Your child starting preschool is an exciting time for all involved. If they’re your youngest, you’re about to get some time to yourself! Your kid is going to have a blast, and maybe learn a thing or two. Honestly, it’s a win all around. But it can also be a difficult transition. Making sure your child is ready for this next step can help! Use this preschool readiness checklist to prepare, so their first experience with preschool is a positive one.
Using a preschool readiness checklist can help you make sure your child is as ready as they can be for this big step!
A lot of your child’s readiness will depend on their maturity level and temperament, which is not necessarily something you can help, I know. But there are some ways you can prepare to make their transition to preschool easier and more enjoyable. Social, motor, and language skills, and the ability to understand simple concepts with numbers, writing, and creative arts are all important aspects of child development that can ready your child for preschool.
Your child will be away from you while at preschool, so being able to separate from you for periods of time is crucial. Good listening skills, being able to easily transition from one activity to the next, and being able to engage in peer-to-peer play is also important. Preschools thrive on routine, so if they’re used to a structured routine, they’ll do great. Also, while most kids prefer to play in a group setting, being able to play independently or complete small tasks on their own will help them immensely.
Preschool will be great for fine-tuning your child’s motor skills. When trying to decide on your child’s preschool readiness, consider if their proficiency in gross motor skills like jumping from one foot to the other, running, and kicking. Showing left or right handedness and beginning to develop a proper pencil hold (with fingers rather than the whole hand) are also skills your child should be exhibiting.
Super important! It can frustrating when a child can’t communicate their needs (for the child and the teacher). Kids who can effectively communicate (through language or signing or even pointing), express needs, emotions, and requests, and understand and follow simple commands are likely ready for preschool!
Writing, Numbers, and Creative Arts Skills
Listen, no one expects your preschool-aged child to walk into school on the first day and write an essay. The great thing about preschool is that these skills will develop so fast! But it can definitely help to have a foundation to build on! For writing, being able to properly hold a writing instrument, use different tools for drawing and writing (like crayons, markers, and pencils), and being able to scribble in a semi-linear pattern are helpful skills to have.
For numbers and shapes, being able to recognize some shapes by name, recognizing some number patterns and being able to recite them with help, and being able to classify and sort objects by color or size is helpful! Even just showing an interest in numbers and shapes is important.
When it comes to the creative arts, kids have that down pat! Color recognition, being able to draw with basic resemblance to people or objects, and being able to articulate what they’re drawing is an excellent foundation to build on.
Every child is different, and some will exhibit preschool readiness in more areas than others! You know your kids best, and only you can decide if they’re ready or not. But having a few tools in their belt when they do start can make the entire process a lot easier.
(Image: iStock / SeventyFour)