A child’s first day of school is one of the most important milestones that all parents want to etch in their memories forever. It is a momentous event that signifies the start of your toddler’s journey towards independence and maturity.
Because of these reasons, every parent wants to have only the best memory of this milestone. They want their kids to be happy and smiling when they enter the school or classroom. They also wish to see their toddlers in high spirits as they pick them up after classes.
How to Help Toddlers Make a Successful Transition
Choosing the best nursery in Dubai is a good start to getting the assurance that your children will have a pleasant experience as they go to school for the first time. By going through the process of selecting the right preschool, your little ones won’t have too many difficulties adjusting to a new setting on their own.
Additionally, they will be more comfortable as they learn and interact with their teacher and classmates every day — people whom they will consider strangers at first.
Making sure your toddlers have an excellent first day of preschool will also help them make the transition smoothly. It will also set the stage for the ensuing days of classes.
Because the first day of school plays a crucial role in your children’s educational journey in this academic year and future ones, you need to prepare them well. Below are the best tips that will help you do so:
1. Read books about going to preschool weeks before school starts
Begin introducing to your kids the concept of going to nursery as soon as you have chosen their school. Aside from talking to them and telling them what happens in the classroom, read books about preschool to your children weeks before classes start.
However, don’t simply read them the story. Discuss the emotions of the characters with your kids, and ask them if they feel the same.
During these storytelling sessions, make sure you tell your toddlers that it is all right for them to feel anxious and nervous about going to school. Assure them that their teacher and classmates will help make the whole experience better.
Lastly, give your kids reassurance that you will always be with them even if you are not physically present in the classroom.
2. Visit the nursery school with your kids
Although your children may have seen their school one or two times before, ease their worries by bringing them to the campus or center a few more times before the start of classes.
Take a tour of the school with your kids. Introduce them to teachers and other staff who are present during the visit. Encourage your little ones to talk to them and to ask them questions, if they have any.
The best nursery for baby development has wonderful playgrounds so let your toddlers play there every time you visit the school. By doing so, they will realize that going to nursery also means playing and having fun.
Keep in mind that every time you bring your kids to their school before classes begin, you increase their comfort with and confidence in this new setting. As such, the more visits you make, the more at ease they will be on their first day of nursery.
3. Begin establishing routines
Going to preschool is a new concept and experience for your toddlers. Younger kids are typically not open to changes and, as such, will feel anxious and apprehensive about their first day of school.
To help your toddlers ease into preschool, establish routines weeks before classes start. Set up a morning routine with going to school in mind. This means getting up early, eating breakfast, preparing their lunchbox, and getting dressed 20 to 30 minutes before the school bell rings.
Set up a new evening routine as well. Eat dinner earlier than usual. Have your toddlers prepare early for bedtime as well.
These routines will help kids feel safe and secure, especially when new things will be happening. These can also help them realize and accept that preschool will be a regular part of their lives soon.
4. Allow your kids to make some decisions
Another excellent way of helping your kids feel more excited about their first day of nursery school is to let them make some important decisions.
Start by letting them choose which school bags, notebooks, pencil case, lunchbox, shoes, and outfits to buy. Give them options regarding the times they should go to bed and wake up, and let them select the ones they are most comfortable with.
When going grocery shopping, let them choose which snacks and beverages they want to bring to school as well.
Although making these decisions may seem trivial for adults, they mean a lot to kids. And when children have a say in something, they will be more eager to take on a challenge.
5. Avoid showing your anxieties and worries
As a parent, it is normal for you to feel anxious about your kids going to school for the first time. However, try to avoid displaying your apprehensions and fears.
Children are perceptive. If you sound uneasy when you talk about school, they will pick up on your emotions and start becoming anxious, too.
If you want your toddlers to be excited about going to school, show positivity and enthusiasm. Let them know that you also went to preschool and have incredible memories about it. Assure them that all students find something fun about going to nursery school which your children will also discover soon.
However, make sure you don’t overdo it. Children can spot fake enthusiasm when they see it. Avoid being too excited that your kids will know that you are hiding your worries behind your false eagerness.
6. Be mindful of verbal and non-verbal cues from your kids
Whenever you have discussions with your children, don’t hog the conversation. Encourage them to talk and listen to them.
If your kids are worried about something, they will tell you. However, since they are still toddlers, they may not be able to express their concerns fully verbally. Because of this, you have to look closely at their non-verbal cues such as their facial expressions and tone of voice. Take note of the topics they bring up repeatedly as well.
Do your best to answer their questions and address their concerns. Additionally, always be encouraging and reassuring so that you can reduce their worries.
To fully prepare toddlers for nursery school, start getting them ready weeks before the start of classes. By doing so, the likelihood of your kids having a fantastic first day of preschool will be higher. You can ensure it will be an event full of happiness and smiles, and not with sadness and tears.
About The Author
Alan Williamson is the Chief Education Officer at Kings’ Education, a premium school brand in Dubai which leads a fantastic group of premium UK curriculum schools, including Child’s Play Nursery. As well as being passionate about teaching and learning, Alan has been actively involved in school leadership related to Special Educational Needs.