Kindergarten is an exciting time for children and parents’ lives. It’s the beginning of the school journey. For many children it is the first time getting a backpack and lunch box and being away from home. Even children who have been in a preschool environment are bound to get some anxiety and nervous bellies.
Before kindergarten starts there are some things you can do to make the transition for the kids and yourself a little easier. A consistent bedtime routine will help with any anxiety and help set a good schedule moving forward. A typical five-year-old requires about 10 to 13 hours of sleep a night. In kindergarten there is no nap time, so assuring adequate sleep at night will be important for mental and physical health as well as attention, learning and emotional regulation. If your child is still napping, you may want to shorten naps and push back bedtime.
Reminding your child about all the fun activities in kindergarten will help increase their excitement and decrease their anxiety. Getting them set up with their special backpack and lunch box is always fun. Having them part of what goes in their lunch box. Working on things that the teacher will be doing with them in the classroom will help them understand and get excited for the things with will experience throughout their day. You can color, work on a letter worksheet, read books, practice writing their name and following small directions.
On the first day of school, you can have your child bring the teacher a small picture they colored or a small flower to help break the ice. Building an immediate connection will help your child seem part of the new classroom and help decrease any anxiety about joining their new group of friends.
Recommended books to read before kindergarten starts:
Clifford goes to kindergarten by Norman Bridwell
On the first day of kindergarten by Tish Rabe and Laura Hughes
Miss Bindergarten Gets ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
The crayons go back to school by Drew Daywalt- A Ms. Jennifer favorite.