There will be lots of excited little people getting ready to start school in September, but what can you as a parent do to help ensure that the transition is as smooth as it can be?
It is important to have a rest and enjoy the summer holidays but we can help our children continue to learn with fun activities and help get them ready for going back to or starting school. Remember it is easier to learn when you are having fun!
Things to master before going to school: hold a pencil, use scissors and be able to cut, jump/hop & skip, recognise own name, partly write own name, get dressed by themselves, put their own shoes on, recognise a certain amount of numbers, sit still for a minimum of 15 minutes. I have put together some activities below which will help develop these skills that you can enjoy with your little ones over the summer holidays:
- The Name Game: have fun and write 20 names on cards, one with your child’s name on. Make them find their own name card and try to read the other names out. Support your child with writing their own name.
- Concentration: take some time doing crafts or playing a board game, for a minimum of 15 minutes every day, encouraging them to sit still.
- Reading with young children: choose a book with pictures and ask your child to ‘tell you a story about the pictures’. Or find a book with not too much writing and you can read it together. Make sure you read for your child every day. When you are out walking encourage your child to notice signs and read them out loud or ask what they think the sign means and then you can read it out, a great way to learn new words such as street, road, avenue etc. They will quickly recognise the words – and they LOVE to be able to ‘read’ it out loud even though they merely ‘recognise’ it. Sticker books are another great way to introduce books in a fun way. For older kids: allow them to choose some summer reading, magazines or newspapers etc., this is a great way to explore new topics.
- Numbers: familiarise your child with numbers by spotting numbers everywhere and saying them out loud on houses, speed limit signs etc. Support your child in writing out the number of their own and sibling’s ages.
- Fine motor skills: do a little bit of craft every day where you support your child to use their fine motor skills. Help them to cut, draw small objects, do dot to dot drawings, glue small objects and make beads. Cutting fruit and vegetables is also a great way to develop their fine motor skills!
- Get dressed: try to encourage your child to get dressed by themselves over the summer. Have fun timing how long it takes to get into PJs, put on their shoes, jacket, even their PE kits.
- Routine: around 10 days before school starts begin a bed time routine eg: bath time, getting into PJs, bedtime story and sleep.
It is important to encourage your child to feel excited about school, so start to talk positively about the experience and slowly get your child ready. Nearer to when school starts you can go shopping to choose their shoes, bag, pens, pencils, pencil case etc. Enjoy and have fun!