4 Ways Dads Can Help Prepare Their Child For Preschool
As a father, you probably have a burning desire to engage in your child's education – particularly when they are starting preschool. However, you may not know what to do to begin getting more involved. After all, dads tend to do things slightly differently to moms, but that doesn't mean you can't (or shouldn't) have a role in preparing your child for preschool. Instead, you will need to utilize this unique perspective to help enrich your child's development.
Whether your child is starting at the best learning nursery in Dubai or somewhere else, this is an exhilarating (and slightly overwhelming) time for all members of the family. Still, you are going to regret it if you don't make an effort to connect with your child during this time. To help you get started, read on for three ways by which dads can help prepare their child for preschool.
1. Set aside time to get your child excited about preschool.
One of the best ways to prepare your child for preschool is to set aside time to get them excited about this new aspect of their life. You can start to do this by reading books with them that are about going to school.
It is no secret that toddlers love books, and there is plenty of research that shows how critical reading is for their brain development. Therefore, by choosing titles that relate to this upcoming transition, you are helping to get them excited and increasing their comprehension.
Additionally, during playtime, you can suggest role-playing "school" at home. Take turns switching off who plays teacher (sometimes you will have to get in touch with your inner preschooler!) and act out what lessons will be like. You can use stuffed animals to take the role of the other classmates, and have times when you read, times when you draw, and times when you do basic lessons.
2. Teach your child something new.
In addition to getting your child excited about preschool, you also want to ensure that they are as prepared as possible. As a dad, you can take this opportunity to teach your child something new.
First and foremost, help your child learn the alphabet. You could start with a letter of the week routine where you have short daily practices. This method will also make it easier for you to plan other learning activities (such as reading books that begin with each letter and pointing out letters in the world around them).
By only focusing on one letter a week, you will also have time to learn simple songs, do simple math, and work on fun art projects. However, as your child learns about more letters, make sure to keep reviewing those that your child learned before.
Moreover, this is also an excellent time to teach your child how to use a writing utensil. Brainstorm activities that encourage them to draw, color, or write (scribble) while holding a pencil or crayon in their hands. While it may take them a little while to get the hang of it, you will be a very proud father when you know that you were the one who helped them learn the skill.
3. Get to know the preschool and the teachers.
Teaching a child takes a village, which is why it is so important that you get to know the preschool they will be attending and their teachers. Make sure you visit the preschool before your child starts schooling (preferably with your child) so that you can envision what the environment is like and can, therefore, discuss it with your child later on.
Moreover, talk with the teachers about what your child will be doing while they are there so that you can ask your child questions about their lessons related to the preschool curriculum when they start attending preschool. These teachers have a lot of experience with preschoolers, and they will be more than happy to discuss with you ideas for ways that you can stay involved with your child's education.
Ask the teachers if they are looking for parents to come in and share their talents! Participating in this way will not only help you to stay involved with your child's preschool education, but it will also make your child really proud of you!
If you are a good cook, bring in some food for the children to try. Or, if you have a unique talent, perhaps you can teach the class how to do it as well. And, remember, you don't have to be world-class; these are preschoolers! They simply want you to be involved. It can be something simple. Just be creative and brainstorm ways to participate. These experiences are priceless for you and your child.
Are you a dad who has been involved with your child's preschool education? If so, what tips do you have for other fathers who are going through this transition phase?
Let us know your thoughts and any relevant experiences in the comments below!
Ayesha Hoda is a marketing and communications specialist working at Step By Step Nursery Group in the UAE. She holds an MBA degree from a leading business school in Pakistan and has more than 13 years of experience in corporate communications and journalism. She has worked in both agency and client-side roles, designing communication strategies for multinational clients, nonprofits and small businesses in various industries, such as education and healthcare.