September will be here before we know it, which for some, will mean their child will be starting school for the first time.
Children’s experiences in their first five years of life are the most crucial and have the biggest impact on the brain, therefore your child should have already grasped the fundamental skills needed to thrive and develop at school.
ID-10080708For some children, the idea of ‘big school’ can be appealing, however for some children and parents it can be daunting. Brindley House Childcare Centre explain how you can help prepare your child for the transition from nursery to school. Read on to find out more:

Recognise their name
Your child is not expected to be able to read or write before they start school; however it is helpful but not essential if they are able to recognise their name enabling them to find their pegs (many schools now use photographs as well as name tags).

Hold a pencil
Get your child holding a pencil and let them experiment with mark making as it’s all part of the learning process and will lead to your child being able to write. You can get them in the mood by doing lots of colouring, then starting to show them how to write letters.

Being able to count up to 20, and count back from 10, will give your child a good head start. Try and make it fun and relevant. Put 5 slices of banana (or whatever fruit your child likes ☺) on a plate and get your child to eat them one by one, counting as you go. Make counting part of every day life – look at house numbers, count how many red cars you see, count the number of steps to the shops etc. This will make your child more confident and show them that learning is fun ☺

Practical skills
The main practical skills required are:
– being able to use the toilet confidently – children are expected to use the toilet on their own at school. It’s also good to remind them to wash their hands after every toilet trip.
– being able to get dressed and undressed independently – it’s important to practice getting dressed and undressed as it will really help when they need to get ready for PE lessons (as it usually just 2 adults for 30 little ones). Plus it should speed things up in the morning when you need to get up and out of the house ☺
– being able to feed themselves – If your child is having a packed lunch, make sure they can open their drinks bottle / put a straw in a juice carton, open a yoghurt and unpeel a banana. Talk about how your child should eat their sandwich / savory food first before eating any cake/biscuit/yoghurt you have put in their lunch box.
If your child is having school dinners, make sure they are able to pick up and use a knife and fork and for fun get them to practice coming to the kitchen to collect their lunch on a little tray and practice carrying it over to the table.

Social skills
Some social skills required include but are not limited to:
– being able to take turns and share – encourage them to share by congratulating them for sharing toys with other children.
– being able to follow simple instructions – the school day is full of instructions such as put your coats on your peg, tidy up, sit crosses legged on the carpet for circle time etc. If a child is used to following instructions this will prepare them for school life and mean the teacher has more time for teaching than repeating instructions and encouraging co-operation.
It is important that you prepare your child for what to expect. This can be done in a child orientated way by reading stories about starting school, by talking to them about it, going to the school shop and buying the uniform and maybe driving/ walking past the school a couple of time so the child can familiarise themselves with their future surroundings. It is also important to prepare yourself as well, if you are up-beat and confident about the transition then your child will be to. Good luck!
Brindley House Childcare Centre offer flexible childcare to meet individual needs, from 3 months to 5 years and also after school care for 5 – 11 year olds in the Before & After School Club.

Image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin /