Sending your little one off to preschool is a big step. Like many parents, you’ve probably spent every moment possible with your child up to this point, and now it’s time for them to gain some independence.
At Holy Trinity Episcopal School, we want to help you prepare your preschooler for their first day of school. Below, we discuss five tips you can use to help make the transition easier –
1. Visit Your Child’s Preschool Together
Kids can feel nervous doing anything new for the first time, especially without Mom or Dad. Bring your child to visit their new preschool before classes start so they can get comfortable in the environment. Each year we have “Be a Titan for a Day” events where we invite families to experience our classrooms and teachers. We also have a “Back to School Bash” before the start of school where your child can meet their teacher. Allowing your child to connect with their teacher ahead of time can also build more comfort and confidence on their first day.
2. Read Fun Books About School
Books teach children how to act, feel, and respond to different events in life. Reading fun and exciting books about characters in school can show your preschooler there’s nothing to be afraid of. Learning and making new friends is an incredibly exciting experience that your child can look forward to all summer before school starts.
3. Play Preschool With Your Child
Many kids love playing pretend games, so why not create one mimicking preschool experiences? Next time your child wants to play pretend, create a preschool game. You can pretend you’re going to school, putting your backpacks in cubbies, asking the teacher questions, enjoying playtime, and more.
Walk them through a schedule similar to their preschool itinerary. You can read a story, play a game, draw pictures, have snack time, and pretend to make friends with other children. Use this opportunity to teach your child valuable social skills, like raising their hand to get their teacher’s attention or asking a friend to borrow a crayon.
4. Begin To Shift Their Schedule
A lot of change all at once can increase anxiety. Instead, gradually adapt small school time practices to shift your child’s schedule.
In the morning, integrate fun ways to help them become comfortable with getting ready for school. For example, you can play school dress up every morning so that they know what it’s like to efficiently get ready and pack their bag. Pick a consistent routine that involves a nutritious, filling breakfast and enough wake-up time before school.
5. See Ya Later Alligator
Saying goodbye in the morning before school can be the hardest part for children and their parents. Instead of creating a long, emotional moment that gets them worked up, make your goodbye a simple, fun, and positive exchange.
Before school starts, you can create a goodbye saying with your child and practice it whenever you leave a room or go grocery shopping. For example, use a fun handshake or catchphrase like “see ya later, alligator.” When the big day comes, your child can feel more comfortable with this casual goodbye.
HTES: Where We Make Private Preschool Fun and Engaging
At HTES, we make our private preschool experience fun, engaging, and individualized for each child’s unique needs.
We want to help your little one take their first step toward independence in a hands-on learning environment. If you’re interested in our preschool program, contact HTES today at (281) 459-4323 to learn more.