Is My Child Ready For Preschool? (With Free Printable)

Is My Child Ready For Preschool? (With Free Printable)

Are you a parent of a 3 or 4-year-old who might be ready for preschool? Let’s see if it’s time to enroll!

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Photo Credit: Momma Bird Blog

 

A good friend recently asked about PRO’s and CON’s of sending her daughter to early preschool. Our oldest son was enrolled in early preschool at the age of 3. So here’s why we did send our oldest to preschool early, and why we didn’t send our middle child at age 3:

PRO’s: (Reasons why to try early preschool)

  • Language was developed for the age
  • Able to follow simple instructions
  • Potty trained with almost no accidents
  • Excited to go to school (ran to class)
  • Loved to be read to and color
  • Wanted an outlet for making friends
  • Admired the teacher (probable teacher crush)
  • Had a newborn baby brother that kept us busy
  • Always came home with cute crafts and stories to tell
  • Cost was only $10/day for 3 days/week

 

Con’s: (Reasons why not to enroll yet)

  • Had a hard time sitting still and focusing on activities
  • Just started potty training that summer (deadline for registration was soon after)
  • Needed more one-on-one time to work with him various development areas
  • Wasn’t begging us to go to school like he is this year

 

So the point of the Pro’s and Con’s list is to show you that some kids are ready to go to early preschool. Some, just simply need time and a little more work with mom and dad.

And on top of that I’m hearing more and more from teachers saying that waiting another year is better on the kids. Schools even have beginner Kindergarten classes to transition kids into the appropriate grade.

Now, after opting not to send our middle child to early preschool, I don’t regret it. Why? He now can follow instructions better, loves to help with chores, he brings me books to read, he is learning how to spell his name, and he is begging me to go to preschool! And not to mention, I am glad I was able to have an extra year at home with him. Our middle child is beyond brilliant, he just needed some time!

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Photo Credit: Momma Bird Blog

Here’s what you can do to prepare your child for preschool and help him/her through the year!

 

Read often:

  • Let your child pick out books at the library/store to bring home
  • Read 5-10 books/day or 20+ minutes/day
  • Read books about colors, shapes, counting, the alphabet, seasons, 12 months of the year, holidays, emotions, animals, manners, nursery rhymes, other rhyming books…

Converse:

  • Ask about feelings or daily highlights to start the conversation
  • Show your attention when your child is speaking, ask for the same back
  • Use simple directions and explanations (sometimes sneak a big/new word in)
  • Teach your child not to interupt by following these steps: #1 Have her place her hand on your waist #2 Silently place your hand on her shoulder when you acknowledge her #3 Wrap up your conversation in a timely manner to answer her

Alphabet:

  • Sing the ABC’s when when the kids are brushing teeth, going potty, or in the car
  • Have a various forms of the alphabet on hand (fridge magnets, wooden puzzle, foam mat, bath letters…)
  • Read alphabet books (We have Eric Carle’s “ABC”)

Name recognition:

  • Does he know his full proper name when called on?
  • Point out her name when you see it printed, typed, or written
  • Have him trace/spell first name

Strengthen pencil grip:

  • Practice threading large beads and cheerios
  • Make drawing a daily activity (animals, people, home…)
  • Get out the playdough and practice rolling snakes, balls, and flatening…

Counting:

  • Count with M&M’s, gummy bears, or fruit snacks
  • Count steps, pennies, bubbles…
  • Read a cute counting book like “Ten Little Ladybugs”

Colors:

  • Play “I Spy” colors
  • Also use those M&M’s for quizing on colors (it get’s their attention)
  • Quiz your kids at throughout the day- “What color is this ball?”

Shapes/Building:

  • Point out visable shapes like a square block, or circular wheels
  • Draw simple shapes and quiz her
  • Have various wooden puzzles, Mega Blocks/Lego Duplos, and building sets available

Opposittes with senses:

  • Use visuals to describe a big elephant or a tiny bug
  • Use items in your house to compare touch and appearance (soft/hard, smooth/bumpy, dark/light, hot/cold…)
  • Also compare taste, smell, sound

Simple Instructions:

  • Try a basic craft or science experiment a couple times a week
  • Make a simple recipe together in the kitchen
  • Play “Simon Says” or other directions games/songs

Self Discipline/Emotions:

  • When your child is struggling with emotion, acknowledge his/her feelings, and help them to reason logically (“You must be frustrated. I will show you how to do it this time, and you can try again later.”)
  • Watch a movie/read a book and discuss the character’s emotions, why the character feels that way, and what was done to resolve it.
  • Try an awards sticker chart for dressing self, going potty, washing hands, sharing, helping with chores, and keeping hands to themselves.
  • Make sure to be emotionally available to your kids whenever they need you, forgive mistakes, and apologize in any wrongdoings. Be a good role-model above all else.

 

 

 

 

Now, lot’s of things on this list won’t be mastered right away. But these are some ways you can help your child prepare for preschool and through the school year.

By Kindergarten, there are over 70 things you child will need to know for screening. It’s tough stuff for 5 and 6 year-old’s, but starting off at home is so important.

I’m not a teacher, but as a Mom of Kindergartener, I know they do work hard! It is not their sole responsibility to help your child succeed. It’s thier job to work with us parents to help our kids. So let’s make the early learning experience fun!

So do you think your child ready for preschool? Or do you need to give more time and work with them on the basics? 

 

Here is your free Letter “A” printable with instructions. More printables are coming soon!

A

Letter A Printable (Click Here)

 

 

Nativity Craft

Nativity Craft

Earlier this week I listed 20 ways the whole family can Keep Christ in Christmas. One activity for younger kids was to “craft your own nativity scene.” So here is one super cute and easy way to make your own.

Do you have toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls? Great! Let’s get started!

You will need about 45 minutes to prep and create!

I know, I know, if you have multiple kids that’s nuts! But, think about it this way, if you can sit down with your kiddos and keep them busy, that is like gold! Or get some one-on-one time with one of your kids that likes to draw or color, because this project is perfect for them!

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You will also need:

  • At least 6 toilet paper tubes (Mary, baby Jesus, Joseph, and 3 Wise Men, extras for animals, shepherds, an angel…)
  • Box for your barn
  • White paper and construction paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Crayons or markers

Step 1: Cut the Paper for your paper rolls

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Lay your paper roll on the paper and lightly mark with extra length for overlapping ends. (Marking woodworkers style). Use a straight edge like another pencil to connect the markings. Cut. And done! That was easy!

Step 2: Sketch people for your kiddo to color

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I stopped what I was doing at one point to watch him color. Oh my gosh! He was so cute! He was making silly faces as he focused. (And yes, that is a Halloween pumpkin shirt!)

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I couldn’t help myself from a little coloring. But basically this is the idea of the drawing.

You could also use the construction paper to make little clothes. Even scrap fabric, stickers, felt, ribbon, glitter glue…. Go nuts!

Step 3: Glue

You’ll then want to take those pretty colorful drawings and glue them onto your paper roll.

Here I am using the regular glue. Although this is messy, I can’t handle how stick glue doesn’t bond well.

Step 4: Turn your box into a barn

While letting your people dry, just glue some construction paper onto your box. Then add your star. Our star is flat on top to keep from getting torn with play.

You could even add popsicle sticks inside to make separate animal stalls. You can even think about adding natural elements from outside to make it feel more real. Twigs, straw, small rocks…

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Step 5: Let Dry & Then Play!

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One of the best parts is you can store the whole thing just like this:

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This is also great for teaching bible school!!

And parents, here is your kid’s newest toy!

Great for playing at the table with while you’re cooking lunch/dinner. Goes well with teaching the nativity story!