Putting children into nursery can be an emotional time, usually for the parents more than the youngsters, especially if it’s out of necessity.
I fought the urge to ‘beat myself up’ after drop-off because as we know, it’s proven that nursery is massively beneficial for babies’ learning and social skills. And when I came to pick-up, my children were loving it so much that they wanted to stay longer!
I remember the toughest days to drop-off were those just after the summer holidays, when we’d taken time out together as a family. So to smooth the transition, a couple of weeks before we got back to the usual routine, I’d start to prepare.
Try these tips to help make starting back at nursery a breeze:
Try to arrange some playtime with your child’s favourite nursery friends. Having them refamiliarise themselves with each other will make morning drops off a more exciting time and reassure you too! Meeting at a park or play centre over coffee can be a good way for you to reconnect with the other parents.
Reenact nursery activities
Start to create some of the activities your child does at nursery, at home. This could be craft-based or water and sand play, building blocks or painting. As you do the activity together refer back to when they did this at nursery and mention the staff and children’s names too. This used to help my children relive fond memories of nursery and they’d start to get excited about being back.
If your children are anything like mine their fondness for different characters and colours changes like the wind! Buy a new drink cup, lunch bag or coat, which is just for nursery and displays their favourite colours or cartoon character. They’ll love using them.
Read about nursery
Head to the library and select books about nursery life or children going to nursery. There are even some character books, including Peppa Pig, Masie and Charlie & Lola, which have nursery-themed stories.
Create a fun nursery environment with your child’s teddies and toys. Or you could go a step further and invite his or her friends to take part in the role play! You can assign roles for staff and recreate playtime, mealtimes, naptime and home time.
By Lisa Bradburn, founder of unique children’s gift website what2buy4kids.co.uk