Transition series 3: Getting School Ready – A Parent’s Advice

This blog has been written by Poppy Stokes, an EYR Brand ambassador and mum of two. In this blog she shares her super simple tips and tricks to help get your little ones “school ready” as she herself goes through this transition with her second child. To learn more about Poppy then head to her Instagram page: mini_messy_kids for inspiration and activity ideas.

Big changes will happen with the run up to your child’s first year at school. Independence will become routine, friends will be a big part of their day-to-day experiences and valuable life skills are learned without realising.

Social and emotional development will thrive in their new environment. Peers will become close friends; playing alongside children will venture into playing ‘with’ other children to build trusting relationships.
Going longer periods away from their parents will eventually feel normal as each day passes. With a larger space to explore, your child’s curiosity and desire to learn will come on leaps and bounds, with new surroundings, new adults, new friends and a wide range of toys and props to encourage your child’s development.

Buttons, buttons and more buttons…

child getting dressed for school

The simple but tricky task of those pesky, little buttons. As much as we want it to be quick paced in the morning, allowing your child to do their own buttons will encourage independence and get them school ready. For P.E days, your little one will be getting themselves changed at school. If they already have the framework to do it themselves, they are already on the way for school life to be much easier.

If the shoe was on the other foot…

child putting shoes on

Why do children always put the wrong shoe on the wrong foot?

It’s a tricky one but here is an easy trick to get your child thinking about what shoe goes on what foot.
Get a sticker (preferably symmetrical), cut it in half down the middle and stick them inside each shoe.
Your child will have to match up the picture inside the shoe to get the correct one on. It’s like a beginner’s jigsaw so should be simple but effective for your child.

Say my name

child writing name in foam

Fine motor skills do not have to include sitting down writing with a pen. There are many ways your child can explore the world of mark making, without actually writing.
Creativity in learning through play can encourage a child to develop more than the typical ‘table, chair, pen’ routine.
A budget friendly and easy set up is key and using a household item such as a cooking tray can benefit your little one to mark make.
Sand, water, mud, salt, playdough are all simple things that will encourage your child to write without knowing.

Read all about it

child reading book

Words are everywhere. In books, in images outdoors, on devices, newspapers and all around us. Instilling a love of books to your child will help them love to learn.
A simple act of daily bedtime reading also supports your child with routine as well as learning whilst you read a fun filled book. It will also help them care for their belongings and appreciate the time spent with their caregivers. Sufficient one to one time helps with social skills as well as emotional.

I CAN do it!

children practising positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are a thing of the present and more people everyday are noticing the benefits of being kind to themselves.
Before your little one challenges themselves, get them to say something positive about themselves like ‘I am brave’ ‘I am confident’ ‘I am strong’ etc. A simple activity like scissor cutting with positive affirmations will change the usual negative thoughts like ‘this looks too hard’ to something much more positive.

I get by with a little help from my friends…

two children painting outdoors

Making time for friends during the holidays will help your child stay sociable for when they start school. Make arrangements with some local Mums and groups to keep the momentum going with exploring and making friends, even better if it’s children from their school who will be in their classroom.
As the 6 weeks holiday is such a long time to be out of a learning environment, inviting friends over or planning a trip to the park will help knock back some nervous feelings and keep your child confident to speak with peers around them.

Exploring the world

young child climbing trees

Creating simple moments for your little one’s quest to learn will help encourage them to be more focused with learning and exploring when they start school. Bug hunting, tree climbing, swimming, nature painting are some simple ideas to help with your child’s ability to learn.
You don’t have to spend money for your child to learn and explore, try small with the world around you and I am confident, it will help both child and adult with their school journey in September.

An Interview with a 4 year old…

Do you want to find out what’s going through your little one’s mind about school? Ask some simple questions to see how they feel about the upcoming life event in September. With this, you can see what emotions they are dealing with and if there is anything you can do to help…

child smiling with a happy emotions stone

Mum- “What are you starting soon?”
Child- “School, with my friends”
Mum- “How many friends are you going to make?”
Child- “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10…..10!”
Mum- “That’s a lot of friends, what things will you learn with them?”
Child- “We’ll play outside and with the cars and superheroes, [friend’s name] will be Hulk and we will go on the treehouse and get the bad guys.”
Mum- “How do you feel about starting school in your new classroom?”
Child- “Happy”

PSED resources to support early development

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