Starting school can be daunting even when a child has been to preschool first however if reception year or kinder is their first experience of school it's a minefield of new experiences that you can help prepare them for this summer with playful ideas. To help give you ideas over the next 6 weeks we're sharing ideas as well as some other fabulous bloggers that are hands on, playful and fun for you and the kids.
This weeks focus is Social and Emotional - we know that changes of routine and new circumstances can be daunting for us as adults nd for little 4, 5 and 6 year olds these can seem huge and fun and simple way to help prepare them for school is to work on visual timetables with them. I was introduced to these by J's preschool teacher as him being the youngest in the school year he had trouble settling into the routines of the preschool and needed help to deal with transitions. We've used them ever since and they are great to help children know what is going on especially when there is a change of routine or system for them.
You and your soon to be going to school child can work together to make a visual timetable for the home and them work together again to make a visual timetable for the school day preparing them more for the structure that school will bring.
Materials needed for your Home Visual Timetable
Access to a Printer
Internet for google searches or download Twinkl Free Visual Timetable for Parents
How to create your Home Visual Timetable
Start off by sitting down with your child and talk about what you do in the day over the summer and how you're going to create a story with pictures showing the days. Work together to form a list of activities that you do daily and weekly that you could put into a visual timetable. Here's our list:
- Get out of bed
- Brush teeth
- Get dressed
- Eat breakfast
- Walk the dog
- Go shopping
- Out door play
- Bike riding
- Bath time
- Story time
- Bed time
Once you have your list together sit down with your child and use Google or your preferred image search engine or use the free Twinkl Visual Timetable for Home. Either save or copy and paste these images into your favourite software. If you are artistic you could skip this step and draw and colour them yourselves - I am not that artistic so I used the computer method.
Resize the images so that they are all of a similar size - you don't want them too big or too small but about the size of a playing card is quite good. Print them all out and then back them onto coloured card to make them stronger and better to handle - you could also laminate them or even print them onto magnetic paper if you wanted to display your visual timetable on the fridge.
At the beginning of our days in the summer we put our visual timetable together on the wall so that my kids can see what is coming next.
Getting ready for school - adapting your visual timetable
Now that you have a visual timetable in place you can adapt it to prepare for school. It's time to play school and talk about the subjects and activities that they will do at school.
If you can it would be good to look through the class materials you have been given see if it gives a typical week of activities or ask your child's teacher what they will be doing in a typical week to cover the major areas. Here are some common subjects and activities that kids will do
- Outdoor play
- Hanging up bag and coat
- Home time
- Water play
Spend time talking with your child about what the different activities and what they mean, use the internet again to search for images to represent them. Put together some "school" visual timetables that you could play act with and then once they start school keep it up putting in the known activities for each day and ask them to put what they will be doing down on their visual timetables.
Get Ready for K through Play
Week 1 - Social and Emotional
Week 2 - Independence Skills
Week 3 - Maths
Week 4 - Literacy
Week 5 - Fine Motor & Writing
Week 6 - Ready to Learn
Pop on by and check out what the other bloggers are sharing this week:
Encouraging Social and Emotional Development at Home - Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Cooperation Colour Game - The Pleasantest Thing
Playing School - Coffee Cups and Crayons
Helping kids deal with hurtful comments - Mess for Less
Preparing for School Visual Timetables - Rainy Day Mum