7 Fun Activities To Help Prepare Your Child for ‘Big’ School

Charlotte Thompson, 16 Dec 2020

Preparing your child to start school is often a rather daunting and challenging task, not just for the parents, but also for the children. Each child is unique and responds to different methods of preparation. However, almost every child enjoys a fun, play-based way of learning. At Young Academics Early Learning Centre, we believe that the best way to prepare your child for 'big' school is to teach your children through play.  Bear in mind that fun activities are not always the best way to teach children. You, as the parent, will know the best way to teach your children and will see how they will respond to different activities and games.

Change is uncomfortable for anyone, no matter how old you are. However, it can be a lot scarier for a child. This is why it is vital to take the time and thoroughly and effectively prepare your child for 'big' school. Preparation won't only make their first day a lot easier, but it will improve their entire school experience.

Why use activities to prepare your child for school?

You may wonder why you cannot merely talk to your child to prepare them for 'big' school. While you should certainly do this, talking to your child is not always the most effective way of teaching them critical skills for 'big' school. Remember that your child will be in an environment where they are expected to act more independently, think critically and do more advanced work. Activities and games are the best methods for nurturing these skills. Play-based learning is not only practical; it is excellent for maintaining the attention of young children.

7 activities to prepare your child for 'big' school
  • Card Games

Card games that are suitable for children such as 'Go Fish' or 'Memory' are great at refining their fine motor skills as well as cognitive thinking. Holding cards strengthens their finger muscles, while the concept of the game teaches them to remember as well as critical thinking.

  • Legos and Building Blocks

Legos are great, not just as a torture instrument when you stand on the pieces left on the floor, but they are great for promoting those fine motor skills, similar to cards. By connecting blocks to different sizes and shapes they practice dexterity, learning to apply different amounts of pressure, which they will learn to use as they learn to write.

  • Read Stories

Reading to your child can benefit them in several ways; however, allowing your child to read to you is as beneficial. Even if your child cannot read, showing them a book with pictures and asking them to tell you a story about it will help them become creative, more confident and spark their imagination.

  • Sing Nursery Rhymes

Singing nursery rhymes with your child prepares them to make predictions when they read and understand common words that share familiar sounds as well as letters. It expands their vocabulary as they pick up words in the rhyme and overall, improves their literacy skills.

Singing nursery rhymes are fun for most children and makes the entire preparation for moving up into 'big' school fun.

  • Baking

Baking with your child helps develop independence, especially if you allow them to do easy steps by themselves ( e.g. sifting flour). Getting your child involved with things like opening containers and pouring ingredients also helps develops their fine motor skills.

Following a recipe is the perfect opportunity to teach your children about math, especially with adding ingredients, dividing portions of a cake, or giving away (subtracting) cookies.

  • Puzzles

Puzzles, help prepare a child's mind for school. For children, puzzles help to develop their problem-solving skills in addition to their grouping and matching abilities which is foundational for number skills.

  • Dress Up

Playing dress-up with your child is one of the best ways for them to express themselves and feel creative as they try to put outfits together. It also encourages their independence as they practise putting on clothes themselves.

There are many play-based learning activities that you can encourage your child to do that will be both fun and valuable for them. It's crucial to ensure that their experience starting 'big' school is positive as this will impact several areas of their lives.

For more information about our centres, contact us today at 1300 668 993.

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