Starting school is a huge transition for even the most confident of children. There are so many things that they will have to start doing for themselves and it can only help them if we provide them with the tools and skills they need to cope and flourish in the school environment.
A year is a long time in a young child’s life. Some of these children will have been 5 for nearly a year while others will have just turned 4 when they step in to that reception room. The range of developmental abilities changes dramatically in that year so it is to be expected that children will not all be at the same developmental stage when they start. Add any Special needs or disabilities to this and you can see that School might be a daunting place for some of our children.
I hope to give you and your children some fun and helpful ideas to support your child in preparing to start school in my blog series “STARTING SCHOOL MADE EASY”
Part 1 is going to focus on how we can support your child’s Physical Development.
- Practice dressing and undressing by offering dressing up outfits and role play.
- Practice putting their new school uniform on and off! This will be helpful for independent dressing after PE sessions.
- Make a dressing board with poppers, buttons, buckles and zips for your child to play with.
- Can they manage toileting by themselves? Make this fun with a reward system for every time they do this independently to encourage this important skill.
- Enjoy some packed lunch meals at the park or in the garden. This will give your child the chance to practice opening and closing their own lunch box and managing the food packaging inside.
- Set up mini obstacle courses for your child to practice their BIG movements and to move with awareness of the space around them.
- Make a game of putting on and taking off their shoes. Maybe gets several pairs of shoes (school shoes, plimsoll, trainers) and set up a pretend shoe shop! Managing their own shoes will be a huge help to them.
- Encourage your little ones to carry a small ruck sack with a water bottle and snack in when you go to the shops or out for a walk. This Independence and make it easier for them when they have to do it every day to and from school. This also fosters a sense of responsibility for their own items.