If your child is due to start kindergarten or child care soon, then you will want to know how to prepare for their new routine.
It’s a big step for both of you, so we’ll show you how to plan ahead to make the transition as smooth as possible.
By following our tips on how to prepare your child for childcare, you can be confident that they will make a positive start to this new phase of their life.
Practise their skills
Preschool or kindergarten is there to help your child develop skills like reading, writing and recognising numbers, shapes and colours. The transition will be easier if they make a head start at home. Here are some activities you can try with them to practise:
- Encourage them to hold a pencil and write their name.
- Give them some kids’ scissors to practise cutting out shapes.
- Read aloud to your child to help them learn letters and sounds.
- Use flashcards to play number games with your child.
Start dropping nap times
While many childcare settings have rest times, these may be shorter than the time it takes your child to nap now.
Cut down on nap times by a couple of minutes each day in the build-up to starting preschool. This means that by the time they start, they may not need a nap at all, which will help them adjust to their new routine more easily.
Set regular morning and bedtime routines
One of the most important aspects of preparing your child for childcare is to get them into a regular morning and bedtime routine.
Their day in preschool or kindergarten may start earlier than they are used to. So make sure they go to bed early enough to adapt to this.
And it’s a good idea to practise the new morning routine, too. Have a trial run of the journey to childcare so you know how long it takes and your child knows what to expect.
Get them used to following instructions
A child of preschool age will be expected to follow instructions.
You can practise this now with your child so they get used to the idea. Make it easy and fun by playing games that use instructions, such as:
- Simon Says – Increase the instructions to develop your child’s skills. For example, you can progress from, “Simon says touch your toes,” to “Simon says touch your toes then spin around.”
- Drawing games – Describe a picture to your child and get them to draw what they think it looks like by giving them instructions. You can have fun comparing the two pictures at the end!
Teach them about good hygiene
Once your child starts mixing with others, they will be exposed to lots more germs. Teaching hand washing in early childhood will help minimise infection and set good habits to last a lifetime.
Show your child how to wash their hands properly following these easy steps:
- Wet hands with water.
- Apply soap and lather well by rubbing the palms together.
- Lather the backs of hands, between the fingers and under the nails.
- Continue for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse hands under running water.
- Dry hands.
You can also show them how to use hand sanitiser in between handwashing and get them into the habit of applying it during the day.
Stock up on fever essentials
Minor infections and illnesses are unavoidable once your child starts preschool or kindergarten. A feature of many childhood illnesses is fever, so make sure you have products at home to deal with this.
Stock up on cooling patches, too. They’re an easy way to help your child feel cooler and more comfortable. Simply stick a cooling patch for fever on your child’s forehead to provide relief for up to eight hours.
Making your child’s transition a healthy one
Starting childcare is a milestone for your little one. It’s a time when they can build on skills they’ve started to learn at home and find out more about the world.
Make this step easier for both you and them by practising skills at home. Get your child into a good routine and teach them hygiene basics like handwashing to keep them healthy. You can also be prepared for any minor illnesses they may bring home with them.
Know that FeverMates stocks a whole collection of hygiene and fever management products. We’re here to help, so browse our online shop and fill your basket with all the essentials you need to make your child’s transition a healthy one.