A child’s first day of kindergarten is a big milestone for most families--and it’s natural for both child and parent to feel a mix of emotions about it (seriously though--have those tissues handy!).
Seeing your little one spread his or her wings in this new way can be challenging, but it’s also extremely rewarding...especially when you know that you’ve done a few essential things to prepare for this moment.
In the interest of having a good experience as your child transitions to a new chapter of life, here are a handful of practical tips you can use to prepare for the first day of kindergarten....
Get your child on a back-to-school schedule.
Don’t wait until the first day of school to suddenly start waking your child up at an earlier hour. Instead, begin easing her into the school schedule several weeks before the arrival of the first day.
Additionally, enforce an earlier bedtime if needed, so that she’ll get the full 10-13 hours of sleep recommended for kindergarteners.
A cranky and tired five-year-old isn’t going to help anyone get off on the right foot during the start of the school year.
Brush up on your child’s counting, color naming, and alphabet skills.
Find fun ways to provide your child with a head start when it comes to learning his numbers, colors, and letters.
Realizing that he possesses prior knowledge needed in his new learning environment will be a boost to his confidence.
Educational toys can be helpful in this regard.
For example, our numbers puzzle provides little minds with an introduction to counting from one to ten.
With brightly colored numbers arranged sequentially, it offers a fun way of supporting your child’s cognitive development through counting.
Read stories about school to get your child excited.
Regardless of age, venturing into the unknown can produce anxiety and unease.
You can help paint an enticing picture of what’s to be expected at school by reading stories to your child about fictional characters’ experiences at school.
Extra points if you can find a story about the first day of school!
Plan a trip to visit the school with your child.
Take your mission to rid your child of first-day jitters to the next level by setting up a visit of her school prior to the first day.
There will be more for your child to look forward to upon seeing the brightly decorated hallways and classrooms, variety of books, and the oh-so-awesome slide on the playground.
Help your child become more independent.
Since this will likely be your child’s biggest test of independence, you can preemptively plan by teaching him or her how to tie shoes or pack up backpack.
The surge in confidence that comes with realizing that “I can do it all by myself” is invaluable for children who are used to having mom and dad around to assist them with a variety of tasks.
The first day of school is a big step, and will have its moments of nerves along with its moments of excitement.
Although you can take the above steps to prepare your child for the transition, keep in mind that having the ups and downs that come with this big change is natural, and it’s okay if it’s not smooth sailing the whole way through.
What counts is knowing that you took the steps to make your child as comfortable and positive as possible.
We’ve made it easy for you to help your child develop problem-solving skills and knowledge of animal names, colors, and numbers. Purchase the Classic Puzzle Pack of 3 (Numbers, Ocean & Barnyard Farm Animals) toy bundle today before the first day of school arrives.