Navigating The Preschool Journey

It’s hard to believe that the time has come to start looking at preschool options for fall enrollment, right? You may have conflicting feelings about this new chapter as you are in the current throws of toddlerhood and getting ready to move into the next stage of the journey. How may your baby be old enough to be in a classroom?! Are they even prepared? Are you ready? What preschool choice is best for us? Where does one even start? These are all common concerns and questions parents have, and we are here to help. We have curated this helpful guide to help you choose the right preschool for your child and prepare for success in the coming months. 

Preparing The Parent First

Let’s start with preparing yourself as the parent first. If you are experiencing preschool jitters, it’s completely normal! It’s essential to prepare yourself for this transition and make the process smoother. When you feel more comfortable with this new stage, your child will also feel more comfortable! 

Recognize and accept that it’s natural to feel a range of emotions, including excitement, anxiety, and sadness. Allow yourself to experience and express these feelings. You can take time to learn more about the preschool environment, curriculum, and daily routines. Understanding what your child will experience can alleviate some uncertainties and help you feel more confident about the decision.

Spend time visiting the preschool and getting familiar with the teachers, staff, and the learning environment. This can help you visualize where your child will be and feel more comfortable with the setting. Some preschools allow a trial day where your child can participate in classroom activities. When you see that your kiddo can successfully make it through a school day and have a blast, it will most likely help reduce your nerves! Use this time to develop a positive relationship with your child’s teachers. Open communication with them can provide reassurance, and you can discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

If you are concerned about separation anxiety, consider developing a consistent and positive goodbye routine. Whether it’s a hug, a special saying, or a quick ritual, having a routine can make farewells easier for both you and your child. Instead of sticking around in the parking lot or feeling weepy after drop-off, plan activities or tasks for yourself during the time your child is at preschool. Keeping yourself occupied can help ease the separation and give you something to focus on.

Trust that the preschool staff is experienced in helping children transition and they have your child’s well-being in mind. Communication with the teachers can provide updates on your child’s progress. It can be hard to let go as our kids age, but welcoming this stage of life and transitioning with your child is a great way to strengthen your bond and feel better together. 

Remember that adjusting to this change is a process, and taking it one step at a time is okay. It’s a significant milestone for both you and your child, and with time, you’ll likely find that the experience enriches your child’s development and independence. 

Transitioning to preschool can be an emotional experience for parents. It’s crucial to approach it with a positive mindset, recognizing that this step is a valuable part of your child’s development. Gradual introductions, open communication with teachers, and creating a supportive routine can greatly contribute to a smooth transition for both parent and child.

What Should My Child Know Before Starting Preschool

You may find yourself on the floor with your child, playing with blocks when the thought strikes. “What should my child know before starting preschool?” Before you succumb to the twisty feeling in your stomach, wondering if you have readied them or taught them enough in their short life, slow down. Before starting preschool, it’s beneficial for children to have acquired certain skills and be familiar with certain concepts. We have gathered up some things your child might benefit from knowing before starting preschool, and if they aren’t confident in these areas yet, you still have time to prepare. 

Basic Self-Help Skills

  • Using the toilet independently.
  • Washing hands and basic hygiene.
  • Putting on and taking off simple clothing items.

Social Skills

  • Sharing and taking turns.
  • Following simple instructions.
  • Engaging in cooperative play.
  • Expressing needs and wants verbally.

Basic Language Skills

  • Recognizing and saying their own name.
  • Basic vocabulary and communication skills.
  • Listening and responding to simple stories or instructions.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Holding and using crayons, markers, and pencils.
  • Using scissors to cut simple shapes (with supervision).
  • Building with blocks.

Gross Motor Skills

  • Running, jumping, and climbing.
  • Balance and coordination.
  • Participating in group activities and games.

Basic Academic Concepts

  • Recognizing and identifying colors.
  • Counting to at least 10
  • Recognizing basic shapes.
  • Familiarity with the alphabet (letters and some letter sounds).


  • Opening lunch containers and eating independently.
  • Putting belongings in a designated area.

Emotional Awareness

  • Recognizing and expressing emotions.
  • Coping with separation from parents.

Listening Skills

  • Listening to short stories or instructions.
  • Repeating the story line or being able to give the basis of the story after reading. 

Remember that every child develops at their own pace, so there’s no need to worry if your child hasn’t mastered all of these skills. Preschool is also a time for learning and development, and teachers are there to support children in their growth. Encourage a positive attitude towards learning and social interactions; your child will likely thrive in the preschool environment.

6 At Home Activities To Prepare Your Child For Preschool

  • Read books with your child to enhance their language skills. Choose a variety of books that include different themes, vocabulary, and story structures. Discuss the story, characters, and encourage your child to ask questions. Bonus points for “going to school books” that have themes of preschool prep!
  • Engage in simple art and craft activities that promote fine motor skills. This can include coloring, cutting with safety scissors, gluing, and basic drawing. These activities enhance creativity and coordination. Even if it’s just cutting paper into confetti with scissors is a great way to practice.
  • Encourage imaginative play by engaging in pretend games. This helps develop social and emotional skills. Set up a pretend kitchen, play “school,” or act out everyday scenarios to enhance their ability to engage with others. Check out your local library, children’s museum, or nature center to find some playscapes where they can stretch that imaginative muscle.
  •  Use everyday objects like toys or snacks for counting and sorting activities. Count together and group items based on characteristics (color, shape, size). This helps introduce basic math concepts in a fun and hands-on way.
  • Spend time outdoors engaging in physical activities. This can include running, jumping, playing with balls, or riding a tricycle. Outdoor play helps develop gross motor skills and is important for overall physical development. Now is a good time to think about trying out a soccer or baseball league.
  • Help your child recognize and spell their name. Use activities like creating name tags, writing their name on drawings, or using magnetic letters. This familiarity with their name will be beneficial when they start recognizing other letters.

Remember to keep activities age-appropriate, fun, and supportive. The goal is to create a positive and enjoyable learning environment at home that complements the preschool experience. Following your child’s interests and pace is important while introducing new concepts.

On To The Next Stage

Now is the time to embrace the excitement of new friendships, the joy of learning, and the growth that awaits your little one. Remember that preschool is a nurturing environment designed to support your child’s development. The initial separation might feel challenging, but it’s an opportunity for both you and your child to build resilience and independence. Trust the caring hands of the preschool staff, who are experienced in guiding little ones through these transitions. Celebrate the milestones, both big and small, and relish in the knowledge that you are providing your child with a foundation for a lifetime of curiosity and learning. Your love and support will continue to be a constant, even as your child takes these brave steps toward new adventures. You’ve got this!