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Getting your child school ready - Part 2

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
Getting your child school ready - Part 2
Here's part 2 of the school readiness blog (part 3 next week!)

If you haven't read part 1 yet you can find it here:

Activities of daily living

  • Routines create security so it is really important to have a healthy routine established early on in your toddler's life.
  • Think about how you structure your day, sleep time, mealtimes, toilet times, tooth brushing, play time etc. There should be a structure to the day. School days have routines and structure and children thrive on predictability. Pre-school and school help your child transition from experiences to routines.
  • Start to work on teaching dressing and undressing at age 2-3 years. Brushing teeth at age 2-3 as well but proficient tooth brushing does not occur till 8 or 9 years old. Do a weekly tooth check – lift the lip.
  • Practice showering and washing and this should be done supervised. Make sure they wash all their body.
  • It is important to teach hand washing and check correct technique. Teach your child why it’s important and when you should wash your hands.
  • Also, ensure your child can feed themselves using cutlery. Try and sit and eat meals with them at home with the TV and other distractions turned off. This is really important. Children who eat with their parents eat a more balanced diet. Eating at the table is really important. TV watching and eating in front of the TV create poor eating habits and diets. Children snack less and know what and how much to eat when sat at the table with their parents and siblings.
  • Think about your child’s diet and what they are eating and its relation to health. Too much dairy and juice can create tooth decay and malnutrition. They should be able to drink from a cup and have regular drinks of water. Tea and coffee inhibit iron absorption especially if given at the same time as a meal.
  • Toilet training is really important. They need to be dry during the day by age 4 years. Start to look at toilet training/learning by 3 years of age.

Fine motor skills

  • The way we play now has had an impact on fine motor skills. The iPad and the computer have had an impact on fine motor skills.
  • It is important to achieve a balance with skills and encourage all areas to develop.
  • Going back to the play of yesterday can help, such as drawing with pencils, crayons and textas. Pencil grip should be acquired by 3 years old. Encourage this by using a triangular pencil or a chubby crayon. Help them draw by sitting down with them. You are their teacher. Practice drawing people, e.g. mummy or daddy (a 3-4 year old skill), break it down into stages. They should be able to draw a person with the body parts in the correct places. Also practice drawing the letters T, H, O and X.
  • Safety scissors and cutting out are important games that help the fine motor skills. Also building with blocks (not lego) and threading with beads and a lace can help. Village Toys and Kidstuff stores have heaps of great things for this area of development. Any concerns can be referred to an occupational therapist.

Gross motor skills

  • We are looking at balance, running and walking.
  • Can they stand on one leg – left and right?
  • Jump up and down like a kangaroo?
  • Throw a ball over and underarm and catch both types of throw?
  • Can they run and walk correctly?
  • Can they climb up and down stairs and can they climb play equipment?
  • Can they ride a bike?
  • The average outdoor activity time recommended is 60 minutes per day. This can be walking, play at the local park, swimming lessons, dance and ballet lessons etc.
  • Any gait or balance concerns refer to your doctor, GP or a physiotherapist.

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