How to prepare for big school during the COVID-19 crisis

Hear from to transition to school expert, Dr Lyn Cronin from UOW School of Education, for some useful tips on facing this challenging time with confidence and care.

If your child is starting school next year you will be thinking about what is important for them to know, understand and be able to do when the time comes for them to embark on the journey.

One of the important aspects of ‘school readiness’ that I spoke about in my talk at Early Start is the need for children to have good social and emotional skills. When children feel comfortable and confident in their new school environment, they are more ready to take on the new learning that school has to offer.

During these very unusual times, having playdates and getting together socially with friends and other families are not possible, so how do we continue to develop social skills in our pre-schoolers?

We do, however, have possibly a lot more one-on-one time available to spend with our little ones. This affords the opportunity to practise social skills in fun and interesting ways. For example,

Fun interactive games:

  • Card games, board games, iPad games that are ideal for sharing, taking turns, waiting, winning and losing gracefully.

Role plays and stories:

  • Stories are a great way to build empathy, to help children understand how others feel or how they might feel if something was happening to them. Great story books where children can make connection to the characters. Use these as starting points to have a conversation about friendship.
  • Role play with children about ways to join in a game or a conversation
  • Role play with children how to be assertive and stand up for themselves and others in fair and respectful ways.
  • Use storybooks or quality TV programs as conversation starters to help to children analyse and resolve social problems in constructive ways.
  • Model thoughts and acts of kindness and helpfulness in the home environment.

I hope these few ideas help you explore further ways of developing your child socially and emotionally while at home.


You can also watch Dr Cronin’s full Early Start Speaker Series talk on School Readiness below.


Research = Experiences

Play is one of the most powerful ways to learn. That’s why all our experiences are informed by early childhood researchers from UOW.