Starting kindergarten can be both exciting and intimidating. The change of schedule, new activities, and social aspects may take some time for your child to adjust to.
There are a few things you can do to help your new student prepare mentally, physically, and emotionally for these new experiences.
Going to kindergarten may require an earlier bedtime and wake-up time. To help ensure your child is getting enough rest, establish a bedtime and morning routine. Taking a warm bath, reading a story, and getting tucked in with a goodnight hug or kiss before bed every night are a few options. Routines offer stability by creating expectations for what’s coming next, which can be crucial during times of change.
Phase Out Naps
Kindergarten is a longer day than your child may be used to. If your child is still taking naps, start phasing them out of naps to help them stay awake and alert throughout the day. Decreasing the time of their naps even by only a few minutes at a time can help ease them into an earlier bedtime routine as well.
Plan a Visit
If possible, plan a visit to see the new classroom, tour the facilities, and meet the new teacher before the big day. Seeing the kindergarten classroom with a trusted parent or caretaker can help reduce any fears of going somewhere new, making the transition easier.
Stay Current on Vaccines
A physical and immunization record are required by most schools at the time of registration. Your pediatrician can help you get the documentation that you need with your child’s current medical information.
Practice open communication to help build confidence and create emotional safety. Check-in with their feelings about kindergarten— are they nervous, scared, excited, or something else? You can share how you felt when you started kindergarten to help model emotional sharing.
- Share your memories of kindergarten
- Tell them the name of their new teacher
- Talk to them about the activities or classes they’ll have
- Ask them about what they learned each day
- Invite them to share something that they liked and something that was a challenge
It’s always nice to be appreciated, especially when you’re starting something new. Pointing out and encouraging your child’s strengths can help them feel more confident. In a time of unknowns, reminders that they’re loved, cherished, and supported can mean a lot.
This is an exciting time for new students and parents alike. With some advance preparation and planning, this transition can be a fun and memorable experience.
The information and content on our website should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment or advice from your doctor.