The first day at school is a huge milestone in every child (and parents) lives. However, like with anything else, life goes on and once the novelty wears off your child will begin to settle into a new routine. At Bright Horizons, our team of Early Years experts help children and their families during their transition to a Big school and here are some useful tips how you can help your child to settle quickly during their first few weeks at school.
• Talk to your child about the ‘typical’ day at school; describe some school practices such as lining up, raising hands and explain why the teacher expects them. For example that a whistle indicates end of play.
• Practice to undress and dress for PE. Help them understand the need to fold their clothes into a neat pile.
• Involve your child to help choosing and preparing the lunch box. Practice opening lunch boxes and managing packets, lids. Have juice cartons for snack sometimes– this helps develop skills in removing straw from cellophane, and piercing hole with the straw.
• Role play a lunch time. Set up a mini cafeteria, create a serving area and pretend to be a ‘dinner lady’; let your child to carry a small tray and choose from a menu, so they can get familiar with this new routine, especially if they used to more family style meals.
• Continue to offer lots of literacy, maths and science activities and projects. Offer quiet reading opportunities with ready access to easy reader books. The Twister and Zig – Zag series from Evans are particularly good.
• Help children become more independent in taking themselves to the toilet, wiping themselves after using the toilet, dressing after using the toilet and washing their hands.
• Invite a sibling, or a child who left last year to go to school, in who could come and talk about school.