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Help Your Child Get School Ready

by Mette Drescher Jensen

Starting school is a big step for your little one. Some children master all the elements of school life from the very first day, while others might need a little extra help or encouragement getting there. Leading up to the first big day of school, it’s comforting to know that your little one is on track to get off to the best possible start. So, how do you best help your child prepare for school?

Highlights: 

  • Good motor skills lay the foundation for learning.  
  • Help your child develop and improve both fine and gross motor skills by playing. 
  • Encourage your child to spin around, hop on one leg and hang with the head down. 

Why Motor Skills Matter 

To thrive in school, children need social skills and language skills, but also physical skills. Sensorimotor Consultant, Mette Drescher Jensen, explains why children's motor skills are so important when they start school: 

“Children's motor skills are strongly related to their ability to play and learn. If your child has good body awareness and great motor skills, the brain is probably ready to sort through all the input they will be given and cope with all the tasks that is required when starting school.
In the early motor development stages, children learn to stand and walk. They should use the time before they start school to train these skills by experimenting and playing. This is where the foundation for learning is created. When this physical foundation is in place, your child will be able to practice and build their cognitive skills in school.” 

Children who start school when their brain is ready for cognitive learning are much more likely to thrive and do well. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help your little one get off to a great start. And the best part? It doesn’t take any hard work - it involves a lot of playing, jumping, and spinning around and not a lot of pen and paper. 

What Can You Do? 

According to Mette Drescher Jensen, this is how you can help improve your child’s gross and fine motor skills before your little boy or girl’s first day of school: 

“If you want to help your child get school ready, your child should be hopping on one leg, doing somersaults, hanging with the head down, rolling down the hills, riding a bike, spinning around and getting dressed by themselves, and they should be doing it again and again.
This is because your child’s movement patterns must be trained to practice the ability of both sides of the brain to work together. The best way to get your child ready for cognitive learning is through physical activity and play. So, help your child improve the fine and gross motor skills. Learning letters and numbers should come second.” 

So, if you have a little preschooler at home, it’s play time! 


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