Summer is a magical time to enjoy sunshine filled days playing outside, relaxed schedules, family
adventures, and quality time with our children. With the school year right around the corner, we wanted to take a moment to share some casual, fun ways to help you and your child ease into the summer to school transition.
Preparing for a Positive Transition
Nothing is better than being close to those you love and separating from loved ones can stir up anxiety in children and parents alike. It is normal for parents to experience mixed feelings as their young children begin school. Be gentle with yourself as you process your emotions and strive to present a calm, positive perspective. Your child will be looking to you to process their own feelings about the upcoming transition. Remember that routines are comforting and familiar. Consistently share a special goodbye song, or hug whenever you separate and they will begin to understand what to expect during separation, be more confident that you will indeed return and be better prepared for transitions.
Ease into a "School Routine” Before School Starts
Every family has their own special routine, but often there is a bit of an adjustment from the relaxed days of summer to the more structured school day. Having your child go to sleep and wake up at the same time that they will during school will help your child adjust and be well rested for a full day of fun. Practice selecting and putting on weather appropriate clothing to make mornings go more smoothly.
Use Imaginative Play
Have fun being creative and playful with your child as you act out what a school schedule looks like for your family. Role play getting ready in the morning, driving to school, or saying goodbye at drop off. Use the school schedule (found in the parent handbook and welcome letter) to play school with your child. Reassure and help alleviate your child’s anxiety by modeling the joy of learning and playing with school friends.
Come Play at School
Playing at our nature playground is not only a fun summer activity, it will help increase your child’s comfort and confidence in their school environment as well. Head down to the pond with your net and bucket to see what lives below or lace up your sneakers for a family forest adventure on one of the nature trails!
Do a Picture Walk
If your child is returning to school take a picture walk of school friends, fun adventures, and the classroom environment with your child. Seeing familiar places and faces will help establish some excitement for the upcoming year.
Read Preschool Stories
Picture books about preschool and parental anxiety are wonderful tools to help children process their feelings and prepare for transitions. Here are some of the stories that we love!
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes
By James Dean
Move and groove with Pete the Cat as he discovers the joy of school. Special connections: Try having your child choose or decorate some groovy school shoes of their own to rock on the first day of school.
Sophie’s Squash Goes to School
By Pat Zietlow Miller
Join Sophie in a fun and silly adventure as she overcomes her back to school jitters and discovers that like squash, friendships take time to grow.
The Kissing Hand
By Audrey Penn
This beautiful book is wonderful for your child if they are feeling a bit anxious about separation or going back to school. Chester the Raccoon shares the message that we all have to do things that are new and maybe a little scary, but the love of family is always there with us wherever we go.
We are so excited for another amazing year of preschool and hope that you are too!