Exciting times are ahead as you get ready for your little one starting kindy! And chances are you are a mix bag of emotions, whether this is your first time or not. The transition to school is be a big one for everyone in the family.
The expectations of school are very different from preschool and daycare. Your child will need to be relatively independent in most self-care tasks. The teacher ratio goes from 1 teacher to 8 kids, up to 1 teacher for 20 to 30 kids!
But oh my goodness all you’ve thought about is getting to kindy orientation, a new pencil case and uniform?! Don’t worry, you’re not alone. So below we’ve set out key things your child should be beginning to master by the time they start school. Plus some tips for helping them get ready for the big jump to school.
New HAND Experiences
Your child may have begun some handwriting in preschool but in kindy they will be using their hands all day! They will be writing, painting, drawing and eating.
Looking After Themselves
Your child will need to be able go to the toilet independently. This involves wiping, washing and dressing themselves. They need to practice taking their school socks and shoes on and off. Most importantly, they will need to be able to open all their food containers. That means Tupperware, chip packets, poppers and drink bottles – everything!
Playing with Friends
It may seem like a trivial point but your child’s friendships will form one of the most important and difficult aspects of school and life in general. If your child is not around other children often, take them to the playground or playgroup. Play games with them at home and don’t let them win!
It’s important that your child learns that sometimes they will lose. Talk them through their emotions. For example – oh I can see that you’re angry that you lost, losing happens sometimes because we can’t always win but next time you might win. And it’s not fair to cheat just so you can win because in your heart you know that it isn’t right.
Other School Readiness Activities
Here are a few simple activities to get your child to do over the summer holidays:
- Practice pre-writing shape patterns (download or get books from Big W/ Target).
- Complete dot to dots and mazes
- Draw people and houses
- Copy their name
- Make letters and shapes out of play dough – learning colours and using tools to cut and mould as they play. Plus you can leave the play dough out to dry a little to help develop hand strength.
- Paint and draw on an easel to build upper body strength and coordination
- Play dress ups to get them used to dressing themselves
- Cut out pictures with scissors
Plus, have your child set up a picnic for the family and make sure they can open the food containers. And organise some play dates – even better if they are with other families starting at the same school. If your child has difficulty playing with others, invite one child over and sit with them to play and model how to negotiate in play.
Kool Kids And Teens Therapy Service (KATTS) are Occupational Therapist who conduct clinic, home and school therapy for children with delays in gross and fine motor, disabilities or delays in their development.
Their services include individual therapy in handwriting programs, sensory integration, DIR Floortime therapy, peer group programs such as Sense Rugby & Secret Agent Society. They are an NDIS registered provider.