Preparation is key for making sure your child is ready for their first day of preschool this fall. Most kids will go through at least some mild form of separation anxiety on the first day, but knowing what to expect and being excited will go a long way towards lessening it. The following tips can help you prepare your child this summer for their first day of preschool.
Tip #1: Set routines
You probably already have a few routines you follow, but now it is time to set routines that will help them adjust to preschool. To further this, ask your preschool for a sample schedule of their day so you can emulate parts of it at home. This means you need to start waking up and having breakfast now at the same time you will when school starts. You can also adjust lunch and nap times to mimic those in your child's future preschool schedule. This will all help them better adjust to the first days of school.
Tip #2: Play school
Playing school is also an important way to prepare for something new and to prevent anxiety. You could have your own circle time each morning, where you read a story to your child and then sing songs. Watch some cartoons or read some books about going to preschool or school in general, and then take turns being the student and the teacher. This allows your child to work through anything that is making them nervous, while also giving them plenty of opportunities to ask questions.
Tip #3: Teach independence skills
When you want to get out the door, it is usually much quicker to put your child's shoes and coat on them yourself. Unfortunately, this can leave them helpless in a busy preschool classroom. Spend the summer teaching independence skills like putting on and removing shoes, hanging up coats, or putting on a backpack. If your child will be taking a lunch to school, begin packing their lunch at home so they can practice opening it and getting items out.
Tip #4: Have fun in the planning
Planning and getting ready together can give your child the feeling of more control when it comes to preschool. Let them choose their own backpack and lunch bag. Also, let them choose what clothes they will wear. If you have an indecisive preschooler, simply offer them two choices instead of letting them pick from everything in the store or their closet. Also, be excited yourself, since children often catch the mood from their parents.
For more information, contact Kid's Country Child Care & Learning Center or a similar location.