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Getting Ready for School

Happy, Healthy, Ready for School
The first day of school is a big step for your child. The classroom is a brand-new world of learning that can be both exciting and challenging. As your child's first (and favorite!) teacher, you can create a "classroom" wherever you are—at home, in the car, or even at the grocery store. A little early preparation can help her build a lifelong love of learning.

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#1 Healthy Bodies
Try to plan snacks ahead of time. Cut up celery, carrots, and cheese, and keep fruit-flavored yogurt on hand.
#2 Healthy Bodies
Jumping rope, swimming, and playing catch are great ways to help your child build muscle and improve coordination.
#3 Healthy Bodies
Drawing, puzzles, and toys that call for sorting and stacking help your child develop eye-hand coordination and fine-motor skills.
#4 Healthy Bodies
Make sure your child gets plenty of rest. Children ages 3–5 usually need about 10 hours of sleep each night, and an afternoon nap.
#5 Growing Up and Getting Along
Help your child learn to follow directions. Play Simon Says, or ask him what might happen if directions are not followed exactly: "What would this soup taste like if we added a cup of salt instead of a teaspoon?"
#6 Growing Up and Getting Along
Promote empathy by asking your child to look at situations from another person's point of view: "How would you feel if Jenny took the truck away from you?"
#7 Growing Up and Getting Along
Encourage sharing. Try to help children resolve conflicts themselves: "I know you are both having trouble sharing your blocks, but can you think of a way you can use them together?"
#8 Building Blocks for Learning
Preschoolers love to ask "Why?" Encourage critical thinking by asking your child, "Why do you think this is so?" or "I'm not sure. How can we find out more about this and figure it out?"
#9 Building Blocks for Learning
Boost your child's language and math skills during a trip to the grocery store. Encourage him to name the items you put into your cart and to point out numbers on signs.
#10 Building Blocks for Learning
Help build your child's vocabulary by using different words to describe the same thing, such as, "That truck is really big. It's huge. It's enormous." Ask your child to try it, too. (For lots of word ideas, check out Sesame Street's "The Word on the Street" Podcast!)

About This Project

Happy, Healthy, Ready for School was developed to help parents enrich a child's everyday routine with learning experiences. Focusing on physical, emotional, and academic readiness, the project's resources help parents make the most of the time they spend with their children. Happy, Healthy, Ready for School highlights the idea that learning can happen anywhere from the dinner table to the grocery store, and anytime from breakfast to bedtime.

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