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You are here: Home > Toddlers > Toddler Education

Preparing Your Preschooler For School

by Katlyn Joy
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It's an exciting, albeit often bittersweet moment. The start of school. Preschool is a milestone for parent and child alike. However, you may be a bit overwhelmed with what you need to do to prepare your child, and yourself, for this new school year.

1. Get your child's check up and any required immunizations taken care of prior to starting school. While most schools will allow some time, it's best not to wait til the last second.

2. Find out the schedule for school ahead of time so you can slowly adjust to the school year schedule. Factor in commute or bus time as well. Plan for your child to get at least ten hours of sleep a night when setting the school year schedule.

3. Get a routine going. Don't wait until the first day to see how things flow in the morning, or afternoon. Practice a week or so ahead of time to figure out where you need to tweak the order of things.

4. Read books about starting preschool to your child. This is an excellent way to prepare your child and have informal conversations where your child will feel free to ask any troubling questions.

5. Visit the school and meet the teacher ahead of time. Oftentimes, a preschool will host a open house or visitation time. Take advantage of any such events to allow your child to become familiar with the school building and the soon-to-be familiar teacher's face.

6. Talk to other parents who have kids at the same preschool to ease your own fears about the preschool and how things work. You will likely have your own questions and concerns and who better than those who have recently been through it all to answer those concerns.

What You'll Need to Purchase For Preschool

1. Get the official list from your preschool. Often times the list will include items that are for the entire class' use such as paper plates or a box of wipes. If the items are specific brands, ask the teacher if it's important to get that exact brand.

2. Clothing. Most preschools advise parents to send their children in appropriate play wear. Preschool is no place for frilly dresses or dress shoes. Opt for hardy clothing such as pants with reinforced knees, jeans that fit well, and tennis shoes that are both comfy and versatile. Consider ease of use for new potty-users. The teacher does not want to be helping unbutton, button and zip every kid's pants for every potty trip. Likewise consider velcro shoes or slip ons.

3. Backpacks and lunch sacks. Most schools will give some direction on the type of of backpack needed, such as what size, and where to label the pack with the child's name.

4. Extra set of clothing and outdoor wear. Most classes will request a full set of clothes be packed somewhere in the backpack. This includes underwear and socks. You will also need to pack appropriate clothing for the weather, such as a jacket, mittens and hat.

5. Snacks. Often in preschool, you will need to pack a daily snack. Many schools have rules on what types of snacks may be brought to school, banning sugary drinks or junk food treats. If you are unsure, ask the teacher for suggestions on what most kids bring.

6. An alarm clock. While certainly not required, it may help your child feel like a big kid to have their own alarm clock go off each day signaling the start of the school day.

7. Finally, consider a small trinket from home that reminds the child of you, such as a tiny photo, a special item or object that is unobtrusive and easy to pack. This item will be close to the child for those nervous first days or moments of missing Mom.


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