Below are a list of helpful tips and strategies parents can do at home to help prepare their child for preschool or VPK:
Playdates:Create opportunities for the child to interact with other children of a similar age through play dates and playgroups.
Board games:Play board games with the child to teach turn-taking, sharing, waiting and the ability to cope when one doesn’t win.
Play styles:Provide opportunities for the child to explore different styles of play (e.g. imaginative play, constructive play, symbolic play).
Role play:Spend 20-30 minutes every day interacting and playing with the child. During these opportunities model language that would be suitable to use in certain real life situations (e.g. if playing with a toy kitchen, talk about what you do when preparing food).
Books:Read to the child every day to expose them to different language concepts.
Vocabulary:When reading books ask the child to point to/name different pictures to expand their vocabulary.
Walks:When going for a walk point to items and name them.
Daily activities:When engaging in daily activities, such as preparing a bath, setting the table, preparing dinner or getting dress model the language that the child can use/understand in these situations (e.g. preparing the bath: Turn the taps on. Put the plug in. Put the bubbles in. Take your clothes off. Get into the bath.).
Following instructions:During daily activities encourage the child to follow 2-3 step instructions (e.g. get your hat and then go and get in the car).
Weather:Talk about the weather.
Counting:Encourage the child to count.
Dinner talk:At the dinner table take it in turns to talk about what you have done during the day.
Colours & shapes:Talk about different colours and shapes.
Concepts:Talk about different concepts such as big/little; on/in/under; in front/behind/next to; long/short; short/tall.
Concept books:Read books that talk about different concepts (e.g. Where is the green sheep?).
Model:When the child uses inaccurate grammar or sentence structure, model back to them the correct way of saying it (e.g. child: “Her is happy!” parent: “Yes, sheis happy. I wonder why she is happy?”).
Feelings:Talk about feelings with the child.
Identify emotions:Verbalise when you see certain emotions in different people.
Facial Expressions:Comment on facial expressions when reading books and talk about the way the person might be feeling and why.
Explain Emotions:Talk about ways to express different emotions (e.g. you are laughing because you are happy; you are crying because you are sad).
Sing Songs that talk about emotions (e.g. “If you’re happy
and you know it” or “How do you feel today?”).
Read to the child every day.
Point to the words in the book as you read them.
Point to the pictures in the book as you read the story.
Page turning:Encourage the child to turn the pages of the book, but only once they have finished attending to details on the page.
Model to the child reading a book from front to back.
Independent selection:Encourage the child to choose the book to read at story time.
Sing songs and nursery rhymes.
Alphabet: Learn the alphabet song.
Rhyming books:Read books that have rhyming words in them (e.g. Dr Seuss books).
Games:Play games such as “I spy” to help children to think about things that start with a specific sound (e.g. “I spy with my little eye something that starts with t”).
Cutting and pasting:Use cardboard (easier to hold) to cut out geometric shapes and make pictures.
Drawing:Provide a model to copy or draw one shape at a time for the child to copy.
Colouring:Colour small shapes to encourage pencil control and improve endurance for pencil skills.
Mazes:These are a fun way to engage in pencil skills
as well as developing visual perception.
Wheelbarrow walking races for upper body strength.
Swimming is a whole body activity that will help build strength and endurance as the child is constantly working against a small amount of resistance in the water.
Animal walks: Pretending to be a variety of animals such as crabs, frogs, bears or worms. All of these will use the child’s body weight as resistance.
Throw bean bags: The added weight of a bean bag will help develop strength and endurance."
What type of therapy is recommended for school readiness difficulties?
If your child has difficulties with school readiness, it is recommended they consult an Occupational Therapist and/or a Speech Therapist to address the functional areas of concern. This is the benefit of choosing Kid Sense which provides both Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy."
Article Created by:
Admin, Kid Sense Web. “School Readiness Preparation Tasks and Activities.” Kid Sense Child Development, Kid Sense Child Development, 29 Nov. 2016, childdevelopment.com.au/resources/child-development-charts/school-readiness-preparation-tasks-activities.