The only thing young children and families need to do to get “ready” for starting school is to play and talk together, having fun over the summer
Let’s hope for some good weather!
Some parents or carers may be worried whether their child will be ready or not, especially if they have missed time in nursery. P1 teachers all know this and they will be ready for the children and take the time that they need to settle in.
Meanwhile there is lots you can do to help through play, games and fun
There are some posters below on how play and talk at home can build foundations for different kinds of learning – including the things you really don’t need to worry about!
Nothing is required or expected, but hopefully some of these ideas will be fun and help deal with any worries you might have.
If you click the image, that will give a pdf that can be printed – and there is a link to a clearer image to view on screen too.
If your child is due to start school this August, this post is for you!
It is a big step in a child’s life and also for a parent or carer. We naturally worry about whether they will be OK, and whether they are ready.
This year in particular it would be understandable to be more concerned if children have missed out on time in early learning and childcare.
P1 teachers will be aware of this and they will adapt as they would with any new class. This year will be a bit different, but the schools will be ready for it, and ready to take children on the next stage of their journey.
Over the next couple of days, and from time to time over the summer, we will be posting some ideas for what you can do at home through play and fun to prepare for school. There is nothing you have to do, there is no target to reach to be “ready”.
But lots you can do to help your child with learning and development, without even noticing. The main thing? Play and talk together, spend time, laugh, do silly things, get messy, go out and see the natural world, enjoy doing whatever you are doing – that is the foundation that children need most of all.
Making a mess and getting all messy can be great fun. Clearing it up, less so! Sometimes parents worry about messy play – is it really worthwhile, what about the carpet or the dog?
But there is so much learning that happens through mess and exploring different textures and effects. Foam is also great for developing mark making and understanding shapes – all of which is part of getting ready to write
Today’s idea is very clean messy play as it involve soapy foam. Make sure you use a source for the foam that is OK for your child’s skin – if they have a favourite bubble bath, that is ideal
Another game today that can be played outside at a safe distance of 2 metres with family or friends – or at home just with your child
It is an old favourite that is usually a lot of laughs, but there is a lot of learning too
Your child will be developing the key skill of “not doing” something – stopping ourselves doing or saying something is really hard and games like this help build your child’s control over their actions
Plus, dancing around and laughing at people (safely) falling over is really good for our wellbeing …
The weather forecast for the weekend is good so a play idea today that can be done safely when meeting up with family or friends and following public health guidance
But it is also fun at home too
It is all about helping your child do the same actions in different ways. This will help build coordination and self-control. It is as simple as starting off jumping quickly, and then jumping slowly … Or pretending to brush your teeth as though you are happy, and then as though you are grumpy.
Along the way, they will learn lots of words to describe actions and they may also have fun challenging you or others
Some homes have more cardboard boxes around than usual at the moment as we have to get more things delivered
This may be a nuisance, but cardboard boxes are also one of the most useful resources for play and learning. They can be anything your child wants to imagine them to be – a castle, a boat, a hat, or even just a box to put things in!
Today the idea is simply to give your child some boxes and some decorating materials and see what they do with them. If they are stuck you can help with ideas, but the best learning will come from them taking the lead and you following
Remember to chat about what they are doing – say what you see (try not to ask too many questions!) and wait for a response.