Tuesday, March 19, 2013

5 Tips to Prepare Your Child for the First Day of Preschool

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Bear started preschool this week.  He's 4.5 and aside from church nursery for 30 minutes a week, he's never been in a group care setting.  Bear has also not been watched by non-family members {aside from our grandma-like nursery worker}  so you can imagine the nervousness I felt. 

Despite the urgings of others, I've waited to put him in a program because I enjoy spending time with him and because I didn't feel that he was ready. During our church service, our pastors do a "kids time" where all the littles go up for a mini-lesson based on the larger sermon.  for over a year, I've had to go up with Bear and sit on the floor by the stage so he could see me.  Right there by him.

Then something unusual happened a few weeks ago.  They announced kid's time, and he tore off up there without a second thought about me.  I knew then that he was ready.  I contacted our church preschool and just as God would have it, they had a spot for him. 

And so, in preparation for his big day, I asked others for tips on how to prepare your child for the first day of preschool.
Explore through books and classroom visits
Carolyn, from Mama's Little Muse, suggests reading The Kissing Hand "and then before leaving your child at the school, kissing his hand and saying if he ever misses his mommy, your kiss will be in his hand and he can touch it to his cheek to feel mommy's love."
You can also visit your child's room during non-school hours like Deirdre and her son at JDaniel4's Mom did. 

Make a countdown
Make a countdown so that your child can tangibly see how close the big day is coming.  You can do this by making a colorful paper chain or printing out a calendar from online and placing stickers on it as each day pass. 

Buy a new backpack
Create excitement for your kiddo by letting them pick out a new backpack to take with them on their first day.  Not only is it handy for keeping spare clothes in and bringing papers home with, but your kidlet can also tuck a special stuffed friend inside for support.  Or you can do like Kim from Kim's Kinder Academy did: "I made a little felt heart that my daughter could carry in her backpack.  If she felt she missed me, she could carry the felt heart and know that I am always there with her."

Create a routine
Kim, from Learn, Create, Love, suggests "getting everything ready the night before {backpack, clothes, snack}.  That way in the morning, all they need to do is eat, brush teeth, and get dressed."

Also, make your drop-off easy.  Try to maintain the same order of events everyday.

Take a break
Rebekah from The Golden Gleam suggests keeping time after preschool unscheduled. She says, "Just come home and relax and play. Try to do this until your child has settled into the new routine."  

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