As you drop off your child on his first day of VPK, you will probably be feeling a mixture of pride, worry, and apprehension. You might be wondering if your child is really ready for this change. By taking small steps to prepare your child for this next milestone, you can shed these fears and help your child increase their excitement as the start of school approaches.
A New Environment
One of the toughest challenges your child will face is getting used to a new environment on her own. Familiarize your child with her new school by taking her there and playing together on the playground. Many schools, including Dairy Road Discovery Center, offer tours where your family can stop by and get used to your toddler’s new learning space. While at home, make this transition fun by acting out your child’s new routine. Incorporate school into playtime by having your child carry a backpack and lunchbox if you go on a summertime outing. Practice hanging up her coat, and start a small routine that includes preschool activities like coloring and reading, snack time, and outside playtime.
Help your child understand pre-kindergarten by reading books about preschool. Books like Pete the Kitty’s First Day of Preschool and Lola Goes to School will teach your toddler that school is fun and exciting.
Meet New Friends
Before your child starts VPK, make sure he is comfortable socializing and sharing. Connect with other parents and set up playdates so your child will know a few friends in his class. This will also be a great opportunity to reinforce the importance of choosing to be polite and share toys. If you aren’t able to connect with other students, try leaving your child with trusted family members or friends for periods of time to practice separation.
Practice Skills to Prepare Your Child for VPK
Teach your child basic skills such as cleaning up the table after craft time, organizing books and belongings in a cubby, sitting “criss-cross applesauce,” and raising her hand when she has a question. Practice zipping coats and bags and taking off shoes. Make sure you cover bathroom rules such as flushing, washing hands, and drying hands.
Enroll Your Toddler in VPK at Dairy Road Discovery Center
With all these tools, your child will be ready to take on preschool or VPK, and you will feel much more relaxed about this big change. Contact Dairy Road Discovery Center to learn more about registration for the fall.