Five Steps to Get Ready for Prep

Getting your child ready for Prep can be daunting, especially if this is your first child or if this little one is more sensitive to change than most. We suggest five practical ways to make the transition easier.

Step 1: Increase their level of independence

Start by gradually withdrawing your assistance when it's time to go out. Dressing and completing other self-care tasks, like brushing their teeth, going to the toilet, and combing their hair independently, gives them a sense of accomplishment—especially when you praise their achievements. Packing their bag for an outing or playdate prepares them mentally and teaches them to think ahead. This level of independence will extend in Prep to activities like packing and unpacking their school lunch and library books.

Step 2: Encourage them to listen to you and speak for themselves

Gradually increase your child's listening, speaking and vocabulary skills by asking them questions, encouraging them to ask questions, and talking about your shared experiences and exciting stories from your childhood. Choose a book from your bookshelf together and read for at least 20 minutes before sleep. These activities give your child similar experiences to those they will encounter in Prep.

Step 3: Sharpen their motor skills

Incorporate lots of activities into the months before Prep—and don't expect perfection! Dance together, play Red Light/Green Light, ride a bike or trike, see who can balance on one foot the longest, catch and throw different-sized balls, string some beads, colour and cut out shapes together, and make sculptures with play dough or clay. Activities like these increase coordination, balance, and hand strength in preparation for Prep activities.

Step 4: Foster their love of learning before school!

Spend time exploring and discovering new and unexpected things in nature. Visit library story time together, make up silly stories and songs, and engage in games that spark their curiosity, thinking, and imagination. If you share your curiosity, they will love learning new things when it comes to Prep. The added bonus is that this strengthens bonds.

Step 5: Give them a chance to prepare emotionally

When children get a clear picture of what to expect and a sense of excitement and anticipation about Prep, the transition is a whole lot easier. As you prepare for this exciting milestone, remember that you are not alone—we're here to support you every step of the way.