The first day of preschool can be an exciting and emotional time for both parents and children. There are things you can do to make the transition go smoothly. We asked preschool teachers for their best advice to help parents prepare their children – and themselves – for the first day of preschool.
Preparing for Preschool:
- Take your child to the library and check out books about school.
- Visit the school before the first day and meet your child’s teacher.
- Make up a special handshake just for you and your child.
- Shop together for a special lunchbox and backpack.
- Routine is key for preschoolers: set a regular bath time, bed time, and do story time every night.
- Talk about your child’s feelings: let them know it’s okay to feel nervous and reinforce how much they are loved.
- Keep it positive: school is a fun and exciting place where you’ll learn new things.
- Prepare yourself and your child the night before school starts so the morning goes smoothly. The morning of the first day of school can be very stressful and your child feels it.
The First Day of Preschool:
- Allow ample time in the morning so your child doesn’t feel rushed out the door.
- Explain that your child’s teachers will take good care of him/her while you’re away.
- Send your child to school with a family photo in their backpack.
- Tell your child it is their job to go to school and have fun.
- Walk your child in to school; show them their room and their teacher.
- If your child is crying or doesn’t want to go in, do not give in. This is very normal and can last for a while, but most kids stop crying within minutes of parents dropping them off.
- It’s usually best to settle your child in, give a hug/kiss (or special handshake), say goodbye and leave quickly.
- Don’t bring extra people with you to drop off your child: they will think they are going to miss out on something.
- Your child may cry for a few minutes, but will settle down quicker if you leave.
- Call the school to check on your child later in the morning.
- Be your child’s voice. If you have a question or concern, ask the teacher. No question is wrong.
- At the end of the day, sit down with your child and ask them to tell you about their day.
- Reinforce the things they enjoyed most.
This is a new, exciting and sometimes scary adventure for your preschooler. We hope our preschool teachers’ suggestions will help make the transition a little easier. And know, the second day is usually worse than the first. The first day, kids are kind of in shock; by the second day, they realize they are back!
Have a wonderful and memorable school year!