Getting Your Kindergartener or Preschooler Ready for School

Getting your kindergartener or preschooler ready for the first day of school can be an intimidating task. You may be thinking, “How can I best prepare my child for this transition?” Here are some tips to help you and your child succeed in preparation for the highly anticipated first day of school.

Talk About What to Expect

One of the greatest actions you can take in getting your kindergartener or preschooler ready for school is to talk about what to expect. You can do this by reading books, having conversations, answering their questions, and having fun with role playing.

Reading books will naturally spark conversations and questions your child may have. It is also a great way to talk about new things they may see or hear at school. This is one of favorite book recommendations about going to school: Starting School by Carron Brown.

Considering children love to pretend play, role playing is a fantastic way for them to learn new routines. You can role play “getting ready for school” or set up a fun classroom at home and role play being the “teacher” and “student.” Whatever you do, make sure to keep things fun and positive!

a view from a child's desk

Plan a Visit or do a Trial Run

Planning a visit to your child’s school is a great way to reduce nerves. If you are able to visit and go inside that is great! You can practice entering the building and navigating to your child’s classroom and any other important areas you may want to see. Point out visual landmarks or reminders when touring the building (i.e. “follow the red foot prints when you come into the building”). Even if your child will not be alone on the first day this will give them a sense of familiarity and independence! 

It is also very valuable to visit your child’s school even if you cannot go inside the building. Take a stroll around the outside and play on the playground! You can practice walking on the sidewalks with “walking feet” and even finding the front of the building, etc.

children walking into school

Adjust Bedtime and Build a Routine

A few weeks before school starts, begin building a healthy night time routine for your child. First, adjust your child’s bedtime a little bit each night until their bedtime is moved up gradually to where you would like it for the school year. Next, begin to add one or two things into your practice school night routine. For example, you may begin having “wind down time” with books and the next week practice picking out school clothes each night. Taking the time to adjust bed time and build a routine will create a pattern of habit and preparedness for the big first day! 

Involve Your Child

Getting your Kindergartener or preschooler ready for school is exciting. One thing you can do to keep the preparation fun is involve them in the process of preparing for their first day! Here are some fun ways to involve your child:

  1. Go back to school shopping – have them pick out some school supplies with you.
  2. Pack a lunch together – make it fun and add a treat!
  3. Pick out a first day of school outfit.
  4. Have them set out their backpack and shoes!

child cutting with scissors

With all your planning and preparation, your little one is sure to have a successful first day of school. Although it will be fun and exciting, it may be an overwhelming day. Be sure to check out tips on how to greet your preschooler with intention!


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