For most parents, there is a mixture of excitement and fear when their child goes to nursery for the first time. After spending time researching the right nursery, visiting and getting your little one prepared for the big day, it can be scary saying goodbye to your child at the door, and you might be left wondering what they’ll get up to all day.
At nursery, the focus isn’t on formal learning. Instead, it’s about preparing your child for structured education by getting them used to a routine, socializing with other children and the teacher-pupil relationship. Much of the focus is on learning to integrate with other children rather than picking up new skills, so your child will gain the vital social skills needed to make friends and behave appropriately at school.
For only children in particular, this can be a daunting time. However, most children quickly come out of their shell naturally, or the nursery staff can help prompt shy children to interact with others. This is absolutely crucial if your child is going to thrive in formal education, so it’s a good idea to encourage your child to talk to others and make friends.
Lots of children start to take an interest in activities available at nursery. Some children find that their reading and writing comes on in leaps and bounds in the structured environment of a nursery, especially with staff who are used to helping children in their early stages of academic life. If your child expresses an interest in a particular book, you could buy a copy to keep at home to read together to maintain your child’s interest in reading.
Lots of other activities will be available to spark your child’s interest. This can range from arts and crafts, such as painting and creating things with scrap materials, to singing and group music sessions. There are also chances to be active outside, so your child might find a game or a sport that they particularly enjoy.
Even playing with toys can be educational. Playing with building bricks and construction toys can aid hand-eye co-ordination, and memory games are useful for developing their brains. Puzzles can be a good way to develop logic skills, and there are lots of word games which can help progress your child’s linguistic abilities. This way, children can start to develop different parts of their brains without even realizing they’re learning. Having fun and preparing for a full school day are the main aims of nursery, and most children thrive in this environment.
Georgia Brady is a full time mum to two young boys who have recently started attending a local nursery school