The very first day of school can be a stressful time for your child, especially if this is the first time your child will be in a classroom away from home. Below are some helpful tips that can help with the transition.
- Visit the preschool. Take your child to see their new classroom and meet the preschool teacher a few days ahead of time. If available, show them the class schedule and talk about what will happen throughout the school day. Show your child where they’ll keep their backpack and other things, as well as where you will be dropping them off and picking them up.
- Read books and watch shows. Spend time reading books and watching TV shows meant for young children about preschool.
- Act it out. Use your child’s imagination to play pretend and prepare them for preschool. Pretend that you’re going to school, hanging up your backpack, and sitting down for group time. Play games, read stories, and make a simple snack. Teach your child a few basic social skills. Talk about how to get someone’s attention, take turns, or join in play. You can also use puppets to role play.
- Work on self-help skills. Going to preschool marks a big developmental leap for your child and independence will become a larger focus. Help your toddler master self-help skills like washing their hands, using the toilet, putting shoes and socks on, and using utensils at the table.
- Express and acknowledge feelings. Beginning preschool is an exciting adventure, but it’s normal for both of you to have feelings of anxiety, worry, or stress. Talk to your child about their feelings and be on the look out for behavior clues that could mean your child is struggling with the transition.
- Shift your schedule. As your child experiences her first few weeks of preschool, gradually make any necessary changes in your routines. Work to create a calm, peaceful environment at home and create a set schedule for every school day. Limit the amount of time your child spends watching TV and playing on the computer or other video devices. Enjoy family meals together and make sure your child goes to bed at a reasonable hour. Offer a healthy breakfast and spend time outdoors. Developing consistent, predictable routines a few weeks before school starts will make the transition much smoother.
Moosey’s Preschool has some of the best VPK, day care, aftercare, and summercamps in your area!