OK, so you’ll probably have a quiet sob over the fact that your baby’s now a four-year-old and heading off to big school. But with our brilliant stress-busting guide, at least you can forget arriving late because you couldn’t find a parking space and make sure your little one’s first day of school goes as smoothly as possible – for you both (panda eyes aside).
1. Hit the shops together
From a lunch box, to a backpack, to a new pair of smart black shoes, there’s a fair amount you’ll need to buy before your child starts school. Start by consulting the school’s handbook or website and make a list of everything your little one will need. Then set a date and go shopping together – let her have as much say as possible in what you buy to get her really excited. Make sure you get your child’s uniform in plenty of time, too.
READ: 15 PACKED LUNCH IDEAS FOR TODDLERS AND PRE-SCHOOLERS
2. Have a trial run at home
All kids love playing school at home and it’s a great way to prep your child for what her first day in the classroom will be like. From break times to P.E. class, aim to make the day as similar to what her school day will be like as possible – you can ring the school and ask about her class’ schedule beforehand. You can even invite some of her friends round to join in or encourage her to wear her school uniform so it’s all the more realistic.
3. Read up
There are some brilliant books to help your little one learn about what school will be like. Check out My School Day, which features a game and puzzle on every page to help your child learn about the different times of the school day.
READ: SHOULD YOUR TODDLER MASTER THESE TEN SKILLS BEFORE STARTING SCHOOL?
4. Tour the school
If your child’s school allows you to, spend a few hours looking around the classrooms and playground before her first day so she gets used to what everything looks like. If there isn’t time or the school doesn’t encourage this, have a look at photographs on the school’s website.
5. Practice the journey
It’s a great idea to try out your route before your child’s first day – and at the same time you’d be travelling each day. School traffic combined with rush hour could mean that the journey will take double the time it should, so it’s worth mapping out an alternative route as an extra precaution. Sitting in standstill traffic and knowing your child will be late for school on her first day will do nothing for your stress levels!
READ: SHOULD TWO YEAR OLDS GO TO SCHOOL?
6. Meet some classmates
You may already know some of the other children who will be going to school with your little one, and arranging a playdate before the year begins is a great way for them to get to know one another to make that first day more comfortable. If this isn’t possible, you could take your child along to a group activity with children of the same age, such as a storytelling session at your local library.
Is your child about to start school? Let us know in the comments box below.