Do you have a child starting in school next year? As much as we don’t want to start thinking about it yet, now is a good time to start working on some important skills that can help that transition!
So, what can you do?
- Start practicing morning routines. Although you won’t be leaving the house to go to school you can go to the park and get a much-needed coffee. Start practicing getting up, having breakfast, getting dressed and leaving the house by a certain time. You don’t have to do it 5 days a week but doing it once or twice a week will be good practice. It will help with the before school rush if your child is already used to the routine and leaving the house early in the morning.
- Familiarise them with where they will be going to school. This can be done by walking past the school, playing on the playground equipment afterhours or reading them a social story. The social story can include pictures of the school and set expectations of what they will get to do at school (play with friends and learn). It’s important to make school sound fun and exciting!
- Work on independence when eating lunch. Practice putting their lunches in a lunch box or something similar to what they will be taking to school. You can practice opening it and accessing the food together. When lunch is finished, practice packing up and throwing things into the rubbish. Also try introducing a variety of foods to morning recess. Schools like to teach healthy snack habits so expose them to a variety of different fruits.
- The sun can be brutal in the warmer months so tolerating hats is really important when they are playing with their friends outdoors. When going to the park or playing in the garden, have your child wear a hat similar to their school hat so they get used to that expectation and routine.
- Toileting may still be a skill you are working on. As your child is completing that routine, try not to give them step by step verbal instructions. Instead use gestural cues like pointing or even visuals as a way to fade out their reliance on your help.
If you feel like your child needs additional help to learn independence and school routines, Little Links can help them acquire some of those school readiness skills that will really help your child have a successful first year at school.