Generally speaking, two-year-olds are at a tough stage when it comes to learning. In a lot of ways, they aren’t ready for tons of structure, but they also are craving a little bit more of a challenge too. This is a great opportunity to start introducing the concept of school at home by doing preschool prep.
Preschool is definitely a personal choice for parents: when to send their child, or maybe not at all. Children are not required to attend school at this young age, and I also think it depends on the readiness of your child as well.
Do not feel like you are not a “good” parent if you are not doing preschool prep with your 2-year-old. Playing is learning. Think of preschool prep as the cherry on top.
Below I will share what I am currently doing for preschool prep with my children, but specifically my oldest. You know your child’s strength and weaknesses best, so modify it based off what’s best for your family.
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How Often To Do Preschool Prep
The frequency and duration of learning time for your toddler I think should really depend on their willingness to participate.
Learning at this age should be kept more free and low pressure. We want our children to be excited to learn and practice skills! Not for them to be forced to do it and then make it feel like a punishment.
Experiment with when is the best time of day for learning. Children usually do best in the morning, but I know that it’s also a busy time of day.
For us it works best to do preschool prep after quiet time but while my daughter is still napping. Then I give my child an option, to play with toys or to do “school”.
Some days he chooses toys, some days he chooses learning. No matter what is decided, there is no pressure given. When we do preschool prep, we continue to practice until he’s done.
There’s no set time that it is done. I am not concerned about doing how many hours a week because this is meant for introductory purposes and to have fun!
Basic Writing Skills
There is a lot of skills to master to get to even start writing. Holding the pencil in your hand correctly, the hand has to do what the brain tells it to draw, eye coordination, it’s not easy!
For some children, holding a crayon or a pencil comes more naturally than others. So fine tuning drawing can help setup for an easier transition to writing.
This was the first one I bought and have bought a few more since then. It starts off with practicing drawing lines, waves, and circles and then to letters and numbers. The pages are really fun to do and it’s erasable so you can use it again and again.
Additional Fine Motor Skills
School involves a lot of activities that requires fine motor skills. Which is hard to master, especially as a young toddler. This is why I mostly have a large emphasis on fine motor skills.
I love these scissors for little ones because they are plastic. Most safety scissors have metal blades, which makes me nervous.
They have different patterns too when cutting so that adds a lot of fun. I feel so much more comfortable supervising my kids with these and not hyperventilating.
I also use a scissors skill workbook when working on cutting. Each page has a fun activity to use, ranging from beginner to more advanced.
Large Motor Skills
My oldest child is definitely very developed in this area, but it is still good to do different activities. But again, not every child develops at the same rate or has the same skill level as others.
Looks a lot like playing right? But think of all the muscles that are needed to bounce on that ball-calves, quads, and core just to start with.
One item that is still on my list to get is a jump rope. Again this is not an earth-shattering idea here but think of all the skills your toddler gets to practice:
- Eye coordination
Even being able to shake the rope on the ground like a snake would be a fun way for children to work on large muscles AND burn energy.
What more can you ask for in life? 🙂
Group Learning Settings
Preschool classrooms are an environment of multiple children, a teacher or two, and doing routines such as snack and learning time in an orderly fashion.
But not so obvious to a very young toddler. Concepts such as waiting in line, or group activities might be new and challenging.
Exposing your child to various large group settings before attending preschool will help them practice needed social and listening skills.
Finding these activities can range from free to however much you want to invest in:
- Sunday school
- Storytime at the library
- Swimming class
- Mommy and me classes
- Music classes
Not all preschools require your child to be potty trained, depending on their age. When considering different schools to enroll in, I would encourage you to find out their protocol for that.
Potty training really is an individual experience, so you have to figure out timing and method that works best for you and your toddler.
Our children are super into Paw Patrol right now, so anything that has those characters on it are very motivating.
We have all of these items, minus the finger puppets. When starting, our child had zero interest to now going 1 AND 2 on the potty!
This book is a lot of fun to read as well and is in our regular reading time. It makes a lot of similar noises from the show, so it keeps toddlers engaged.
These are my current favorite ways to do preschool prep with my toddlers. What about you? If your children either did or currently is in preschool, do you find this accurate? What are things you wish you prepared for if anything?
Thank you so much for being here!