The first day of school for a child can be full of excitement as well as anxiety for both you and your child. Here are a few tips to help make the transition a smoother one.
Read some books together about going to preschool and discuss the pictures. Talk about where they might sit or activities they might do such as painting.
Schedule a Visit Source
Schedule a visit the school to get your child familiar with the room and point out where they will play, have lunch and sit for a story. Show them where they will put their belongings if there are cubby holes. If it is allowed, take a few pictures to share and review when you get home. Making a book with the pictures can be a fun way to familiarize your child with their new school.
Shop for Supplies
Let your child help pick out their supplies at the store. Getting a new outfit, a pair of shoes or a neat lunchbox for school also is another way to help get your child excited about the first day.
Let your child practice opening their pencil boxes and putting their supplies inside. Have your child practice putting their crayons back in the box and closing their glue stick caps. Closing marker caps and practicing how to hold a scissors properly are also skills that will be helpful to your child and his/her teacher. Although tedious, labeling each crayon, scissors, and glue is very helpful for your child to keep track of their belongings as well as reinforcing name recognition.
Lunchboxes and Containers
When you select your lunch containers, find ones your child can recognize and be sure to label them with their name. Have your child practice opening them. Many containers will be difficult at first but they will learn quickly. If you have separate containers for their sandwich or fruit, show them which one will hold what part of their lunch.
Explain the Daily Routine
If you can get a daily schedule, you can explain to your child what events will occur each day such as snack time, sharing, recess and pick up time. Be sure to explain that you will be dropping them off and picking them up. Sometimes letting them know what you will be doing while they are in school such as grocery shopping helps them understand why you are leaving.
The first couple days may require you to stay a few minutes at the beginning of class. But after your child has been in school for a few days, it is often better to leave them even if they are a little teary. Give them a big hug and reassure them that you will be back soon to pick them up. It can be hard seeing your child teary and anxious but it is amazing how quickly children become excited about their first day at school.
Share their day
Talk about their day at school to show them how important it is to you and keep them excited about going the next day. Display pictures and things they make for the whole family to admire. Preschool is a very special time for your child to begin enjoying their first school experiences and to start socializing with other children. Helping to prepare them for this special event can make their first school experience a successful one.