Kid looking at a book

No mother wants to see their child crying every morning. Neither do you want to hear reports from the teachers that your child doesn’t play well with other kids, can’t eat properly, always wants to go home, always complains, and can’t go to the bathroom on their own. But what can a parent do to avoid these situations? And is there a preschool skills checklist to help them?

Kindergarten is a time when children will make new friends and encounter new rules and regulations in a new environment. If parents want their children to thrive in this new setting, then it is necessary to equip them with the proper set of skills that they need.2 3 Otherwise, parents may find that their child will face difficulties when they are at school.

Below is a simple preschool skills checklist so you can better prepare your children for a great experience when they go to school.

Practice these skills before kindergarten

Here is a preschool skills checklist that your child needs to have for a great experience in kindergarten.1 3 Take the time to practice and run through these skills with your toddler. Incorporate these skills during play and through daily activities so your child can learn and absorb without being stressed.

1. Train your child to be independent

This part of the preschool skills checklist is to ensure your child is self-sufficient and independent. Independent children are more capable of adapting to new situations and are more well-adjusted in school.

In school, your child will receive less attention and care compared to at home. It is important that your child has a basic understanding of how to take care of himself or herself.

Use these methods to train your kid before going to kindergarten:

  • Teach your children to eat by themselves.

  • Potty train your child. A good way to start is to stop using diapers so your child can get used to going to the bathroom

  • Teach them how to communicate to others when they need to use the bathroom.

  • Teach your child how to dress themselves. Guide them on how they can properly button up clothes, zip their pants, as well as put on and remove shoes and socks by themselves.

2. Teach your child patience

This part of the preschool skills checklist is to make sure your child is capable of being patient and waiting for their turn.

At school, your kids aren’t likely to receive as quick a response to their needs as they do at home because there are other children that need attention as well. That’s why every preschool child needs to learn patience.

As a mother, you can train your child by making them wait in small increments during their daily lives. Find situations where you do not need to respond immediately when your child calls out to you -- or create your own. By delaying your response, you gradually teach your child patience.

You can also divert your child’s attention to occupy themselves while they wait. For example, if your toddler wants to use the swing but another kid is already using it, have your child engage in other activities until it's their turn on the swing.

As parents it’s sometimes difficult for us not to immediately respond to our child’s needs, but it is necessary if we want them to properly adjust to new environments like kindergarten.

3. Teach your child how to communicate their needs

We can’t expect teachers to immediately know what our children need or want. There’s simply too many children to pay attention to in school. Because of this, it's important that parents train their children to be able to express what they want or need.

Your child needs to be able to communicate what they like or dislike, as well as tell the teacher if they are experiencing any problems. Children can adjust well if they are capable of communicating what they need and want to others. This also reduces passive-aggressive behavior.

4. Practice social skills

Toddlers are still self-centered. They may violently fight for toys or other objects because they still don’t know how to share. Mothers need to show their children how to play with other children so that they won’t have difficulties socializing.

Encourage your child to share and play with other kids of the same age. You can use positive reinforcement by praising your child when they play or share with others. Keep in mind to avoid being heavy handed with your teaching methods. Don’t coerce your child when they are unwilling as this may have the opposite outcome, causing your child to resent sharing instead.

5. Teach basic skills and knowledge

By the time your child can go to preschool, mothers can already teach their children basic skills like reading, writing, painting, counting from 1 to 10, reciting the alphabet, and knowing two to three colors. These basic skills and knowledge are the foundation children need to learn in the future, so it's important that they pick them up before they enter preschool. However, there’s no need for a strict and formal lesson plan. Mothers can use play and other fun activities to encourage learning. Mixing practice with play will make it easier for the child to learn.

6. Give your child dietary supplements for brain development and stronger immunity

Along with enhancing various skills to prepare your child for preschool, good brain development and strong immunity are also important. Nutritional supplements can help to ensure that children are ready to learn from their new experiences and surroundings while being protected. In addition to receiving the proper nutrients from the five food groups, children need milk that provides the nutrients for both brain development and immunity.

These nutrients include MFGM. These fat particles found in milk contain various proteins, complex fats, DHA, and fatty acids found in the brain and retina.

Clinical research has found that:4 5

  • Children who received MFGM with DHA had higher intellectual development scores than those who received DHA alone.

  • MFGM works well with DHA and helps the chances of increasing brain cell connections.

  • Certain proteins in MFGM help to strengthen the system to prevent viral and bacterial infections. When your child is healthy and has a strong immune system, they can be more confident to interact and learn from their environment.

  • MFGM helps children control behavior, which is an essential part of emotional development.

  • Children who received MFGM had improved physical development. Skills that require muscles and coordination were better developed in these children than those who did not take supplements.

Make a checklist for your kids before they are enrolled in school

Before your child starts going to school, mothers can use this period to assess their children’s preparedness. Here is a preschool skills checklist so mothers can address any areas that their kids might be lacking.1 3

Physical readiness

  • Can wear their own clothes

  • Can brush their own teeth

  • Can wash their hands and face as well as use a towel to dry themselves

  • Can help with basic household chores when asked to do so

  • Can tell when they need to go to the bathroom

  • Can climb rails and other objects in the playground

  • Can jump on one leg

  • Can throw and catch a ball

  • Can run and jump

Emotional and mental readiness

  • Can be separated from their parents without getting distressed

  • Can interact with people other than their parents and family

  • Knows how to be patient and wait

Social readiness

  • Can play and socialize with other kids without fighting

  • Knows how to share

  • Is not prone to violent outbursts like pinching, or kicking

Cognitive readiness

  • Remembers their first and last names

  • Knows their parents' names

  • Remembers the stuff they brought

  • Can answer questions that describe simple characteristics like “What is the color of the cat?”

  • Able to identify objects in their surroundings like animals, or toys

Skills required for school

  • Can use a paper cutter

  • Can hold crayons to draw and play

  • Can stack items together

  • Is able to classify items by type

  • Can observe the similarities and differences of things

  • Is able to sit

  • Knows at least four different colors

  • Can write along the dotted lines

Following instructions

Can your child perform basic instructions such as:

  • Put the bag under the table

  • Stand in front of the TV

  • Shake your hand

  • Put the trash in the litter bin

  • Stand up when asked to do so

Preparing and equipping these various skills for your child will ensure that they have fun and grow when they go to school. This will help them look forward to school more. By checking and preparing this preschool skills checklist, half the battle has already been won.

 

REFERENCES:

1. Is My Child Ready For Kindergarten (2008). Retrieved July 20, 2020 from:
https://www.readingrockets.org/article/my-child-ready-kindergarten

2. School Readiness (2019), Retrieved July 20, 2020 from:
https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/144/2/e20191766

3. Is Your Preschooler Ready For Kindergarten (2019). Retrieved July 20, 2020 from:
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/preschool/Pages/Is-Your-Child-Ready-for-School.aspx

4. Milk fat globule membrane (INPULSE) enriched formula milk decreases febrile episodes and may improve behavioral regulation in young children (2012). Retrieved July 23. 2020 from:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22305534/

5. NeuroProof Report for Mead Johnson Nutrition ( n.d. ). Retrieved July 23, 2020.