Getting ready to start nursery, preschool or school
Whether your child is getting ready to start nursery for the first time, will be moving up to preschool or even starting school, here’s a few helpful tips on how to prepare them (and you!) for the big day. Your little one may be feeling a little nervous, or may be looking forward to their first proper taste of independence, with this helpful advice, you’ll all be feeling good about starting childcare and getting going with this new adventure!
Tip 1 – talk about it
Talk about what starting school or nursery means with your child. If you’re reading a story or watching something on TV together with a character in school, try pointing at what they’re doing and chat about what it could be like for your child when they start. Helping them to visualise what’s coming is a great way to make them feel more relaxed about what to expect.
Tip 2 – walk past the building
If you’re walking nearby, take a detour to walk past the building so you can point out the other children playing in the playground having fun. This is great way to get your little one excited about starting.
Tip 3 – get them used to being away from you
If being away from you if completely new, start building it up early with a visit to grandparents where you leave them for a few hours and then return. They’ll get used to the idea that you always return and that it’s nothing to worry about.
Tip 4 – give yourself time to get ready the first morning
It’s never easy getting out the house in the morning so make sure everything is prepared the night before so it can be a stress-free as possible.
Tip 5 – keep the drop off time short
It can be tempting to watch them until they’re settled but often a quick drop off with a big hug, kiss goodbye, telling your child you’ll be back to pick them up at 3pm, is the best way to approach the drop off. Keep a smile on your face at all times to reassure them! They’ll soon be running in on their own in no time.
Tip 6 – prepare them for mealtimes
Talk about what they can expect at mealtimes whether it’s a hot meal they can choose or a packed lunch provided by you. Encourage them to try new foods by saying how yummy the food is and talking about it at the end of the day. They may well be expected to drink from a small cup so get your practice in early with one of our mini open cups! Check out our Sipping 101 guide for some great tips on building confidence with drinking from a cup.
Tip 7 – get structure to the day
During the Summer holidays it’s all too easy to fall into lazy days with lots of fun but no structure necessarily. Try re-introducing a bit of structure back in before school starts so your child has an understanding that mealtimes happen at certain times, and there’s rules to follow. This all helps as they get used to what’s expected of them during the school day.
Tip 8 – hearing about their day
Make time at the end of each day to hear all about what your little one got up to – they’ll love telling you about their new friends, the games they play, a picture they drew or about their teacher.
Starting school is a special time and a new adventure for you both – don’t forget your first day of school photo! Good luck.