Things you can do now to prepare your child for school
School? Learning to read? It sounds far-fetched when your world is a rotation of nappy changes and sleep routines. Not to mention trying to squeeze some sleep in between for yourself.
Did you know that the interactions and experiences your child has today and in the years leading up to school all have a profound impact on how they will learn? These experiences help to set the stage for strong literacy skills that last for life.
The stakes might be high but it’s really simple for you to make a positive impact from the day your baby is born. There are little things you can do now — as part of your everyday routine — that will make the most of these precious early years. They cost nothing and there’s no special skills you need. Here’s a few.
- Share books together and often. Have them lying around the house, in the pram, on the change mat so they’re easy to pull out and share at different times of the day. You don’t need to read them cover to cover every time to reap benefits.
- Notice and talk about what your child notices. Talk about what interests your child and pick up on their cues. Are they pointing at something or making noises you can respond to? These opportunities helps your learn and discover new words and ways to communicate – an important skill they’ll need for life.
- Sing together. Make up silly songs as you go about your day or sing songs you know or in your local language. This activity isn’t an old-fashioned idea — benefits range from boosting language skills to providing opportunities to practice fine motor skills. Sharing nursery rhymes and songs is also a fun way to interact and exercise growing brains.
- Take time to play together. Play is a child’s work and the more you can provide opportunities for play, the more they’ll discover and learn.