Kindergarten is a great time of learning and exploration. New friends, a routine, and anxiety. It’s hard to let go of your baby to start Kindergarten so we’ve put together some was to deal with Kindergarten Anxiety.
Read Books About School
Libraries are a great place to explore the many books available to learn about meeting new friends, how a classroom works, and what it may look like. Call ahead to your school to see if they have any books they think will help your child ease into their new environment.
Talk to your Child
It sounds so obvious and basic, truly. But in reality, we often forget to set aside time to really discuss what Kindergarten is. Ask your child what they think Kindergarten will be, what they will do there, how they’ll make friends, and what they are looking forward to. Also ask what they are not sure about, if they have any questions, and what they’d like to bring to help them ease into a new classroom.
Take a Tour of the New Classroom
Once you find out who your child’s teacher will be, ask for a tour. Usually a Teacher Meet and Greet is scheduled just before school. If your school doesn’t have one, ask for one! Put together some interview questions your child would like to ask their new teacher; What’s your favorite color, favorite animal, favorite snack, etc…. This will allow your child to have interaction with their new teacher and something to discuss once your home.
Host a Playdate
Invite your kids classmates to a nearby park. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy, a simple playdate will do! Hand out invites with directions, date, and time as well as your email if you’d like to get fancy. Weekends work well but you may want to try to put together a few before school starts as most families are busy with camps, social engagements, and vacations.
Share Your Experiences
This is a great time for mom and dad to talk about their first days! Did you make any life long friends in Kindergarten? Did you have a fun nickname or favorite activity? Find some old photos, if you can, to share.
Learning through play is still number 1! Playing Kindergarten is a wonderful way to manage a sense of confidence about school, set up expectations and manage fears. This is also a fun time to go through your supplies and get excited about home supplies and school supplies!
Write the Teacher a Letter
Once you find out which Kindergarten teacher your child will be getting, encourage them to write him or her a letter. Your child can draw a picture and tell you what to write or write it themselves!
Have a Picnic
Most Kindergartens have play areas near grass. Pack a lunch and head over! Having your child get used to their environment will put them at ease as they figure out all the other ins and outs.
Make the 1st day Special
Interview your child and have them pick out their outfit for their very first day of Kindergarten. Don’t forget to take that 1st Day Photo!
Give them something Special from home
Sometimes the first day can be lonely. I have my girls pick out something special from home that reminds them of me. This year we’re making bracelets together. Make it something small as toys are not allowed in class. Even a sticker on their notebook or folder will work. Or a charm on their backpack (or superhero!) Just being able to see it and know it means mom/dad is coming to get them will bring calm.