Preparing Your Kid for the First Day of Preschool
Back to School Time
It’s that time of year where we are starting to think about back to school or really in this case the first day of school, like ever.
So, if your little one is starting preschool soon there’s so much to think about and yet there is really not, I mean it’s preschool after all.
You have likely already done the hard part which is finding a school that best meets your family's needs and now it’s time to actually send your preschooler to school for the first time.
I wanted to share with you a few tips on how to make that go as I smoothly as possible.
Prepping for Preschool
Talk It Up
The first thing that I try to do as a mom, when I know that we’re going to start a new routine or we’re going to big event I try to really prep my daughter well in advance. So, I will be talking to her every chance I get about the upcoming change or event. I’ll say things like:
- "Oh my goodness, are you excited you’re starting preschool soon?"
- "When you go to school, you’re going to do so many fun things. You can do art, play on the playground, and meet new friends."
- "I’m sure your teacher is going to be fabulous and you're gonna have so much fun."
Listen I talk about the new routine like it is a trip to Disney, I want to sound like the most amazing thing out there so that she is super excited to go. I’ll start doing that for a month before the change. Likely, you don’t have that much time by now but I encourage you to start having those conversations and talk up how fun preschool is going to be.
Face Facts about Starting Preschool
The next step is to also introduce the fact that mommy and daddy don’t go to preschool with them. That is by far going to be the biggest adjustment for your little when it comes to going to preschool.
Right now they are likely spending all day with you and that change of not having one of their parents with them is a big change.
When you’re having these conversations talk about how mommy and daddy don’t go to school with them because mommy and daddy are going to work or doing errands or what ever you’re going to be doing during that time.
But also reinforce and explain the fact that you’re coming to pick them up every single day at the same time.
Read about the First Day of School
Finally when we are preparing our littles for preschool we can read and read and read some more there are so many fabulous books out there about the first day of school and some are even particularly about the first day of preschool.
Books are a fabulous way to help your preschooler realize that other people have been through the same problems as them. Books can help our preschoolers learn how they can overcome obstacles, like being a little nervous for your first day of school.
Some books you may want to check out are:
- The Night Before Preschool by Natasha Wings
- Whiffy Wilson The Wolf Who Wouldn't Go To School by Caryl Hart
- Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin
First Day Jitters and Drop Off Tips
Talk It Up
Same tip again. It is a good one and works so milk the heck out of it. The whole ride to school give them a huge pep talk.
They are going to have so much fun and you want to know all about it when you pick them up.
With this, you also DON'T want to talk about the fact that you’re going to miss them. I know that sounds harsh and mean but we don’t want to bring up the negative, we want to focus on the positive so that this remains a positive experience for our kids.
When you walk your child to class help them find their cubby or wherever they get to store their little backpack and maybe help them find a fun area in the classroom that they’re going to really enjoy.
Most teachers have some sort of activity or free play area set up for the kids as they arrive. Take advantage of this, find the blocks and say "Hey look, how cool you can build with the blocks." Keep this step brief, you are not playing with them you are showing them a toy that will spark their interest.
Once they’ve started to engage and get excited about it quickly and surely say "I’m so excited for you to play and have fun. I can’t wait to hear all about it when I come back to pick you up this afternoon. I love you." Then give a kiss and leave.
The lingering can often be more harm than good. So from the very beginning develop a routine, take them in, help them get settled quickly, give them a kiss, remind them that you’ll be back soon to pick them up, and go.
Trouble Shooting If your child is struggling with you leaving, more than likely the teacher is going to intervene and try to engage them in something. Be the teachers teammate (this should really be your motto all year long), encourage your child to go with the teacher and try that activity. Then give a quick kiss and hug goodbye and a reminder that you’ll be back soon.
I totally understand the want to stay in comfort your child, but ultimately they are going to calm down and be okay with you leaving, but they likely are not going to do that as long as you are there. This is why I suggest developing some sort of goodbye routine so that they can quickly learn that every day the same thing happens.
You've Got This
As school is quickly approaching and you’re about to send your baby to school for the first time ever, really their very first day of school, let me just say you’ve totally got this. You are going to be a rockstar and so is your kiddo. And you’re going to be so in love with all the artwork that they come home with.
Be sure to let me know in the comments if you found this article helpful and share how your child's first day was.