Back to School Prep for Preschool and Kindergarten

Can you believe it’s already July? We feel like the little ones just left for summer yesterday! While some of your kiddos have been with us at Mary Margaret’s Day Care this summer, other’s have been home, and a few are coming back next year, all kids will have some trouble getting back into school mode come this August. And maybe you even have a first-time Kindergartner to send on their way. Pro tip: don’t hold back the tears, they will come no matter how hard you try. 🙂

Getting back into the swing of the school routine is especially hard on parents, but your kids need a little prep too. So we have a back to school prep list of a few things you can practice with your children this summer to help their minds and schedules prep for the new year.

Back to School Prep

What to Teach Preschoolers:

  • Empathy:

Over the summer keep talking to your child about feelings and empathy. Understanding other’s feelings is an important part of forming and sustaining friendships at school and in life. Kids who are aware of others emotions can play more fluidly and have less conflict with others. Talk to your children about their feelings and help them identify them. Summer is a great time to do this because they are having more play dates, interacting with family, and going to camp, the park or other public places.

  • How to Follow Directions

Even preschoolers can learn to follow directions, and it’s so important they can to do well in the class setting. Your child should be able to follow two-step directions such as sit at the table and listen or put on shoes and follow outside. In preschool, they will be asked to complete many tasks on their own so it’s important they can listen and follow directions from the teachers. Learning to follow directions also goes along with learning to share and take turns.

  • Fine/Gross Motor Skills:

Summer is the perfect time to enhance your child’s motor skills. To improve their fine motor skills give your kids crayons and paper often and let them draw, write, or even just scribble. For gross motor skills give them plenty of unstructured outdoor play so they can run, jump, and climb. When kids can run and play on their own, they get to know their bodies,  practice balance, and gain strength.

What to Prep Kindergarteners For: 

  • Math:

Kindergarteners should have a basic understanding of counting and numbers. Over the summer spend time counting with your child. When you walk upstairs, count with them. Snack time is a great time to learn numbers; count out crackers with them, have them add a few and take away a few and have them count again.Real life counting and number use is the best way to learn math.

  • Reading: 

Reading is a big topic in kindergarten and can be easy or more challenging for a child; every child is different at the age. The best way to help your child learn to read or become a better reader is to encourage a love for books. Visit the library over the summer and read a little every day. Have fun and read rhyming books, sing-along books, and stories with interesting characters.

  • Independence:

In Kindergarten your child will need and have a lot more independence than preschool. Give them a few small independent responsibilities over the summer such as cleaning their room, completing chores, or taking care of the family pet. Even if your child is young, you can instill skills that will build confidence and independence for school.

Back to School Tips For Parents:

  • We love this “Get ready for school!” checklist that can help the whole family get out the door in the morning.
  • Make mealtimes a routine before the school year starts. Young children need time to adapt to new things. Plan meals and snacks at the same time everyday so when school comes, the routine is familiar to them.
  • Talk to all the teachers.As preschool teachers, we love meeting the families of our students! This is the same for all teachers, no matter the age. When you talk to your child’s teachers, ask about homework, their teaching style, and any significant dates or events for the year.
  • Have a calendar. If you have multiple kids in different schools, it’s important o have a master calendar. This is a centralized place for all family events. You’ll need a family event calendar to track after-school activities, school programs, volunteer work, and teacher conferences.  Add specialized calendars and schedules, and you have it: a one-stop shop for family time management.Post the family event calendar in a public place so everyone in the household can see.
  • Have a practice run before the first day of school. Have your kids pretend it’s the first day of school and see how much time the morning rally takes.

Whatever stage your family is at, it’s always good to use some of these back to school prep tips. For those that are joining us for the first time or coming back to Mary Margaret’s for the  year, we can’t wait!

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