How to Help Prepare Your Toddler for School

Written by: Sara Sladoje

So you have done your research, talked to fellow moms, attended the NPN School fair and still feel panicked about pre-school? Or maybe just wondering what will get your baby/toddler school ready? Surprisingly, the best enrichment activity is something you do every day - conversation! Speaking to your child, asking questions, responding to their statements, and using varied vocabulary, all provide a rich foundation for early literacy skills. In fact, early, frequent verbal interaction is the only proven "method" to positively affect literacy skills.[i]

Rich vocabulary also enhances school readiness by providing feeling words that children can rely on instead of behavior. When a child is able to label their feelings, it provides a verbal outlet for them versus a physical one. By giving words to feelings that can be upsetting for children “I feel angry you took my crayons”, it can lessen more disruptive lashing out and also give them a method to calm themselves through their own speech (much in the same way we adults might talk to ourselves to calm down). 

So, skip the baby phonics tapes and expensive gadgets promising to give your child an edge and focus on being present for all those daily conversations and opportunities to share and label feelings both good and bad that life gives us. Ironic but fitting how sometimes the basics are what provide the best foundation after all.  Here’s to a great school year.

[i] Zero to Three Journal September 2008 Volume 29 No.1

GRASP group is a collaboration of a Psychotherapist and a Child Developmental Specialist who provide consultation, therapy, support groups and education.  Sara and her partner Alison Kramme, a licensed therapist, run GRASP group which offers mother/infant and mother/toddler discussion groups as well as individual counseling/parenting support services.

Our mission at GRASP is to meet parents where they are in their quest for achieving a healthy partnership and bonding experience with their child/ren. Whether the goal is to address post-partum emotional challenges, bonding with your little one, reconnecting in your intimate relationship, finding support for a new stage of life or learning about effective ways to parent, our practitioners take the time to listen and understand the unique needs of each client and give you tools to transform your relationships.

GRASP groups begin Sept 28thGo to for more info.  NPN Members receive a special discount -- check out the NPN Parent Perks!

Check out more parent /relationship tips on Facebook.


Posted on September 07, 2011 at 11:35 AM