My eldest’s first day at pre-school was so emotional, I’d been looking forward to having a few hours to myself for ages but when the day finally came, I’d have done anything to turn back the clock… However, he was delighted with himself (and his new bag and shoes) and had a whale of a time!
If you have a little one starting pre-school soon, here are a few things to get them buoyed up:
Loan A Book From The Library
Thankfully, there are lots of picture books available that help to get your child prepared. From ‘Maisy Goes To Preschool’ to ‘George’s First Day At Playgroup’, you’re sure to find one featuring characters they love. As the books will only be relevant for a short time, borrowing them from the library makes sense. While books won’t cover everything, they'll serve as a conversation starter and will get them to think about what their own first day will be like.
Swat Up On Essential Skills
Starting nursery may be your child’s first experience of not having you on hand to help with everything. It’s therefore a good idea to make a list of skills that they’ll need in order to get by on their own. Of course, their teacher will be available should they need assistance but it’s good for them to practice being as independent as possible.
They’ll love mastering the art of taking their shoes on and off, putting their coat on and practising opening and closing their snack box. If they haven’t been successfully toilet trained yet, allow lots of time before they start to perfect this too.
Have Fun With Imaginative Play
Young children love to act out scenarios and so recreating their school day at home is sure to get them buzzing about doing it for real. From saying goodbye to you, putting their coat on a hook, and introducing themselves to their little pals, there are lots of ways to tap into their imagination. Siblings can get involved too and play the part of classmates or the teacher and eating their morning snacks out of their lunchbox will go down a treat.
Shop 'Til You Drop
A great way to get kids excited about something is to let them choose something new. Letting them choose their bag, drinks bottle and new shoes will make getting ready feel special - they can help you with the labelling too.
Build up to your shopping trip by explaining how fun it will be and let them show off their purchases to other family members when you get home. I seem to remember that when Peppa Pig bought her new red shoes home she refused to take them off for any reason and wore them both in bed and in the bath. Might be a wise idea to avoid this episode if you don’t want them to have muddy sheets or soggy shoes…