By Smarty Guest Blogger Stacey Rommich, Director – Providence Presbyterian Preschool
It’s hard to believe that summer is winding down and that our little ones will be back to school in a few weeks! Whether it’s their first school experience or they are returning to preschool, young children can sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to the new school year. Here are 5 quick tips to make your preschooler’s first few weeks run smoothly:
1. Create a regular sleep pattern.
Summertime means late nights at the pool and sleeping in later than normal! 😊 About a week or so before the first day of school, help your child by creating a consistent bedtime and routine. Turn off all the “screens” an hour or two before bedtime, have a good bath and story time, and then send them off to sleep at a decent hour. While they might wake up a little earlier than your liking, this consistent routine and sleep will help them be happier little students for the first weeks of school.
2. Help them help themselves.
Confidence builds when we can do things ourselves! No matter the child’s age, he/she can complete some tasks on their own…putting on their own clothing or shoes, cleaning up after a meal, picking up toys…celebrate all of these acts of independence with your child. Confidence at home translates to confidence at preschool!
3. Discover a few breakfast foods that they enjoy (and that are good for them!)
A full belly usually means a happy child and a better day at school. If you have a picky eater, don’t make mealtime a battle…just keep exploring different foods until you find something that works! Don’t be afraid to stray away from traditional “breakfast foods” to find something that your child will eat and enjoy. I am not ashamed to admit that one of my boys went through a phase where all he would eat for breakfast was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! It worked, so I embraced it! 😊
4. Play some listening games.
Even at an early age, your child will be asked to listen to their teacher. While this comes easy to some, others have a more difficult time following the instructions of someone who is not mom or dad. “Simon Says” is a fun game that encourages listening and responding appropriately. Praise your child when he/she completes a task that you have asked them to do. Building listening skills and building self-esteem go hand in hand!
5. Encourage kindness.
Most importantly, work with your child on being kind to others. Our world needs more of this, and it begins with our children. Praise them for helping others, for using “please” and “thank you,” and for being a friend.
When the first day of preschool finally arrives, recognize that you are probably more anxious than they are! 😊 Take a deep breath, tell them how much fun they will have at school, and send them off with a hug! Now go get that Starbucks and enjoy a few hours to yourself! 😉