Your child's first day of preschool can be exciting for both of you, but there are some things you should consider doing in advance to help make this big transition go smoothly. Use this guide to prepare your new preschooler for his or her first day.
Establish A Routine
Depending on which hours your child attends preschool, the time may interfere with his or her regular nap schedule. While some schools do allow for nap time in the classroom, it's a good idea to start establishing a routine in the weeks before your child begins attendance. Try to push naps until later in the afternoon or earlier in the morning to ensure your child stays awake and alert while in preschool. Establishing an earlier bedtime at night might also help. Practice getting ready for preschool in the mornings by creating a morning routine, such as starting with breakfast, followed by getting dressed, and performing grooming tasks. With enough practice, your child can be ready to seamlessly transition into a regular school day routine.
Establish An Emergency Safety Net
It's a good idea to have several people lined up who can handle school pickup and dropoff in the event that you aren't able to. Reach out to trusted friends and family members, and create an emergency contact chain of command for your child. You can present this information to your child's preschool teacher so there is no question of who should help to care for your child in the event that you can't.
Practice Independence Skills
Getting your child ready for preschool means helping him or her to handle tasks independently without your help. Practice having your child use the bathroom without assistance, which includes getting his or her clothes back on afterward. If you help to feed your child at mealtime, work on having him or her do this independently as well. Other tasks to work on might include putting on coats and shoes or picking up toys after playtime is over. Fostering a sense of independence can help him or her to succeed in school, and it can also make your child feel like he or she has accomplished something big as well.
Check with your child's preschool to see if it has any first day checklists you can reference. There may be a packet or pamphlet available that spells out which supplies your child might need to bring or what type of clothing is acceptable. With a bit of preparation and practice, your child can be ready to start learning on the first day of preschool.