preschoolers_making_smoresAfter you’ve chosen the right preschool for your child, you can rest easy knowing that they will be in the hands of trained caregivers and educators. Before that day comes, though, parents can do plenty to prepare kids to enjoy and grow in the preschool environment—on Day 1 and beyond.

Here are important transitional tips when preparing your child for preschool.

Visit the Preschool in Advance

Sit in the comfort of your own home to take a virtual tour of Horizon Education Centers. Settle down with a snack to discuss what you see with your child, answering questions and sharing how your child can have fun at preschool.

Before Day 1, it can make sense to schedule an in-person visit — or drive to by to see the location so your child can feel more confident before starting.

Have Casual, Positive Conversations

You don’t need to spend a huge amount of time talking about preschool in advance but, before the first day, try bringing up the changes to expect while projecting a positive attitude, including how they’ll make friends and meeting their new teachers. Tell your child that when school starts, they will officially be a big kid!

Make Reading a Daily Habit

This is one of the most important preschool tips because reading aloud to kids helps them get ready for schooling and boosts child development overall, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Here’s more helpful information about the benefits of reading and ways to read aloud to your child. Teach your child early that reading will help ready them for preschool.

Highlight Handwashing

Share with your preschooler what germs are and how they can spread — and then also have them practice effective handwashing techniques and other good hygiene habits to help keep everyone healthy.

At a high level, your child can:

  • Wet hands with clean, running water, either warm or cold — just not too hot.
  • Lather with soap and water for 20 seconds (about two rounds of singing Happy Birthday)
  • Wash the front and back of hands, in between fingers, under fingernails, and wrists.
  • Rinse well.
  • Dry hands with a clean towel.

Plan a Night Before Routine

Figure out the sleeping schedule and routine that your family will use once preschool starts and begin adjusting to that schedule a week or two in advance. Talk to your child about how important it is to have their preschool outfit laid out the night before (each evening, you can let your child choose among a couple of acceptable ones), along with anything else they will need for preschool the next day.

Plan a Morning Routine

Determine what time your child should get up each morning for preschool, making sure there is enough time for them to get ready without rushing and to have a healthy breakfast. It can help to give your child a couple of breakfast choices the night before, based on what items you have in the home and the time it would take to prepare them.

Prepare for Separation Anxiety

Have small photos to send along in case your preschooler gets homesick during the day, and make sure your child knows when and where you will be together again after school. Here are more tips for preparing your child for preschool — and here are more.

Horizon Education Center

Here’s some additional information about our preschool programs, including places where we offer free half-day preschool until slots are full, and scholarships, also until spaces are filled — and where you can sign up or ask questions online. We provide preschoolers with educational experiences that last a lifetime, including kindergarten readiness, literacy skills, verbal and social skills, numbers and letters recognition, and developmental screenings and assessments.

Our students enjoy fun activities that entertain as well as educate, including pretend play, singing songs, board games and activities to boost their gross and fine motor skills. Early childhood education plays a pivotal role in your child's development, and starting preschool should be a positive, uplifting experience. When your child starts school in the fall, we hope it will be with Horizon!