Supporting Learning in 4-6 Year Olds

Social & emotional Development

Understanding Behaviour in 4-6 Year Olds

Coping Strategies for 4-6 Year Olds

Problem Solving 4-6 Year Olds


Here are six things your child needs to be able to do before the big day:

1. Be responsible for all their own clothing. Make sure they choose clothes and shoes they can fasten themselves and understand what to do if they get too hot or too cold. Talk to them about putting their clothes in sensible places at school so they can find them again when they need them or at the end of the day.

2. Be independent going to the toilet and washing their hands thoroughly after.

3. Open and close their bag and lunch box, and understand which food is for morning tea and which should be kept for lunch. Make sure they know what to do with their rubbish. Pack their bag and lunch with them so they know what is inside.

4. Ask a grown-up for help. Explain that their teacher is there to help. Give them examples of the different words and phrases they can use to help the teacher understand what is bothering them.

5. Know how to make friends with other children. Good friendships are a lifeline so talk to your child about making friends and about being a good one. Children can be mean and unkind so pass on skills for deflecting and avoiding bullies. Make sure they know where to get help if they get into tricky situations.

6. Understand that they need to do what the teacher says, and that children have to take turns talking and doing activities with the teacher.

It is helpful if they also:

Know their name

He or she should be able to recognise their own name (first and surname,) when it is written down. They should also be able to tell you what the first letter of their first name is and be able to write it down.

Be on their way to learning the alphabet

Your child should be able to begin and possibly end the alphabet. If there are ‘fuzzy’ parts in the middle, this will come. He or she should be able to identify at least half the letters in the alphabet when they are written down.

Know basic colour names

It is helpful for your child to start school knowing the names of basic colours; red, blue, orange, yellow, green, black, brown, pink and purple.

Know basic item names

There is an expectation that your child will know the names of basic items they would find in a home or at school. These might be things like ‘chair’, ‘table’, ‘door’, ‘floor’, ‘mat’, ‘tap’, ‘toilet’, ‘book’, ‘pencil’ and so on. Labelling these things at home in the lead up to school will help with this. It is also important that they realise that there are many names for things you can write with, for example there is ‘pencil’, ‘pen’, ‘crayon’, ‘felt tip’ or ‘marker’ and so on.

Use basic manners

By the time your child starts school, he or she should be using acceptable manners, things like ‘Thank You’, ‘Please’, ‘Excuse me’, ‘May I…’, ‘No thank you’ and so on.

They should be used to sharing and know that it is only acceptable to treat other people the way they themselves want to be treated.

Information and videos adapted from: