I can’t believe it, but my little Liv isn’t so little anymore! I swear it feels like she’s 3 (almost 4!) going on 13, and now that she’s about to attend her second year of pre-school, it’s really hitting me. ‘Tis the season for school supply shopping and frantically searching for easy snacks/lunches, so I wanted to share a few of my top tips for preparing for back to school, regardless of how old your child is.
1. Set-Up Their Own Space at Home
This is an absolute must! Since Olivia is only at preschool just a few hours a day, it’s important to me that she has her own designated space at home. To set this up, I got The Play Kit from Lalo which comes with one play table and two little play chairs. It's seriously the cutest! I love this play table and chairs set because it's so minimal and chic that I don't mind moving it in to the living room or even my office since I WFH. It doesn’t have any nooks or crannies for crumbs to get stuck in so all I have to do is wipe it down after snacking. I also love how the table has rounded corners (safety first!) and the seats are bucket-style which make it super safe and comfortable for her. You can read more of my review on Lalo’s Play Kit here! I’ve noticed that Liv seems to focus more on her task at hand if I’ve set up a dedicated space for her to play, color and snack at. This has been such a game changer!
2. Encourage Independence by Involving Them
While no one expects a 3-year-old to do a task completely by themselves, age-appropriate independence is important. Even small tasks, like letting Olivia choose which dress she wants to wear for the day, picking out which shape noodles we are having for dinner or even cleaning up toys together (ya gotta teach 'em young), helps her learn. It’s important to remember to let go of perfection (and that includes the perfect, clean home 24/7), especially during these younger years. It’s all about those daily wins of progress with your little one gradually working towards independence.
3. Provide Hands-On Activities
Speaking of independence, setting up hands-on activities helps keep kids engaged and encourages self-directed learning. This will of course look different at every age, but for Olivia, I’ll set up things like her favorite pattern blocks, crafts, and puzzles. I let her choose which activity she wants to do, and she takes over from there! She's really been into painting and coloring lately, so these Giant Coloring Sheets has been such a hit. They are sized perfectly to go over her play table - it comes with two flaps that you can easily tape to the bottom of the table so it doesn't slide. (P.S. you can save $70 when you get this bundle that has the Lalo Play Kit and a 3-pack of Giant Coloring Sheets!). She loves all of the different objects to color in, and I love them because they keep the table from getting messy! Win-win! It may not seem like it, but doing hands-on activities like this helps build confidence, curiosity and creates a desire to learn.
Give these tips a try as you’re prepping for back to school, and let me know if these tips work for you and your family. And if you have any other tips, definitely pass those along! :)