Children are adaptable and quickly make the best of most situations. Sometimes it’s not easy for them to take the initial steps into a new routine, but make the move they do. Once there, they settle in and get along like a pro. However, on the other hand, kids can fall out of a routine just as quickly, for example, on a holiday break from preschool or daycare.
As the end of a vacation approaches, you can prepare your young one for getting back into their school routine with a few simple steps. The staff at Bartram Academy, a Durbin Crossing preschool, has written this blog post to help you with holiday-related transitions.
Firstly, you need to recognize it’s a big moment for young children, some of whom have never had a vacation before and are unfamiliar with the concept. When they are reluctant to return to school, look at it as an indication they had a good break, not an act of defiance or rebellion.
You can pave the way for a smooth transition by helping your student re-familiarize with the school environment. Talk about school and the friends they will see and the fun things they will do. If you can, show them pictures of their school, friends, and teachers a couple of days before going back to their Durbin Crossing preschool. The first week back, allow extra time for the daily routine and reassure your little person each day as they settle back into school.
It’s very possible to learn through play; in fact, children are always doing this. They do it instinctively. This the basis of the Reggio Emilia model as it is a play-based approach that fosters a sense of seeking and learning at the same time. Through it, children build their knowledge base by interacting with the environment and the people within it.
It is possible to encourage mental growth and develop fine motor skills with toys that educate while encouraging imagination and mental growth. Many toys fill this need for preschoolers, and the staff at Bartram Academy have assembled a list here to help with informed decisions.
Wooden Blocks – Blocks are among the toys that help spur a vigorous and growing imagination. They are a large component of loose parts play that is fundamental to the Reggio Emilia model.
Puzzles – Puzzles incorporate learning and help with coordination, and pattern recognition.
Lacing Cards – These cards help develop hand-eye coordination, which is useful for fine motor skills and learning to print.
Chalk Boards and Chalk – Tools such as these encourage imagination and free play while also helping with the development of drawing, printing, and writing skills.
Puppets – These are great for pretend play and helping children with communication and interaction.
“You’re going to sit at that table until you eat all your broccoli” might be one approach to get a picky eater to finish their vegetables, but it’s not a good one. There are other simple and less antagonistic ways to encourage your little one to eat veggies and similar healthy foods.
Establishing healthy eating habits with your child, including getting them to eat vegetables, will set them up for wellbeing over the long term. Sustainability in childcare, much like that practiced at preschools such as Bartram Academy, for example, includes a focus on healthy eating with meals made from fresh and sustainable ingredients. Here are a few tips to help your youngsters adapt to meals of that type when they attend preschool.
At mealtime, serve the vegetables first. In that way, hungry children are more apt to eat them right away.
Use vegetables as healthy snacks. Cutting them into fun shapes also helps encourage children to eat. Who wouldn’t want to bite into a dinosaur?
Vegetables and fruits make great breakfast foods, as well. It’s not just time for cereal, toast, and pancakes.
Teaching your children where food comes from, and letting them help with preparation gives them a greater appreciation of their meals.
Take the time to share meals together. It’s a great way to encourage healthy eating habits.
As much as you love your child, you know that there will come a time when it’s best for their development to be exposed to new opportunities without you by their side. It’s natural to want to protect them and keep them close where you can stand watch at all times, but that’s neither possible nor healthy.
When the time comes to let your child stretch his or her wings a little bit while making new friends, learning, and having new experiences, you want to make sure it’s in the best possible setting. You don’t want to give in to separation anxiety, for yourself, or your child.
The way to overcome that tendency, and ensure success for your child, is by considering some of the best preschools in Jacksonville, FL, such as Bartram Academy, for example. There are other ways to prepare your child and yourself for preschool too.
Here are a few additional things to consider:
- Create routines and consistency, much as they will encounter at preschool.
- Develop self-help skills for many situations, such as buttoning a raincoat.
- Encourage your child to help with tidying up at home.
- Attend playgroups and storytimes. These are similar settings to preschools.
- Teach your child that they need to share attention sometimes. They will need to learn to wait their turn.