My Little Madison is starting Kindergarten this year. She has been going to a private school for the last 2 years. However we are changing to a public school. So I'm wanting to make the easiest transition for her.. So here are some ideas i thought i would share in case you have kids making any kind of transition.
Before School Starts
Before School Starts
- Visit the school and play on the playground.
- Practice your morning routine.
- Get in the habit of choosing school clothes the night before.
- Work on self-care skills, such as using the bathroom, putting on a jacket, washing hands, etc.
- Role-play what to do in different situations (how to approach a new friend, asking to use the bathroom, etc.)
The First Day
- Send your child with something special to keep in her pocket or backpack, such as a family photo, special rock, felt heart, etc. Even the most independent kids will like having a little piece of home to take to school. Both my girls had little photos to hook to their backpacks at preschool. I made these with badge holders, which you can find at office supply stores.
- Establish a good-bye ritual. This can be a really fun way to make the hard good-byes a little easier. Try creating your own “combo” with things like a kiss on each cheek, a high-five, a hug, a funny saying, an elbow-bump, hooking your pinkies together, etc.
- Have a First Day of Kindergarten party with a special dinner, scavenger hunt for a new book, etc.
Create Routines & Rituals
Tips for Parents
- Have a special after-school activity on Fridays.
- Hide something in the car for your child to find after school. This is Madisons *favorite* thing – I hid notes, coins, small toys, and occasionally a piece of candy inside a plastic Easter egg. Definitely something to look forward to!
- Make a monthly calendar. We use a big desk calendar, and mark down their school days and other special activities. You can also use a calendar to “journal” about the school year — just have your child tell you his favorite thing from the day, and write it on the calendar.
- Keep a scrapbook or journal together. Madison and I will be doing this for sure!
- Have something planned for yourself the first day after drop-off — maybe meet a friend. Or, you could sit in your car and cry, like I’ll be doing…
- Find ways to be involved in the classroom and keep updated on what your child is learning and doing.
- Expect some crankiness, tantrums, napping, etc. for the first few weeks – adjusting to a new routine is hard work!
- Have a snack in the car for your child at pick-up!
Helping Your Child Talk About the Day
Some kids talk non-stop about every detail of their school day, others say nothing. Both responses are normal! Here are some ways to encourage your kids to share about the happenings at school:
- Keep a drawing pad and crayons in the car – your child can draw a picture of something from the school day on the ride home, then you can talk about it together at home.
- Know the daily schedule and themes in your child’s classroom so you can ask specific questions. Asking questions like, “What did you do for choice time?” or “What did you learn about caterpillars today?” usually gets more detailed responses than, “What did you do today?”
- Again, use that monthly calendar to write down something fun or interesting about each school day.
Do you have a little one heading off to Kindergarten this fall? If you have ideas or tips on making the Kinder transition a bit more special, please share!
Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to leave your thoughts, Esther