Preschool Readiness Guide: How To Prepare Your Toddler For Preschool

Last updated on September 5th, 2019 at 09:02 pm

With the bulk of back to school posts I am seeing on my feed these days, it makes me wonder of how I would prepare my toddler when it’s his time to enter preschool. As a first time mom, I have lots of questions about this big transition and routine change especially on my child’s part.

With this in mind, I decided to do some research and make use of the available resources. And who’s best to help me with my school questions? A Preschool Teacher! So I tapped an expert for this Preschool Readiness Guide as I want it to be an effective and thorough resource to all parents who have the same concerns as me.

Meet Teacher Nessy of The Teaching Aunt

Meet Teacher Nessy of The Teaching Aunt

A seasoned preschool teacher with more than a decade of teaching experience who specializes in early childhood education. She wants to equip parents with knowledge on how they can prepare their children so they are ready for school when they come of age and provide them more materials and educational activities that can be done at home.

And now that the teacher is in, let’s get started with our Preschool Prep Guide!

Preschool Readiness Guide: How To Prepare Your Toddler For Preschool

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How To Prepare Your Toddler For Preschool?

At what age should I enroll my child in preschool?

According to Republic Act 10157, or “The Kindergarten Education Act”, Kindergarten is made compulsary and mandatory entry stage to basic education beginning at the age of 5. So if you’re going to go by law 5 years old would be the age for your little one to enroll in school.

However, some schools offer programs for children as young as 2.5 years old. They call it Toddler or Pre-Nursery class.

Personally, I prefer that children below 5 years old learn at home with their parents. The longer the children spend their formative years with their parents, the better! 😊

What are the benefits of enrolling my child in preschool?

Aside from learning the expected academic skills such as reading, writing and counting, children enrolled in preschool benefit from large-group setting.

Benefits include the following areas:

  • Social Skills – They learn to share, take-turns, empathize, help another person, and build a relationship with others outside of his/her immediate family.
  • Communication Skills – They build on their vocabulary and improve comprehension.
  • Leadership Skills – Through play and other activities, children learn how to be part of a team and how to lead it.

What are the things that my child should learn prior to entering school?

POTTY TRAINING in capital letters.

I recommend that children be potty-trained before they go to school.They should be able to go to the toilet on their own or at least say that they need to go to the toilet to pee and poop. It would also be helpful that they know how to clean up after themselves.

I would also like to mention here that parents should take the opportunity of teaching children about their private parts. As early as preschool age, children should know about the penis and vagina. And that these parts are private.

There’s no better person to teach children about private matters than their parents.

What should I look for in a good school?

First and foremost is the curriculum. I prefer play-based and/or literacy-based curriculum.

Curriculum refers to contents and activities that students will engage in in order to learn.

So when you say play-based curriculum, learning will take place in the context of play; while literacy-based curriculum anchors itself on stories and books to teach children.These types of curriculum engage children well because they are fun and meaningful.

Quick tip: If there are a lot of prescribed books (like per subject basis), head out!

Preschool years is time for exploration, fun and movement. How can a child do all these if he/she is busy answering workbooks?

Playgrounds and libraries are also good indicators of a good school. The playground should be child-proof, safe and comfortable to play in. A playground right under the sun is not exactly the best place to run in, especially in tropical countries. As for the library, it should have good quality books appropriate for preschool age.

What activities can we do at home in order to prepare my child for preschool?

Do these three things regularly and you’re pretty much covered:

Story Read-Aloud

Fine Motor Skills Activities

Art and Craft Activities

Now let me share with you my tips on this preschool prep topic which are based from my observations, research and maternal instinct.

Also, these are my solid plans which I will implement in our household for my son’s easier transition to preschool.

Preschool Readiness Guide: How To Prepare Your Toddler For Preschool
Preschool Readiness Guide: How To Prepare Your Toddler For Preschool (
Get your toddler ready for preschool

How Can Parents Get Their Toddler Ready For Preschool?

  • Pretend Play

To help the child be familiar with a classroom environment I think it’s best to have a corner in the house with a similar set-up.

An hour of pretend play where the child sits on a table, do some acivity and have a recess can help him recognize the school setting so as to avoid being overwhelmed once he enters school.

  • Self-Help Skills

Train him to be able to tie his own shoes, wipe his face, wash his hands, pour water and eat and use the potty.

These self-help skills will help him to be more independent and less reliant on teachers and aids.

  • Visit the School to be Familiar with the Environment

This will help both parents and child once the separation for the first day of school comes. Since it won’t be the first time that the child sees the school hence his willingness to go after you will be less challenging.

  • Communication

A child needs to be able to express himself, maybe not clearly as an adult can but understandable enough.

  • Social Skills

The child has to be adapted on a communicative social environment where he can interact and communicate with others.

Play groups and family get together are good exposure and practice to acquire and enhance his socialization.

I have yet to add more as we still have a couple of years before his enrollment to preschool but we sure are starting now with our toddler activities which gives him the ability to cooperate and follow rules.

So were you able to find answers to your queries? I hope that this resource had been informative and detailed to you as it was for us. Entering school will always be an emotional time especially for us Stay At Home Moms who are with our kids all day everyday.

You Might Also Like: 7 Telltale Signs You Live With A Toddler

We may need an adjustment, too. I for sure will be teary eyed as I let go of my little boy’s hand as he enter his classroom come his first day of school.

But then like all things, we just need to prepare and always hope for the best that our little pupil will become one successful achiever.

What about you? How did you prepare for your little one’s entrance to preschool?

Share some of your tried and tested tips too so I can learn more and do them for my child as well. Happy Parenting!

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Preschool Readiness Guide: How To Prepare Your Toddler For Preschool

20 Responses

  1. I agree that kids should stay home longer and learn more from the family. We’ve been homeschooling for 9 years now and have reaped the same benefits you mentioned with our 3 children. Personally, I think that it all goes down to parenting. We are their biggest and most important influence. 🙂

  2. Sharing this to my friends with younger kids! But I also think readiness for school would come out naturally. Wag pilitin ano? I remember nun nag trial kami, he was only 2 years old then. nako iyak talaga, matinding libangan naganap bago sya naiwan kay teacher. nun before sya mag K1, sya talaga nag signal na pwede na how did I know? nag school tour kami, pinaalis niya ako sa loob ng classroom. that’s it. hehe!

  3. I believe that life skills is more important than book skills as it gives the child more independence and confidence that he can tackle life when he’s on his own.

  4. I LOVE how you talk about teaching your child self help skills. This is hugely important and a lot of parents don’t even think about it. There’s a lot of pressure to make sure your child knows all their shapes, colors, letters, etc. It’s so much more important to teach them self help so they can be independent and learn better.

  5. This is very helpful. As my toddler gets older, we often question ourselves as parents whether or not we should wait until our baby turns 3 or 4. I am very curious as to why you think children under the age of 5 should be home with their parents. I agree with you but wondered if you could elaborate more on your thoughts about it. If you could email me, that would be great. I would subscribe to the receive the reply, but I don’t want to receive all the other replies and comments that will come.

  6. Only the best for our little one… I’m happy to be able to share useful tips and information to other moms too.Thanks for reading my post😊

  7. I love these tips! I know I’ve heard it said that the earlier you get your child into Preschool the more likely they’ll be successfull all the way through college. As a preschool drop out (I came home crying and my mom didn’t make me go back) and someone who hasn’t been successful in college (it’s taking me years, and I’m still not very far along even towards my associates…) I want to set my daughter up for better. I hope to get her into preschool early on, even if it’s just a few times a week.

  8. Great post! My youngest daughter just started pre-K this week and your tips are very helpful! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Such a great guide! I am homeschooling my preschooler this year before he starts kindergarten next year, but if I weren’t, these would be tips I’d surely appreciate!

  10. I ‘m glad that you liked this collaboration post. I prefer the play-based curriculum too as I want my child to develop his social skills more for that is a great foundation of a good individual. Thanks for reading this post😊

  11. This is great! I sincerely believe play-based learning is crucial during the early years and providing children with the tools to engage with other people is more important than ensuring they know the alphabet before starting preschool. My oldest starts a preschool-like program tomorrow and we’ve mostly focused on verbal communication skills so he can understand multistep instructions, make himself and his needs known and understandable, and know how to listen to others.

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Preschool Readiness Guide: How To Prepare Your Toddler For Preschool

by MomNessly time to read: 5 min