This fall, many children will enroll in preschool. If your child will be one of the kids starting a pre-kindergarten program for the first time in September, spend this summer preparing them for it. Here are three things you can do this July and August that will help them make the transition to preschool in the fall.
Switch to Cloth Diapers
Most preschools only accept children who are potty trained, so getting your child out of diapers should be your primary focus if you hope to enroll them in a preschool. (Daycares, in contrast, accept children who wear diapers.)
There are many potty-training strategies, such as bribing children with candy, elimination communication and reading on the toilet. Parents use these with varying degrees of success. One tactic that can be used in conjunction with any strategy and works, however, is switching to cloth diapers.
As Thirsties explains, children in cloth diapers are potty trained at younger ages than those who wear disposable diapers. Not only do cloth diapers give parents an added incentive to potty train their children, as they don't want to have to clean the diapers, but they also help the kids sense when they've gone. Cloth diapers don't have the water-absorbing chemicals that modern disposables do, so they feel wet after a child urinates. This helps the children identify when they went and learn what cues come shortly before they need to use the bathroom.
If you only have a month or two before your child needs to be potty trained for preschool, cloth diapers may help accelerate the process. Ask friends and family members who use cloth diapers if you can borrow some for a month, and you might not even have to pay for them.
Use a Medicine Cup
Many pre-kindergarten programs give kids a snack during the day, which includes a drink that's often served in a small, paper cup. Even if your child brings a lunch to preschool with their own beverage, they'll likely receive a drink that's not in a sippy cup sometime while at preschool.
To prepare your kid for using a non-sippy cup, start giving them a medicine cup of water or milk to use during meals. A medicine cup that holds 2 ounces is the perfect size for little hands that are learning how to drink from something without a lid or straw. It's also about the same size as the paper cups that many preschools use. Unlike those paper cups, though, a medicine cup can be washed and reused.
A shot glass is also about the same size and shape as the small, paper cups that pre-kindergarten programs give kids at snack time. Shot glasses, however, are made of glass. Therefore, they shouldn't be used until your child has learned not to bite the cup.
Transition to a Quiet Time
During much of the school day, your child will be expected to focus quietly on something. They might have to draw by themselves or listen to a book without causing a disruption.
To prepare them for these activities, spend this summer teaching your children how to sit still and building their attention spans. As they grow out of naps, begin instilling a quiet time. Let them sit by themselves and play with stuffed animals or color during the times of the day when they used to sleep. After several weeks of doing this, they'll be ready to focus in school.
Going to preschool for the first time is a major transition in your child's life. If you'll be enrolling them in September, prepare them for the changes during the summer months by potty training with cloth diapers, using a medicine cup during their meals and instituting a quiet time during the day. By the end of the summer, they'll be ready for their pre-kindergarten program. You can click here to find a pre-kindergarten school in Denver, Colorado.