You can start preparing your child for school from the time they are born, yet it is common for parents to start wondering what their kid needs to know for school about one to two years before they are ready to start. While your trips to the playground may have been all about having fun a few years ago, it is interesting to start noticing just how much your kid learns during your adventures outside together. Watching how these four lessons begin to take shape at the playground lets you see just how much your kid is learning that prepares them for school.
Develop Motor Skills
Early childhood playground structures are the perfect height for your child to practice all of those skills that they can’t do inside your home. While your kid is doing things such as climbing up the ladder to a slide or trying to hold themselves still on a balance board, they are building their muscles and learning how to properly use their energy. Your kid can also develop their motor skills on the playground by manipulating gears and turning squares on learning panels.
Make New Discoveries
Modern playground structures are full of opportunities for kids to explore. When your kid looks through a telescope, they are learning how to use tools to make observations just like they will one day use a microscope at school. Your child can also learn about colors, shapes, and letters on the playground. Playing with musical playground instruments teaches your child listening skills and helps to develop their understanding of cause and effect.
Learn How to Socialize
Once your child goes to school, they will have to learn how to interact with their peers independently. For now, however, you get the chance to show them how to handle basic social situations. For instance, riding on a mommy and me swing together teaches your child how to cooperate and work together as a team. You can also help your child make introductions, apologize for accidents and share with the other children so that they will be ready to do all of these things in the classroom.
Practice Following Instructions
While playground time should be an opportunity for your child to run free, you can also work in a few life lessons that will apply at school. For instance, your child will need to be capable of lining up to go inside whenever the teacher calls. Try practicing with your child when it is time to leave by asking them to meet you at a certain spot on the playground. You can also play games at the park such as “Follow the Leader” to help your child learn how to follow their teacher’s directions. Just remember to keep these activities fun and kid-friendly. Even school teachers do things such as singing songs to young children when it is time to line up.
When you really start looking, you’ll discover that your child is learning much more than you think as they run and play with their friends on the playground. Remember that you are your child’s first and best teacher, so be sure to get involved with their play so that you can add to the lessons that they get for school readiness.