Does My Child Need Preschool?
Your child is growing before your very eyes and each day is a great opportunity for wondrous growth both physically and mentally.
From the ages of 3 to 5 children learn so much through play and thrive through encouragement and support. This is why so many parents opt to send their child to preschool to help aid with their development and learning journey.
What is preschool?
Preschool is the start of the UK’s educational system. Even though it is not mandatory, many parents choose to send their children to a preschool to support their development. There are many public and private preschools across the country; if you want a popular and desirable preschool, you might be placed on a waiting list.
Choosing the right preschool is not only beneficial for your child: it is also a practical choice on your part. While you are at work, you can allow your child to start their educational journey and get them in good stead for when they start Primary School. With this in mind, how do you choose the best preschool for your child?
An important aspect of choosing which preschool is best for you and your child is the teaching style and staff and how this will suit your child. You want to make sure your child will feel as comfortable as possible without you around.
Other aspects to consider are the cost, the availability of the preschool and the facilities. The location is also important; Is it close to your home, work or a relative, to make pick up and drop offs nice and easy!
What should you expect from a preschool?
The main focus of preschool is learning through play. Classrooms are designed to allow children a secure and stimulating learning environment. The teaching staff are there to guide and encourage your child as he or she begins to discover the world.
Although the majority of learning hours are spent with the teachers, parents have a vital role in providing the best learning experience that is possible. Hand-in-hand, parents and teachers lay the foundation for their child’s bright future.
Since each child has a unique set of necessities and competency, your preferred preschool will help develop your child’s creativity and social skills. The 3 crucial learning aspects of preschool are personal, social and emotional development. To foster your child’s development, he or she will be encouraged to play with other kids, develop good relationships, understand their feelings, develop a healthy sense of self, boost self-confidence and manage their behaviour and feelings.
Communication is an important aspect of preschool. Children of this age will spend a lot of time singing songs, sharing stories and playing various games which can develop their skills in listening and speaking. To further develop these skills, your child will be encouraged to develop their concentration, listen carefully to other people, share personal ideas and stories, join conversations and respond properly to instructions and questions.
When it comes to their physical development, children in preschool will be given lots of time to play with various toys, run around the playground, jump up and about, or move in various ways. They will be taught how to use tools like scissors or hold a pencil to draw simple lines and shapes. They will also be taught how to keep themselves healthy by taking care of their body.
Aside from learning how to speak and listen properly, children will be taught more skills to improve their literacy and start on their phonics journey. Teachers will encourage children to look and handle books on their own and begin to comprehend how stories are put together. They will be taught how to recognise their own names, as well as learning how to write it. To develop their hand-eye coordination, be encouraging independent drawing and painting.
The world of mathematics will also be explored. They will be taught how to count using their fingers, pictures or marks on paper and familiarise themselves with the different shapes.
When it comes to understanding the world around them, they will be guided on how to use simple tools like school scissors or taught how to write using a pencil, pen or crayons.
After learning how to use colouring materials, they will be given the opportunity to channel their creativity through expressive arts.
Preschool activities and learning tend to be child lead, so they will learn at their own speed when they are ready to do so.
How to get your child prepared for preschool
Now that you are aware of the different activities that your child will encounter in preschool, you might be wondering how you can prepare him or her for this new and exciting phase of their life.
You can start by spending time talking and listening with your child. Encourage them to learn new words and complete simple or short sentences through trial and error. Develop your child’s speech by having a conversation with eye contact. Ask your child about his or her favourite toy, favourite game to play, favourite food to eat and why.
You can also do household activities together. Why not do some baking together as it is a great opportunity to teach him or her how to bake and indulge in a wonderful conversation while doing such an activity that they will enjoy.
You can also read bedtime stories to your child. By hearing you speak words and allowing them to glance at the book while you are reading, your child will be able to familiarise letters, words, and name objects they frequently see. To maximise these moments, allow your child to talk about the pictures he or she wants to talk about and let them predict what will happen next in the bedtime story.
Singing nursery rhymes together is a great way to prepare your child for preschool. This will help them develop their sense of rhythm and rhyme, learn the alphabet and the first 10 numbers.
Role-playing and dressing up is a great way to develop their imagination. It is also a fun way to teach them how to get dressed.
You can also encourage them to play games to help develop their fine motor skills, which will help with their hand eye coordination and also their pencil holding skills. Games such as lacing blocks, stacking toys and maze games are great for this!
To get your child off on the best footing for preschool check out our range of fine motor skill toys.