Although nursery may seem like all fun and play for kids and parents, it is a crucial stage in everyone’s life.
Preschool gives children a strong start and foundation for their future education. If they have great memories of nursery school, they will be happier and more excited for the next academic year. They will also be more motivated to do well in their succeeding classes due to an innate interest in and love for learning developed during their first year of school.
Because of this, it is essential that kids find their first year of school enjoyable and full of wonderful learning experiences.
Skills That Will Help Kids Shine in Preschool
Toddlers who have the right skillset tend to be more prepared and confident when they enter the best nursery school for baby development. These skills will help them adapt to a new setting smoothly, and actively participate in all the activities they will be given.
More importantly, these skills will enable them to have an easier time as they learn new concepts inside and outside the classroom.
As a parent, you can start helping your kids develop and polish these skills when they reach the age of two. Toddlers are naturally curious and are eager to learn. Because of these reasons, they will be more receptive to your instructions.
Below are the five essential skills that you can start teaching your toddlers to help them be more prepared when they enter preschool:
1. Self-help skills
Toddlers depend on their parents, older siblings, and other caregivers for just about everything. Most of the time, they are dependent on you, the parent, since you are always with them.
But once toddlers enter preschool, you won’t be with them inside the classroom or campus. Because of this, they won’t always get help anytime they need it. When they fail to get assistance, they may become frustrated and start throwing tantrums – something that you don’t want them to do in school.
Teaching toddlers to be independent will help them function and behave better when they enter nursery school. A great way to start doing this is to teach them basic self-care skills such as buttoning their shirts, wiping their nose, and washing their hands on their own.
To make young kids school-ready, teach them how to open a snack container and water bottles. Start teaching them how to undress and put on their PJs at night. Allow them to pick out their outfits for the next day as well.
2. Communication skills
Speaking and listening are things that everyone does all the time, even toddlers. However, many kids who go to preschool have a limited vocabulary or do not communicate at all. These children often encounter difficulties inside the classroom.
It is crucial to help toddlers develop good language skills because when they can communicate well, they can express their wants and needs clearly. When the person they are talking to understands them and provides the expected response or action, these young kids will feel less frustrated.
Additionally, the ability to communicate well will also help kids create positive relationships with their classmates, playmates, and friends.
Reading books to kids and playing games that sharpen their listening proficiency, such as Simon Says, will allow them to improve their abilities in communicating. Having conversations with them throughout the day will enable them to have better language skills as well.
3. Self-regulating skills
When kids are placed in a group setting, such as inside the classroom, they need to know how to behave or react in a socially acceptable manner. They can do this when they have self-regulating skills.
Self-regulation refers to the ability to acquire, maintain, and change one’s behavior, emotion, and activity level that is most suitable for the situation or task at hand.
Kids that can control their emotions, manage the way they think and behave, and focus their attention will have an easier time adjusting to the changes that they will encounter in school.
Self-regulating skills, unfortunately, can be quite hard to teach to toddlers. These skills often take a lot of time to learn. Additionally, some kids tend to be slower in developing them.
However, this doesn’t mean you should give up trying to teach toddlers self-regulation. Playing some simple, fun games will help kids develop this skill.
Examples of these games are Freeze Dance, Musical Chairs, Traffic Lights, and Jenga. These activities let children practice self-control, and teach them how to behave properly whether they are winning or losing.
4. Social skills
Once kids start going to school, their social circle becomes bigger. They will meet and interact with their teachers and other children their age (their classmates). They will also mingle with other students from other classes or grades, and the adults or staff in the school.
Since they will be interacting with these people almost every day, they have to know how to make nice with them. As such, you have to teach toddlers how to engage in reciprocal, appropriate situations with others verbally and non-verbally.
Teaching toddlers how to listen actively, take turns, and practice good manners such as saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is an excellent way of helping them develop the proper social skills.
Playing board games with your kids and letting them join playdates are also great for teaching them to share and be patient as they wait for their turn. When you let them play with other children, you will give them more opportunities to hone their social skills.
5. Motor skills
Lastly, kids will be taught and be asked to start writing their ABCs and the basic numbers in nursery school. They will have an easier time learning and mastering them if they already have good fine motor skills.
Fine motor skills refer to movements that involve the small muscle groups such as those in the hand and wrist. These are the muscles used in writing, coloring, painting, and holding scissors.
When kids know how to hold a pencil, crayon, and pair of scissors properly at home, they will have no difficulties doing the same in school. Because of this, you won’t go wrong teaching two-year-old toddlers how to write, color, and cut using scissors, and assisting them when they want to do these activities on their own.
Children in preschool will also be asked to dance, run, jump, and engage in other fun physical activities so that they can get some exercise. As such, you also need to help them develop their gross motor skills – movements that involve or are related to larger muscles such as the arms, legs, and trunk.
Toddlers typically have no difficulties developing and improving their gross motor skills since they often get various opportunities to work on them. When you let them play at a playground, explore a local park, and allow them to engage in play-based activities with other children, they enhance these skills.
Although teaching toddlers these skills is essential in giving them a good head start before they attend a British nursery school Dubai (or wherever you reside), you must never pressure and force them to learn them quickly. You have to understand that children have different learning abilities.
If you think your kids are not acquiring these proficiencies fast enough, do not rush them. Be patient and allow them to develop these skills in their own time and way.
Pin It For Later
Alan Williamson is the Chief Education Officer at Kings’ Education, a premium school brand in Dubai which leads a fantastic group of premium UK curriculum schools, including Child’s Play Nursery. As well as being passionate about teaching and learning, Alan has been actively involved in school leadership related to Special Educational Needs.