Here are some helpful tips for making a smooth transition into a new preschool year:
1. Attend a group read aloud time at the Hunterdon County Library so that your child can get used to listening to a story in a group setting.
2. Be sure to establish a wake up and go to bed time that will fit into the school routine for September about two weeks before the date that preschool will start.
3. Make arrangements for your child to go on a playdate with a future classmate. This way he/she can get to know a friend who will in his/her class.
4. We offer home visits by the teachers in August or September as well as a playdate visitation at the school in August. Make sure that you and your child participate in one of these events.
5. Be sure to tell stories about when you went to preschool and share how you felt about it.
6. Let your child pick out a his/her new lunchbox and backpack and label it together.
7. Take pictures of your child in front of the new preschool and use the picture to make a little book about going to preschool.
8. On the first page you can put a the picture of your child in front of the school and you could write a caption about your child going to preschool. Then you can draw a picture together of your child having fun at preschool for the next page and for the last page you can draw a picture of mommy and or daddy picking up your preschooler. This will help to reassure them that you will be coming to pick them up after they had a day of fun.If someone else has never cared for your child besides you before, start to leave her for short periods of time with friends or relatives. It will be good to reinforce the fact that you will return and that he/she is safe with others.
9. Give your child a personal belonging of yours like a favorite scarf or a picture of the two of you so he/she knows you will come back to get it.
10. Read some great books about going to school and saying goodbye, such as-
- The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
- Will I Have a Friend? by Miriam Cohen
- First Day of School by Anne Rockwell
- Take a Kiss to School by Angela McAllister
- It’s Time for Preschool by Esme Raj Codell
- A Pocketful of Kisses by Audrey Penn
- Select a special object from home that your child can take to school and let them carry it in could be their lunchbox, a book to share or a stuffed friend for rest time.
- Give yourself and your child time to get comfortable with this new situation and remember that separation is a process that will take time for both you and your child.