Tips For Teaching Independence Prior To Starting Preschool

Do you have a child who is going to start preschool soon? If so, it is a good idea to teach your child ways to be more independent. Preschool is going to be a very different environment from what they are used to at home, and it will help to prepare them in the following ways.

Teach Them To Clean Up Their Toys

Your home may look a bit like the wild west with your child leaving their toys wherever they please. However, preschool will be different with things needing to be organized and put back into a spot where they belong. You should start teaching this behavior when your child is young by having them put toys back in their specific place. Even if it is something as simple as putting all the play kitchen toys together in the play kitchen, it will help them recognize that things have a place where they should go when they are done being played with.

Teach Them How To Put On Their Own Clothes For Outdoor Play

You may be used to putting on your child's jacket and shoes when it is time to go outside. However, these are skills that they need to know when they start preschool since they will be doing a lot of the transitioning to outdoor play on their own. Your child is likely too young to tie their own shoes in preschool, but you can get them shoes with Velcro that they can easily put on by themselves. 

Another good skill to have is to put on their own jacket. A fun technique to teach them is to put the jacket on the floor upside down, then they can put their arms through the holes and flip it over their head. Learning how to use a zipper on their own makes them psychologically feel more independent because it is a task they typically rely on you to do.

Teach Them Good Hygiene Practices

You likely have your kid wash up before meals or after playing outside. However, are you prompting them to do so or do they do it on their own? If they need to be prompted, now is the time to teach them the importance of doing this task without having to be asked. You want to get them in a good habit of washing their hands so that they do it on their own without the prompt, which will help reduce the spread of germs in preschool.