You spend ten minutes with your three-year-old to get his shoes on, but his morning preschool teacher manages to get ten kids dressed for outside time in less than five.
What’s the secret? Part of it, of course, is the advantage of not being a parent—children are more inclined to behave for everybody else.
Morning preschool teachers have all sorts of methods to help children learn, keep the classroom efficient, and make their job easier. But this isn’t surprising. Preschool teachers have many years of experience handling this age group.
Fortunately, they’re happy to share the secrets of their success with eager parents. Keep reading to learn how you can handle your child as easily as a preschool teacher.
Preschoolers Can’t Dawdle
Why does it seem so hard to get your child out the door each morning, but you see him promptly turns on his heels when the teacher says it’s time to head back in from the playground?
The reason is simple enough, says Barbara Roth; director and teacher for more than 20 years at the Hanover Nursery School, in New Hampshire:
“When we say something, they know we mean it.” Roth says she routinely sees parents tell their child it’s time to leave the playground but then stop and chat with another parent themselves, or indulge countless delays and requests for “just one more slide.” “You’ve got to follow through,” she says. “Otherwise, it becomes clear that your child doesn’t really have to do what you say when you say it.”
In practical terms, this means giving a few gentle yet firm warnings about five minutes before it’s time to go, then announcing that its time to go in definite tones. You may have to physically pick them up the first few times, but your kid will soon learn that you’re serious.
Kids Can Handle Scissors and Pens Earlier than You Think.
Wanting to help their kids develop writing and fine motor skills; many parents usually hand him or her a pencil, kid-safe scissors, and paper. But a little practice beforehand could prevent frustration later. Most preschool teachers have their students learn basic skills and movements with activities like; picking up nuts or small blocks with kitchen tongs, stringing beads, rolling out play dough, and cutting it with scissors.
Once your kid becomes good at those activities, let him cut real paper—but in a way that guarantees his success.
“For a preschooler, trying to cut out a picture is often too much—the scissors get caught up in the paper and he can’t go anywhere,” says Ann Curtis, director of the Infant and Preschool Center at Western Illinois University. “Thin little strips of paper can work better: One snip and he feels a great sense of accomplishment.”
Set kids up with bunches of thin paper strips and a container to put them in. then. Yarn is also good for scissor practice.
With writing; if your child demonstrates an interest in using pencils and wants to do more than scribble, but is frustrated at his inability to make letters, he’ll probably love of fooling around with stencils and tracing. Both let him practice holding a pencil and using it like properly.
Stable Routines and Structure are Best for Easy Naps.
It’s amazing that your child can nap in morning daycare with a crowd of other children in the room when you can’t get them to nap in their own bed, but preschools have an advantage over home. When your child is with a group of other kids doing the same thing it’s easier to go along with the rest.
A good idea is to give the child time to relax before nap-time, at least a half hour, being careful not to suggest any activity that is so engaging that they won’t want to interrupt it to nap. Then, establish a routine: the same time, the same activity, the same spot, and the same expectation: sleep or remain quiet.
How You Say It Versus What You Say.
If you’re having trouble getting your kid’s attention, don’t raise your voice, instead you can try singing. Kids don’t care how you sound, if they’re not listening and you start singing; you’ll have their attention.
Don’t rely on song alone, morning daycare teachers alternate verbal methods.
Try whispering or using different voices. Even silently mouthing the words to can get children to focus on you. Teachers also use visual cues, like putting a hand up in the air or touching finger to nose and asking the students to do the same.
Once you’ve got the child’s attention, make your instructions short, and direct.
Kids Wants to Get Dressed Themselves
The majority of children want to feel independent, self-confident, and the first act that gives them that feeling is being able to dress themselves. Unfortunately, their clothes tend to disagree.
Make it easier; consider where your child is developmentally when buying clothes.
A 3-year-old won’t do as well in a pair of jeans with a zipper and a button as he could putting on elastic-waist pants.
Next, come up with specific ways to help him succeed.
You can try arranging an outfit the night before in the shape of a person next to his bed, also practice the skills he needs by putting on dress-ups and costumes when you aren’t in a rush. If you label clothes so that your child is able to tell the front from the back, it will help speed the process further.
Try marking one shoe with a star, dot or sticker and showing your kid that that shoe always goes on the right foot. A fun right/left shoe teaching method is to ask your child if his shoes are mad at each other; if the shoes are on the correct feet, the toes will be touching. Conversely, if they’re angry at each other (on the wrong feet), the toes will be turned away from each foot.
Eliminating the Trauma of Taking Turns
Adults know we have to wait sometimes, and you’re O.K. with it; as long as no one cuts in front of you.
Kids all expect that level of fairness. The majority will share and take turns when the system is fair. When children are arguing over one object, talk about how arguing won’t resolve the problem but instead make them cry and feel bad.
Try telling the one who is most upset, “let’s hear both sides one at a time.” Both children will usually calm down because they know that you’ll listen to both sides.
Play can be all the Education Your Child Needs.
Even if you decide to try teaching academics at home, try focusing on fun instead of rote learning. It’s easy to use letters in a multitude of projects and games.
Consider Building Blocks Play Group
If you need an engaging, fun, and educational morning daycare in New Paltz, please consider Building Blocks Play Group. We’re conveniently located near Main Street in New Paltz, and open for most holidays and all school snow days.