What does my son need to know/be able to do by the time he goes to preschool?

(26 Posts)
Elmo311 Wed 20-Jan-21 21:11:23

Hi everyone smile

My son is going to be attending preschool (hopefully) in September, he's 3 in May.

He's potty trained (daytime) and can push his pants down and pull them up by himself.

What things should I do to make sure he's prepared for preschool?

Thanks in advance!

OP’s posts: |
JengaJanga Wed 20-Jan-21 21:13:18

Would be handy if he could dress / undress himself and put his shoes / socks on and off
For PE

ThisIsNotARealAvo Wed 20-Jan-21 21:16:25

It would be good if he can understand no and stop, this will keep him safe. Can he drink from a cup? L

You should make sure his clothes are as easy as possible for him to manage independently, eg Velcro shoes, elasticated trousers, coat that is not too tight.

I'm a nursery teacher and this is what makes life so much easier for the kids when they start. Laces and buttons make it so much harder for them to do things independently.

There are other things you will find in lists of "school ready" skills but these are aimed at rising fives.

Elmo311 Wed 20-Jan-21 21:28:04

@ThisIsNotARealAvo He definitely understands those 😅

He can drink from a cup. I will work on him dressing himself for the next few months!

One thing I'm worried about is that he's not very good at wiping himself after he does a poo, will they help him with that? Sorry, I don't know much!

OP’s posts: |
JengaJanga Wed 20-Jan-21 21:34:58

He has another 8 months to keep working on wiping his bottom

Cheesypea Wed 20-Jan-21 21:36:31

He sounds like hell be fine. You've got months to teach him that.

Elmo311 Wed 20-Jan-21 21:46:47

@JengaJanga and @Cheesypea It's just that I've seen other parents on here saying that their kids don't wipe properly when they're at school. So I was just wondering if anyone would be checking or if he will be left to it?

OP’s posts: |
purplemunkey Wed 20-Jan-21 21:51:25


Would be handy if he could dress / undress himself and put his shoes / socks on and off
For PE

PE at preschool?

OP, I don't think he 'needs' to be able to do anything for preschool. He'll be fine smile As ThisIsNotARealAvo says, you'll get a 'school ready' list when he's ready for reception/foundation year.

BendingSpoons Wed 20-Jan-21 22:29:31

My DD at a school nursery did PE but they didn't get changed for it.

I would add: ideally sitting and listening to a story.

But preschool is a lot about preparing for school. They don't need to be able to do loads before.

purplemunkey Wed 20-Jan-21 22:31:40

Oh, ok - fair enough. Mine didn’t, but she was at nursery rather than preschool so no uniform to change out of I suppose.

minipie Wed 20-Jan-21 22:34:11

Waiting his turn/taking turns
Not having a tantrum when things go wrong but asking for help instead
Sitting and listening

But tbh pre school is often where they learn this stuff!

Allgirlskidsanddogs Wed 20-Jan-21 22:44:53

Dress and undress, put on/take off shoes, coat, wellies. Use the toilet as independently as possible. Wash and dry his hands. Recognise his initial or as much as his name as possible. Wipe his nose.

All of these are useful skills but part of attending nursery is to improve his skills, so it’s great to be aware of things that will help his independence but don’t get stressed about it - you’ve got 7 months to work on it all which is a massive amount of time in his development.

JengaJanga Thu 21-Jan-21 02:40:41


There will be plenty of times when he may need to get changed, from being wet outside or having an accident or covered in paint for example, not just PE, and putting coat on and off for playtime etc

purplemunkey Thu 21-Jan-21 07:17:34

Yes, fair enough JengaJanga. To my memory my DD did things like that too - wet play, went to a nearby gym, walks in woods. It was the mention of PE specifically that made me question if you’d misread the preschool bit.

But even so, I don’t think there’s an expectation that he will be able to do this completely unaided at preschool. It might be helpful but OP shouldn’t stress about it too much.

OverTheRainbow88 Thu 21-Jan-21 07:21:44

I think the only thing that would have helped my son which we hadn’t thought of doing was recognising his name written down.

Putting his own coat on

And manors always help!

I don’t know any preschools which get changed for PE

Redlocks28 Thu 21-Jan-21 07:27:34


Coat, jumper and shoes/on and off.
Manners-putting hand up if you want to ask to go to the loo and waiting your turn before speaking.
Recognising your name
Wiping your own bottom and washing hands afterwards unprompted
Blowing own nose and putting the tissue in the bin afterwards!

TeenPlusTwenties Thu 21-Jan-21 07:36:11

This is pre-school the OP is asking about.
This is the phase where they develop skills to do coats and shoes themselves, recognise their name when written etc.
By the end of pre-school in readiness for Reception yes, but you don't need to be able to do them before even starting.

strawberrie Thu 21-Jan-21 07:48:21


*@JengaJanga* and @Cheesypea It's just that I've seen other parents on here saying that their kids don't wipe properly when they're at school. So I was just wondering if anyone would be checking or if he will be left to it?

Given the ratios of adults to children it's unlikely they will be proactively checking, but they will definitely offer some help if he asks! So along with encouraging him to practise having a go himself, teach him that he needs to ask an adult.

grumpypug Fri 22-Jan-21 18:18:24

I teach 3 and 4 year olds. It's helpful if they can take them self to the toilet and remember to flush and wash hands. I will wipe bottoms, but many children don't ask! If I know children are having a poo i will ask if they have help at home to wipe. Some children don't like adults in school to help, some adults in school (and nursery) will not help, so it depends. It's helpful if children can put on their coat and do the zip, put on velcro shoes and pull up / down elasticated waist trousers. We do get changed for PE (although not during Covid times, they come in their PE clothes on PE day). It also helps if children can ask for a drink / something to eat. I don't mind if they can /can't sit and listen to a story or share as that's why they come. Somethings aren't possible to 'teach' at home, especially without siblings or play dates. Just make sure they know you're coming back and make it fun by speaking positively about it.

grumpypug Fri 22-Jan-21 18:21:19

Oh, and PLEASE put his name in his coat! Parents expect us to remember whose is whose and when 3 children have the same one, telling us it's the size 3-4 one isn't helpful! Also name jumpers, cardigans, hats etc. Trying to match all the clothes to children is a pain and takes ages!

skankingpiglet Fri 22-Jan-21 19:26:10

grumpypug we labelled everything even down to their pants 😂 A combination of stamps and sticky labels make it really easy. I still stamp names into pants now, but that is to make sorting the washing easier...

Fandabydosey Sun 07-Mar-21 20:07:30

ALL he needs is to be HAPPY and loved by his mummy. The other skills will come as he develops. You wouldn't expect a newborn to crawl. Please don't worry. If he is happy and loved thus is the biggest head start a child needs

Elmo311 Sun 07-Mar-21 22:59:42

@Fandabydosey Obviously he's happy and loved, but I'd like him to also be prepared smile

OP’s posts: |
Sceptre86 Mon 29-Mar-21 13:43:18

Preschool is where they learn to do what a lot of posters have suggested. I think it is important that your ds can recognise his own name written down, wipe his nose, take shoes on and off, put his coat on and I would practice wiping his bum. If he had an accident the staff would help him get changed and wouldn't expect him to do it all himself. They are still so little at that age. Try not to worry I am sure he will settle in well and have lots of fun x

LemonDrizzles Mon 29-Mar-21 13:53:44

just too echo what everyone else has said and to add, welly boots with handles. also, I get lo into habit of listening to teacher (simply touch your nose. that is, if mary says touch your nose, what will you do?)
my little one also had pe. think this started at 2. label gloves. be prepared to lose gloves.

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