Going to preschool for the first time can be exciting. It can also be scary. With some preparation ahead of time, you can help your child get ready for this big change.
Going to preschool for the first time can be exciting. It can also be scary. With some preparation ahead of time, you can help your child get ready for this big change. Here are some activities you can try in the weeks before school starts. Feel free to pick the ones that are best for you and your child.
2 Weeks Before Preschool Starts:
Talk with your child about preschool and all the fun things they’ll get to do there, like sing songs, play games, and make new friends.
Get them excited about all the new friends they’ll meet. This also could be a great opportunity to talk about what qualities make someone a good friend, like sharing and being kind.
Visit the school together so it’s not totally new on the first day. If there’s an open house or back-to-school night before the first day, try to attend so you can meet the teachers and staff.
Create a new morning routine that works for you and your child. This will help make it easier for you both to get out the door on the first day of school.
Let your child pick out some school supplies or a new outfit to wear on the first day to give them some control.
Rules at school may be a bit different than rules at home. So start talking with your child about rules they can expect at school so they aren’t caught off guard.
1 Week Before Preschool Starts:
Practice the new morning routine you created. Remind your child that this is how you’ll begin your day when preschool starts.
Also, practice going over to the school. Once you get there, walk around the outside of the school, and, if you can or if there’s one available, play on the playground to help your child think about school as a fun place.
Talk with your child about the different things they’ll be doing at school during the day.
Remind them of the rules and expectations at preschool.
Ask your child how they’re feeling and if they have any questions. Give them a chance to talk about their feelings, and answer any questions they might have.
Morning of the First Day of Preschool:
Check in again with your child about how they’re feeling. Be prepared to give lots of hugs to your child and reassure them.
Stick to the new morning routine you’ve been practicing. If you can’t stick to the routine, then talk your child through the changes and the reason for them.
Walk your child to their classroom. Help them get settled in and started on a fun activity.
It’s natural for caregivers to experience feelings of nervousness or worry. But as your child prepares to spend some time in a new place away from you, do your best to stay calm and steady. Children can often pick up on their caregivers’ anxiety.
If you can, try not to stay too long. Wave goodbye, and explain you’ll be back to pick them up in a little bit.