The first weeks of preschool are filled with a mix of excitement and nerves as your child learns the ropes of their new environment. There are a few fun things you can do to help your child ease into their new preschool routines, find comfort in the classroom and build confidence and independence as they begin the exciting adventure of school.
Label belongings. With multiple kids in a classroom, it’s likely that your child’s jacket or water bottle could end up going to the wrong home at the end of the day if it’s not properly labeled. To avoid mix-ups, anything your child brings to school should have their name on it.
Take a picture with the classic “First Day of Preschool” sign. This can be an annual tradition you do with your child from pre-k through high school. You can find supplies to make one at your local craft store or purchase a pre-made one online.
Pack a lovey or security item. If your child feels homesick, his or her teacher can use this item to reassure them during the school day.
Let them have an opinion. Let your child pick out what to wear or what to pack in their lunch. Letting your child make an “important” decision will help get them excited about the day.
Ask about their day. Check in on how your child’s day went during the car ride home, at dinner or before bed. Ask what they learned, what their favorite thing was and what they look forward to for the next day.
Display their first art project. At the end of the week, your child will bring home some of the projects and crafts he or she has been working on. Make some room on your refrigerator or cork board so your child can show off their work.
Read the rulebook. Your child likely has brought home a packet outlining the school’s guidelines and policies for things like fire and safety drills, incident reporting and school closures. Additionally, your child’s teacher might send home a classroom rule sheet.
Make sure school clothes are comfy. Your child is doing a lot of things by themselves at school, such as using the restroom or taking off their jacket and hanging it up in their cubby. Make sure clothing items are free of complicated zippers or buttons and that your child can undo everything by themselves.
Have fun in the morning. Sing a song about tying your shoes, or make a game out of getting ready. Lightening up the morning will put your little one in a good mood for the day.
Start a simple goodbye routine. After a few days, the newness of the classroom might be wearing off and your child’s separation anxiety is kicking in. Start a special hug, kiss or goodbye phrase for quick and easy drop-offs.
Pack something fun in their lunch. Whether it’s a fun, shaped sandwich or a smiley face drawn on their napkin, pulling out something special and unexpected will bring a midday smile to their face.
Start a sticker chart at home. Your child is likely using a chart at school, so now is the time to add one at home. You can add stickers for good drop-offs or completing simple tasks like brushing their teeth and tidying their toys before bed.
Get a cute picture frame. Your child will have professional school pictures done in the coming weeks and you’ll want to display that sweet smile on your mantel or desk. Buy a nice frame or find one you can paint or decorate to get your child excited about having pictures done.
Review your schedule. If you’ve been rushing out the door every morning, you might want to add an extra 10 to 15 minutes to your morning routine. Or, maybe you need to set an earlier bedtime to accommodate the new school schedule.