The first day of anything can always be a little daunting, even for us grownup folk, but when it comes to the first day of nursery or pre-school for your child it’s only natural that there are going to be some nerves (on yours and their part!). If you have a little one about to embark on the next stage of their learning journey, we’ve come up with some ideas on preparing your child for nursery or pre-school…
Get to grips with the new routine ahead of time: Chances are your current routine is going to be turned on its head a tad for the new school year, so start prepping your child for the routine to come. Do a few dummy runs ahead of time including driving to the pre-school, so that you are both prepared for day one.
Try some role play: Role play and imaginative play are always a fab way to get your child engaged with new situations. Practice:
Talk about the pre-school/nursery routine: By the time your little one heads off on that all important first day, you will probably have a good idea already about the routine and curriculum of your chosen pre-school or nursery, so talk, talk and talk some more about what they should expect and what kinds of activities and timings are likely to happen.
Try and set up some playdates before they start: Familiar faces are the best kind of faces when it comes to your child being comfortable in their new class. Speak to the pre-school or nursery ahead of time to see if you can get a buddy system kickstarted and arrange some playdates with new classmates ahead of time. If you can’t get hold of the class list, then still set up playdates with other children who are also starting pre-schools and nurseries at the same time, even if it isn’t the same one. Mixing with other children is a big part of their new adventure.
Keep a positive mindset: Okay, so your mind might be scrambled like a dropped egg about your little one going off on this new path, but outwardly at least be calm and confident about it all. Don’t ask too often if your child is scared as this might make them more fearful if they think they have something to be scared about. Just keep positive and beef up how exciting it’s all going to be: positivity is the name of the game.
Read books together: There are lots of great picture books out there that cover starting school, school life and the validation of children’s feelings, and are well worth a read together. We like:
Okay, so you’re all set. You’ve got this, parents! All will be well!
And don’t forget, if you haven’t got a nursery or pre-school secured yet, you’re more than welcome to speak to our helpful Treehouse Club staff about available spaces, special offers and to arrange a look around. You’ll find us in our forest school locations around Essex counting clouds, collecting twigs for art projects, setting up mud pie role play stations, and arm deep in sensory play activities!