Through social interactions, connection with their family and loved ones, and the invaluable benefits of play,  your child is learning so much more than what meets the eye.

As parents and caregivers, we sometimes feel as though opportunities for learning need to be elaborate and grand. And while classes, events, outings, and field trips provide value and wonderful memories, there are innumerable learning opportunities for your toddler in your day to day life that will better prepare them for school. Here are some activities you can begin focusing on today that take very little effort to incorporate into your day.

Teaching Your Pre Kindergarten Child Life Skills

Without a doubt, every parent wants the best for their child. Both structured and unstructured play will provide your child with a variety of important, lifelong skills and lessons such as:

  • Hand eye coordination
  • Critical thinking
  • Gross motor skills
  • Cause and effect
  • Problem solving

If you have a pre kindergarten aged child that you want to help  discover the joy of learning, here are some of the ways we do so though the Montessori Method at home.

23 Important Lessons to Teach Your Toddler

Physical Activity. Although you might feel like you're constantly running around with your child, it’s important that you realize what incredible learning is happening during that wonderful and healthy activity time. Whether inside or outside, these physical activities are good for the body and the mind of your pre kindergartener:

  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Somersaults
  • Skipping
  • Walking
  • Climbing
  • Biking/pedaling
  • Throwing and catching

Sounds and Letters. It is never too early to begin learning about the alphabet by sounding out words and letters with your child. These foundational lessons will most definitely come in handy as your child enters preschool and kindergarten.

  • I Spy: This classic game can teach children as young as 2 how to recognize sounds associated with words. Remember, it’s not about perfection, it’s about the journey of learning.
  • Words and Sounds: When engaging and playing with your child, incorporating the sounds into words they know well can help teach sounds and letters very naturally. When your toddler is playing with their favourite toy you can say things like “B for bear” while enunciating the “B” sound.
  • Letter Puzzles: Incorporating wooden letter puzzles into play helps your preschooler learn the alphabet, and often the sight words associated with each letter.

Safety. Parents don’t realize that safety can be taught to your child through more ways than just your verbal command and watchful eyes. Your children are often fearless and while that can bring about a wonderful sense of discovery and excitement of the world around them, it is important we teach safety skills from the start. Activities such as:

  • Sun Safety: Wearing a hat, putting on sunscreen, wearing UV protective glasses, putting on a hat and sun blocking shirt.
  • Stop Drop and Roll: You can bet this will be a fun game!
  • Calling 9-1-1: Yes this can be taught from as early as age 2. Teaching your toddler their address, phone number, and the steps to call for help in an emergency can be integrated into early learning.
  • Staying Near Mom and Dad: Hide and seek may be a fun game but should never be played in public. 
  • Crossing the Street: This important life lesson can be taught early on and with words and maybe even some dance moves.
  • Not Keeping Secrets: Secrets mean to tell Mom and Dad right away. Surprises are a fun thing for birthday parties and gifts, but not keeping secrets is a very important safety lesson to teach your child.

Music. Learning music does so much for your child. Not only is it fun and enjoyable for preschoolers or toddlers, it will improve brain development and skills in every area from reading to mathematics.

  • Instrument Play: Any instruments will do- you can even make your own. Let your child free play on a drum set, or learn rhythm in sync with their favourite songs.
  • Homemade Instruments: Use empty buckets for drums and containers with beans for shakers.
  • Dance Time: This can be free dance, or you can take turns copying each other’s moves. Most importantly, just have fun!

Health. You may not realize it but healthy habits can be incorporated into your child’s routine from day one through your lifestyle and teaching through play.

  • Cooking: Let your child make salads and practice chopping soft fruits and vegetables with a child-safe knife.
  • Hand Washing: teach your toddler how to wash their hands and when to do it. Incorporate a song so they gain awareness for how long to wash for.
  • Covering a Sneeze. Proper hygiene and care for others can be taught through the simple one-step 'batwing’ sneeze cover.

Using Montessori as an Education for Life

All of these skills can be taught to your toddler through play-based and child-led learning experiences. Everyone learns at their own pace; enjoy the journey and have fun!

If the Montessori style of learning is something that interests you, the preschool program at Grey Matter is Northwest Calgary’s best preschool program. With a strong focus on your child’s unique potential, you will see that the Montessori Method will turn your child into a lifelong learner and active contributor to the community. Call 587-707-4739 or fill out the form below for more information on the Grey Matter Preschool Program.

FAQs

Q: What can be expected in a Montessori preschool curriculum?
A: A preschool Montessori program will include the following:

  • Language Arts
  • Numeracy
  • Creative Arts
  • Socio-Emotional Skills
  • Sciences
  • Motor Skills 

Q: How does Montessori preschool help prepare children for school?
A: The Montessori method of teaching delivers on certain principles to help prepare your pre-kindergarten-aged child for education in school and in life. Some of the ideas behind this approach include:

  • Emphasis on independent learning
  • Increased social interaction
  • Fostered love for learning
  • Inclusive learning environment

If you are wondering if a Montessori preschool program is right for your child, reach out to the team at Grey Matter in Calgary for more information about the programs and learning environment.

Q: How can you play the Montessori way with toddlers?

A: Introducing Montessori-style learning to your toddler is a wonderful way to acquaint them with an independent way of playing and learning at a young age. Using items you may already have around the home you can engage your child in play-based learning by:

  • Identifying what will sink and float in water
  • Opening and closing containers
  • Identifying objects in a bag or box by touch only
  • Colour sorting
  • Sorting by size
  • Washing and folding
  • Play pretend

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