It’s possibly the most exciting and the most scary time of your life – your little baby has grown up and is now ready for kindergarten. You’ll be apart during the day while they learn all the skills they need before starting big people school. You’ll finally have mornings to yourself, but you’ll likely be fretting over how the little ones are doing. Are you ready for this huge step into the future?
There are a million things to think about and take care of before you feel ready and confident to send the kids off to kindy, and we’ve put together a list of things you should take care of before doing so. Don’t worry, kindergarten is a rite of passage all parents and children must go through, and you’re far from alone in your worries! At Oz Labels, we’re here to make things easier.
Make sure your child can take care of their basic needs
Or if not, make sure the teacher is aware of any troubles your kids may have. Some things to think about include buttoning and unbuttoning pants when it’s time for the bathroom, zipping up jackets when it’s cold, using tissues to blow their knows, and re-tying shoelaces should they come untied. It’s absolutely okay if your child is not fully confident performing these tasks, just make sure a teacher is informed so they can keep an eye out.
It’s a good idea to help practice these tasks with your kids before setting them off to kindy as well. Confidence is key when you’re stuck with strangers, and you want your children to feel as though they can take care of themselves without having to ask for help. That said, make sure they’re always confident and ready to ask teachers and peers for help when they need to.
Prepare a daily routine
Before it’s time for kindy, try to get your kids into a regular routine throughout their day so that they’re used to the idea of having scheduled tasks and meal times. Try to send them off to bed earlier, to wake them up earlier, prepare healthy breakfasts together, and teach them how to pack their backpack and lunchbox. You could even organise some activities to do during the day, such as painting, to ease your child into the routine of school.
Get to know the school
For kids to be confident, they need to be in an environment that makes them comfortable. Dropping your kids off at kindy when they have no idea where to expect, where to go, or where they even are, isn’t a great way to help build their confidence. Try driving to kindy a few times, showing your child around the grounds, and pointing out the bathrooms and entrances/exits to help them grow accustomed to their surroundings. When the kindergarten itself feels less strange, your kids will feel more confident, and you’ll feel more at ease knowing that they’re aware of where they are.
Hone your child’s skills
Kindergarten can teach a lot of kids some brand new skills they’d never practiced before. To make things easier, and make your child feel more confident and competent, try practicing skills together in the months leading up to kindergarten. These may include:
- Social/emotional skills – Try to assign your child tasks that are slightly above their ability. This way, they can learn to tackle an issue, and to ask for help when they cannot find a solution on their own. Another idea is to play board games to teach your child how to take turns and patiently wait while others are playing. It’s also important to make sure they have some time away from you, under the supervision of another trusted adult. This way they won’t freak out on their first day without your company.
- Language skills – Read to your child every day for around twenty minutes, teaching them how to properly hold a book and look at the pictures. After each reading session, ask them to repeat the beginning, middle, and end of the story to ensure they have processed all the information correctly. Teach them the alphabet and the basic sounds each letter makes.
- Cognitive skills – Talk about concepts such as size, direction, position, and opposites. Have them practice each concept, for example, you could provide them with seven different objects and ask them to organise them by size (smallest to largest), or to pair opposites together.
- Physical and motor skills – Make sure your kids stay off the computer and get plenty of time outdoors to run around, jump, climb, and swing to their heart’s content. Teach them to throw and catch, to stack items on top of each other, and perhaps even how to skip rope! Play with puzzles, cut out different shapes, you can have as much fun with physical development activities as the kids can!
Teach them their name, and label everything
Kindergarten means a lot of belongings get mixed up and lost due to the lack of parental presence. Save yourself the headache and ensure that your child’s belongings are all labelled with their name, address, and a contact number. At the same time, make sure your child is able to recognise their own name so that they can easily find their stuff. Why not get started with Oz Labels kindy package? Organise a time where you can teach your kids about the importance of caring for their belongings, and help them stick the labels on all their necessary belongings. The fun shouldn’t stop when school starts!