The pull-ups are packed, the extra clothes are labeled, the extra security blanket is ready, and your emotions have been rocked… It’s preschool time!
Your baby is not a baby anymore.
That hits hard, huh? It did for me. Twice now.
With all the new preschoolers headed to the first day of school- literally- here are some Preschool Prep tips and ideas to get you and your preschooler ready for the new adventure.
Educate and Show Examples Through Books
Your child is going to pick up new habits. There’s absolutely no way around it! Start reading books about different behaviors to hopefully help with some of the naughty habits he/she will come home with. We like the Best Behavior series- Hand are not for Hitting, Feet are not for Kicking, Words are not for Hurting, Teeth are not for Biting and Sharing Time.
Keep Some Consistency
If your child only goes to preschool 2 or 3 days a week, get a copy of the preschool schedule and try to stick to a similar routine on the days you are both at home. It might be an adjustment but it’s usually well worth it.
Be Willing to Compromise
My son started preschool last school year and after a few short months, it was insanely clear that he was not going to nap while at school. Instead of keeping him there for the duration of naptime (which was interrupting other sleeping children and causing him to be a total bear the rest of the evening), the school and I came up with a solution together- I now pick him up an hour early and they bring him out to me so my toddler doesn’t wake up the sleeping children. He still needs a daytime nap so, for now, that is what we do.
Stock Up on Duplicates and Communicate With the Teachers
Yes being with friends of the same size and comprehension is fun and exciting but these little guys do and will get anxiety from time to time. One of the things you can do to help with this anxiety is to duplicate the items that make your child feel safe and secure. If your child sleeps with a lovey blanket, make sure you have a duplicate for naptime at school.
Talk with your preschool to see what they are willing to do when your child encounters an anxious moment- will they let your child snuggle their lovey for a few minutes? Take a breather outside with a cup of water? Communicate with the teachers and let them know what works at home and what you think will work while at school. Every single teacher I know welcome suggestions and ideas to help your child adjust, and feel comfortable, while at school.
Bring a Family Picture
Ask the teacher if they have a place to display a family picture so that your child may look at it at will. The preschool that my son goes to does a wonderful display for the children- they take a family photo for each child, attach it to a colorful piece of paper, attach each child’s name to the picture, laminate it, and place it on the wall low enough for the children to see. There are family pictures all over the wall! I love that because I know that my son can stop and look at his family whenever he wants or needs to.
Involve Your Child
Let your preschooler pick out his/her lunch box (you usually don’t need a backpack unless the school suggests you get one) but don’t overwhelm your child! Pick out three lunch boxes that you like and let your child chose from the select few. Giving your young child too many options can backfire too easily. I know this all too well…