This can be an exciting yet overwhelming time for both you and your little one. After all, the first day of preschool is a major milestone in a child’s life. It's natural to be apprehensive about sending your child off to school with strangers, but it's also important to remember that this experience can help your child learn and grow in ways that you may not even realize. With the right preparation, sending your child to school can be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Here are some tips on how to make sure you and your child are ready for their first day of preschool! We found an amazing little list of books that you can add to your bedtime reading routine a month prior to starting school that will help them get used to the idea, you can find it here.
Talk About It
Talking about school is an important part of the process when it comes to preparing your little one for the big day. Talk about what they can expect at school, such as meeting new friends, learning new things, and playing with toys, having time outside in the playground, creating art and other activities. You could also read books together that discuss going to school or even visit the school before their first day so they can get accustomed to the environment. The more you talk about it, the more comfortable they will feel when it's time to go! Hype them up about how much fun they will have.
Create a Routine
Creating a routine will help make sure that everything runs smoothly on the big day. Make sure your little one knows how much time they have each morning before getting ready for school and set up regular times for meals and naps, so they are well-rested before heading out. Additionally, create a good night routine that helps them relax and wind down before bedtime, so they are well-prepared for those early mornings.
Let Them Pack Their Bag
Another great way to prepare your little one is by allowing them to pack their own bag with things like crayons, coloring books, snacks, etc. The school will usually provide these but adding a few of their items from home to their bag will help them feel safer and in control. This will give them something fun and positive to do in anticipation of their first day of school as well as help them feel prepared with all their must-haves when they arrive at their new classroom! Packing a stuffy friend can also help ease anxiety. Most preschools and daycare centers will require you to bring a blanket and pillow for your little one to use during nap time, if you’re purchasing something new for school, have some fun and let them help you pick it out.
Practice at Home
Another great way to prepare your little one for preschool is by creating a mini classroom at home where they can practice activities like sitting still, following directions, or socializing with other kids. This will not only help educate them on how things work in a classroom setting but also give them the confidence that comes with familiarity when they arrive on that first day of school.
Finally, give your child an opportunity to connect with other kids who are going to attend their school by hosting play dates or attending meet ups with other families from their class if available. Schools are usually open to connecting parents. The more connections they make beforehand, the more comfortable and confident they'll feel once classes begin!
Sending a child off to school can be nerve-wracking but with these simple tips you'll have no trouble prepping your little one for the big day! Start talking about it early on so that it doesn't come as too much of a surprise on the actual day; create a strict routine leading up until then; let them pack their own bag so that they feel prepared; and most importantly—provide lots of reassurance throughout this process so that you both feel comfortable with this big step in life and most importantly let them know you’re a phone call away. Good luck!