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 Starting Prep Hints

Starting Prep can be both an exciting but traumatic experience for students and parents. While some children are more than ready to throw themselves into a new environment and learn new skills and make new friends, others can be reluctant to separate from their parents and can find the new Prep environment overwhelming and challenging. The following information is designed to help make a smooth transition from organised care or home and into the Prep classroom. The skills have been broken into smaller sections so you can see which areas your child may need to focus on.

Self Help Skills

Christ the King_002 (1).jpgChildren commencing Prep should be:

  • Completely toilet trained with very few accidents
  • Able to pull up and down own clothing
  • Able to toilet independently including flushing
  • Able to attempt unpacking their own bags and belongings
  • Able to lock and unlock toilet doors
  • Able to apply own sunscreen (if applying at school)

Social Skills

Children commencing Prep should:

  • Have confidence to speak to adults – ask to go to the toilet
  • Be able to respond to and follow directions from adults
  • Be able to share toys and equipment with others

Academic Skills

Children commencing Prep should:

  • Know their basic colours – red, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, brown, black, purple
  • Know basic shapes – square, rectangle, triangle, circle
  • Be able to orally count to 10
  • Be able to recognise some numbers to 10
  • Know the days of the week
  • Be able to recognise own name
  • Be able to write or attempt to write own name
  • Be able to hold scissors correctly
  • Be able to hold a pencil
  • Have a dominant hand that they use for writing and cutting
  • Have knowledge of some letters and their sounds
  • Have basic oral knowledge of rhyming words – mat, hat, sat, bat, cat

Fine Motor Muscles

Fine motor muscles are very important to children. These muscles help to control the thumb and pointer finger. Children with good fine motor muscles will be able to write neatly, cut on the lines and colour in. If you notice that your child is lacking in these areas, you can do any of the following activities to help strengthen their muscles.

  • Playdoh
  • Lego
  • Tweezers/tongs – games like “Operation” or simply using tweezers/tongs to pick up objects
  • Using the thumb and pointer finger to pick up small objects like pasta, wool, pencils
  • Threading – making necklaces with pasta
  • Opening and closing lids on containers
  • Using pegs – taking pegs off a bucket and placing them back on the bucket using only the thumb and pointer finger
  • Colouring in
  • Painting
  • Collage
  • Gluing
  • Cutting around objects and on lines

Remember to always keep the learning fun. Anything can be turned into a game or a song! Read lots of books with your child and always count anything you can find. Take advantage of trips in the car to play “I spy” or “Spoto”. Talk about the traffic signs you see and what they mean. You could even ask your child to tell you what speed you are allowed to do when you pass a speed sign. There are endless opportunities to learn incidentally with your child. Take advantage of them all and help your child to start Prep with a basic knowledge and understanding of the world around them.