As your child’s preschool experience will shape their development for years to come, it is vital that you choose the right preschool in Singapore. Preschools offer different approaches to learning and experiences, so do your research before deciding on a private kindergarten in Singapore to send your precious little one to.
Talk to other parents and teachers about their experiences, read reviews, and observe a class in action if you can. More than a comprehensive curriculum on paper, this will help you get an idea of the school’s educational philosophy and give you an understanding of how your child may fit in.
Once you have chosen the right preschool, it is time to prepare your child for their learning journey.
Involve your child in the decision-making process
First and foremost, remember to talk to them about kindergarten and explain why it is crucial. Then, involve them in decision-making by helping you choose the best kindergarten for them. Doing so gives kids a sense of ownership in the decision and makes the new environment seem less daunting.
This process is also incredibly useful in their brain development as it helps them practice forming their own opinions and decision-making.
Give them a sneak peek into the daily activities
Start introducing them to daily activities typically done in preschool at home, like messy play, dress-ups, play with boxes, outdoor play, art and craft, reading, board games and more. If your child is not used to being away from you, start by having short playdates with friends and gradually extend the time apart so they can become comfortable with being independent. Encourage drawing, singing, reading, counting and other kindergarten-related activities.
Encourage socialisation and interaction with other kids their age
One of the preschool’s essential benefits is providing opportunities for children to boost their social development. Helping your child positively associate with other children can help them make new friends quickly. Encourage them to go on playdates and meetups so they can get used to being around other kids their age.
Prepare them for the possible experiences they’ll have at school
There are many books written on preschool and the experiences that kids have during this time. Reading some of these books together won’t only practice their cognitive skills, but it can also help your child shift their perspective about preschool in a positive light that learning can be fun and enjoyable.
Give them a headstart with the lessons
Preschools in Singapore usually introduce the academic foundation to children, such as the alphabet, basic numbers, and colours. Get your child familiarised with these concepts at home to give them a head start. This can help build their confidence when it comes to preschool activities.
Build their self-esteem and independence
For many parents, preschool is the first time their kids will be separated from them for extended periods. Building self-esteem and independence at home, therefore, is essential. Help them know that they can do things on their own by allowing them to do tasks such as dressing and brushing their teeth.
Building your child’s self-esteem is a powerful holistic approach that can help them build a strong foundation in kindergarten and later in their school years.
Help them learn how to self-soothe
One of the most critical skills for a preschooler is how to self-soothe. It can be taught through activities such as deep breathing and mindfulness. Start teaching your child these methods at home so they can use them when things become overwhelming. With practice, simple mindfulness activities can give them a massive boost in their emotional development.
Introduce them to the concept of responsibility
Preschool is the first step in a child’s formal education. As such, it is vital to start teaching them the concept of responsibility early on. This can be done in small tasks that they can do at home, such as tidying up their toys, making their bed, and taking care of a pet. When they are given these responsibilities, praise them for completing them, so they know that it was worth their effort. The concept of responsibility should give them build up into soft skills that will be useful later in life.
Teach them to verbalise their wants and needs
Preschools in Singapore usually involve many activities and tasks that kids can easily find overwhelming. To help your child express their thoughts better, teach them how to verbalise their wants and needs. Encourage them to use words they are comfortable with when expressing themselves, as this will be very helpful when things eventually become too much for them.
Helping them become confident communicators can be a huge advantage later in their school years.
Introduce the concept of sharing
Sharing is a big part of preschool, and it’s important to introduce it early. Teach your child the basics of sharing by allowing them to share their toys with other kids. Praise them when they do this, so they know it is a good thing. This can help inculcate the habit of sharing.
Is your child ready for the kindergarten experience?
These are just some of the tips to help your child prepare for preschool. Once you introduce these skills and concepts, it is important to be patient with them as they adjust to their new environment.
With enough practice, your child will soon become familiar with the environments in preschools in Singapore and will be able to make friends and develop the necessary soft skills to set them up for success.
As always, it is important to remember that preschools are a great place for children to learn and grow, and with the right preparation, your child will be ready for this journey.