5 Tips to Get Every Child Ready for Preschool

5 Tips to Get Every Child Ready for Preschool

Francie Alexander, Scholastic Chief Academic Officer offers advice on getting every child in America pre-school ready. Scholastic parenting expert Maggie McGuire is also has some great back-to-school tips! To learn more, please visit Preschool Readiness 2014.

5 Tips to Get Every Child Ready for Preschool

1. USE YOUR WORDS. Talk, sing and use rhymes with your child. Children 0 – 5 years of age develop literacy skills through conversations. Talk about what you’re making for dinner or buying at the grocery store; talk about the people you see in your town – the firemen, policemen and the pediatrician and what they do to help people. Research shows 3 year-olds who live in language-rich environments have a vocabulary of nearly 1,110 words, but children without this experience only know 500 words? (Source: The Preschool Experiences We Deserve: A Guide for Families, FIS, 2014).

2. BOND WITH BOOKS. Use books to show that words and pictures go together and to create special bonding moments with your child. Ask your child questions about the pictures and letters. Even parents who are not confident readers can use picture books and create stories to go with the images.

3. PLAY IS LEARNING. LEARNING IS PLAY. Preschoolers learn through fun and games. Role-play activities like serving pretend meals or dress-up, as well as doing puzzles and playing with blocks and other manipulatives all contribute to school readiness. When adults talk about and participate in the activities, children learn new vocabulary and develop more sophisticated social skills that will serve them well in a preschool or school setting – sharing, taking turns, etc.

4. SHOW CHILDREN THAT MATH IS EVERYWHERE. Children ages 0 – 5 are hardwired for math – whether that’s counting their fingers and toes, learning shapes, manipulating objects like building blocks or dividing up cookies so everyone gets an equal share. Play with and talk about numbers, shapes and patterns everywhere you find them.

5. GET CRAFTY AND BUILD MOTOR SKILLS. Arts and crafts activities help develop a child’s early writing skills. Have preschoolers paint, draw, cut and glue to develop fine motor skills. Connect literacy with these activities by asking a child “What’s the story?” in his/her picture.

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