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Inside: Discover 7 helpful ways to prepare your child for preschool and make the start of preschool easier and more enjoyable for both you and your child!
The beginning of preschool is an important moment for every child, and it can bring a lot of joy for seeing your child reaching this milestone, but also a lot of worries about how he will adjust to this change.
There is no magic solution on how to prepare for preschool, but there are some helpful ways to make this moment easier for your child and for you too!
I gathered here the tips that I consider the most useful for helping a child understand this change and adjust more quickly to it!
If you are preparing for the first day at preschool, I also prepared a nice printable to download at the end of the article, and I hope you will enjoy it!
My boy started going to daycare when he was 11 months old, so at that point, there were not so many ways to help him prepare, and I focused more on giving him a long adjustment period and seeking support from his teacher to make this change easier.
Later on, when he was 2 years and 10 months old, he started preschool, and I searched for a lot of ideas to make this change easier for him and to help him overcome his fears.
Now, after our move to California, he will start preschool again here, and I took the whole preparation process from the beginning.
I am sharing here all the tips that helped us the first time and that we’ll also use this time to prepare him for the first day of preschool.
At the end of the article, you can find a resource that I created to help him adjust to this change and make the first day of preschool happier for all of us. You can print the file and use it with your child as well!
How to prepare for preschool: 7 ways to make this change easier
Here are the most useful tips that I discovered for preparing for preschool, that can really make a difference for the kids!
1. Focus on the child
Starting preschool can be a challenging moment for your child, so your support will be very important to make the adjustment easier!
It is useful to make time to focus on the child, connect with the,, and reassure them of your love!
Kids that feel loved and understood can overcome easier the difficult moment they face, so your love and support are essential!
I started the preparation a month before the first day of preschool. This gives my son and me enough time to go through this process in a slow and loving way.
2. Discuss what will happen at preschool
I read that the greatest anxiety that children feel about preschool is caused by the fact that they don’t know what to expect, and the idea of staying there without a parent can be really fearsome!
To help children feel more prepared, it’s important for us to discuss what will happen at preschool.
It’s useful for kids to know the daily schedule they will need to follow at preschool, the type of activities they will be doing there, and the rules they will need to follow.
Talking about the child’s fears and worries can make them easier to overcome. Kids needs to know that it’s okay to feel scared at the beginning but also that there are always adults around to help them.
Another important thing to remind your child as often as you can is that you will always come back to pick them up.
One of the greatest fear children have about preschool is that the parents will leave them there and will never come back. It may seem like an unjustified worry for us, but for them, it’s really helpful to be reassured that parents always come to pick them up.
3. Prepare for preschool in a playful way
The play is the way children communicate, and this is why it’s the best way to make them understand this big change in their life.
Here are some useful ways to use play in helping your child be more prepared for preschool:
- play preschool at home: You can simulate a day at preschool using the child’s favorite toys. This will give him an idea of what to expect when he will be in the classroom.
- read books about the first day of preschool: Reading about this subject is a wonderful way to help children overcome the fear and feel more open to discussing about their worries. For more inspiration, check out this list of lovely children’s books about preschool.
- encourage your child to make drawings about preschool: This way, your child will be able to get used to the idea of going to preschool, and it’s another opportunity for you to discuss his fears and worries.
4. Teach your child the skills that will help him adjust quickly to the preschool schedule
I’m currently working on this with my son because I’m sure that having all these skills will make the adjustment period easier for him.
Here are the skills that are helpful to teach:
- picking up toys and putting them back in their place
- getting dressed with a jacket and putting shoes on when going out
- listening skills (he will need to listen to the teacher and not to interrupt her, so it’s important for him to practice this skill)
- sharing toys with other kids (he needs understand that the toys from preschool are not only his and that he needs to share them with other kids).
5. Practice separation
If your child is used to stay only with you all the time, going to preschool will be a huge change!
To help the, get used to spending time without you, it’s useful to practice separation before beginning preschool.
You can leave your child with trusted family members or friends for short periods of time so that they will get used to staying without you for a while.
This way, your child will also gain trust that you always return to pick them up. You can also use these separations to develop a good-bye ritual. This will help your child to have a familiar good-bye ritual in the first days of preschool, and it will make the separations easier.
Another helpful idea is to go to playdates and help your child get used to playing with other children, sharing toys, and interacting in a kind manner.
6. Involve your child in the preparations for preschool
This is a really easy thing to do and will give your child a sense of control over the situation and also the joy of being part of what’s happening.
You can let the child choose the backpack and the clothes for the first day. This will allow them to feel involved and more excited about going to preschool.
7. Make the first day of preschool really special.
You can prepare a gift for your child to celebrate the first day, or you can prepare their favorite breakfast before going to preschool.
I also prepared a “first day of preschool” interview, two nice keepsakes and a sign for taking a lovely photo on his first day.
I’m sure that this will make him feel special and will help him deal with this change a little easier. 🙂
On the first day, you can have your child bring a little reminder of home to the preschool to ease the separation and reassure him.It can be their favorite toy, or even some photos of you to keep in their backpack.
How to prepare for preschool: a printable to help your child get ready for the first day
To help my son get used to going to preschool and make his first day special, I prepared some resources to make this change more playful and enjoyable for both of us.
I’m sharing them with you, and I hope they will be helpful to you too!
The printable file includes:
- a countdown to the first day of preschool
- a “first day of preschool” sign (you just need to print it, add the date, and make a picture of your child holding the sign on the first day)
- a “first day of preschool” interview for your child (it will make him feel special, and you’ll also have a nice memory of this moment)
- two pages for capturing keepsakes from the first day: a drawing made after the first day of preschool and their handprint.
To download the printable, you just need to click on the below link.
I hope that these tips and the printable file will help you and your child get ready for the first day of preschool, and it will make this day easier and joyful!
Starting preschool is a big change for kids, but with our help, they can overcome their fears easier and start enjoying this new stage in their life!
I wish you a happy start of preschool and an easy adjustment for your child!
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