Preparing for the First Day of Preschool
The beginning of your child’s journey into preschool is an exciting and emotional moment for both toddler and mama. Preschool is a excellent place for our little ones to learn, make new friends and prepare for life ahead. It is so wonderful to watch our children grow and reach this pivotal milestone in their lives, but it can be quite an adjustment for them at first. Here are the most helpful tips for Preparing for the First Day of Preschool:
Begin a Schedule
I worked in a preschool for a few years prior to having Ella. I noticed that one of the biggest challenges for children starting out in preschool was adjusting to their new schedule. A great way for preparing for the first day of preschool is to start your child on their new schedule from home before beginning school. Most preschools have a set schedule for activities, meals and nap time depending on your child’s age. Request a copy of the schedule and begin implementing it at home a couple weeks before their first day.
Playfully Prepare for Preschool
Playfully preparing for your child’s first day is a great way to reassure them that preschool is a fun and exciting place. There are so many different ways you can make beginning preschool fun for your child. Ella and I began playing preschool during play time with some of her dolls to get her used to the idea of school. Some other ways you can playfully prepare for the first day of preschool is to read preschool themed books, watch educational kids shows, or create preschool themed crafts.
Practice Skills Taught in Preschool
Preschool is one of the first places outside of the home where children begin to learn basic rules and manners. It can be a challenge for some kids beginning preschool to learn some of these new skills. A great idea for preparing for the first day of preschool is to practice some of these skills at home. Some of skills to practice are: cleaning up toys after each use, sitting for quiet time activities, sharing with others and basic listening skills.
Schedule Play Dates
One of the funnest parts about starting preschool is your child will begin to make friends of their own! This is so exciting but it can also be intimidating being around so many other kids at first. A great way to make this transition easier is to schedule play dates with other children before starting preschool. Bring your child to the park, the museum, a local story time – anything that will help get them used to being around other kids. Not only is it fun for them, but it helps them learn new social skills to prepare them for their first day of preschool as well.
Involve Your Child in the Planning
You want your child to feel as comfortable and confident as possible for their first day of preschool. Letting your child join in on preschool planning is a great way to get them excited about their first day! Some ways you can involve your child in the planning are: take them shopping for their first backpack, let them choose their outfit for the first day, and let them help packing lunch.
Time Away From Mom
Another huge challenge for children entering preschool is being away from mom. It can be and especially difficult adjustment for kids who have never been away from their parents before. A great tip for preparing for the first day of preschool is to get them used to spending time away from mom. Before starting preschool, I let Ella play in the childcare room at my gym for an hour while I worked out. This was huge for her preschool transition! Another way to get your little one used to being away from mom is to let them stay with a trusted relative or babysitter while you run errands.
Make Their First Day a Big Deal (in a Positive Way!)
It’s so huge for your child to feel positive about beginning preschool for the first time. A great way to prepare them is to make their first day of preschool a big deal! Begin talking to your child about preschool and tell them how exciting their first day will be. On their first day of preschool wake your child up in a special way, make their favorite breakfast, take “First Day of School” photos! Anything you can do to make their first day a big deal is a great way to help them start their journey into preschool feeling upbeat and positive.
Your child’s first day of preschool is a huge milestone in their life. Although it may be an adjustment for both mama and little one at first, preschool will be an overall exciting experience. I hope these tips help you in preparing for the first day of preschool. If you have any tips you would like to add to the list please share them in the comments below. Thanks so much for reading!