Ready, Set … Preschool!

It’s a day you have both been waiting for: The first day of preschool! It means the baby years are over and the elementary years are just around the corner. How does a parent or caregiver prepare their little one adequately for such a monumental event?
You have likely been preparing without even thinking about it. Here are a few ideas for you and your child to celebrate and prepare with intention.

The Book Bag

Your child will likely carry a backpack from your home to their school (and back again) from now until they graduate high school. Let them choose their first one! If they want a furry monster book bag with a shiny sequined lunch box … awesome! Making a big choice like this will make them feel more grown up.

If you want to invest in something that will last through all their whims and obsessions, check out Becco Bags. They are made of a material that easily attaches to an assortment of patches. You can decorate for the season, the sport or just for fun. For in person back-to-school shopping, do yourself a favor and check out Lunch Money Boutique located in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood.

Books for the Nightstand

There are so many amazing books written for this monumental occasion! You could create a countdown of books to read before preschool — wrap them up and put them inside a new bookbag. Let them pull one out and unwrap it each night before the big day. Here is a short list to get you started:

– A classic and adorable series is The Night Before. There is a Night Before pretty much everything at this point, but you and your little one will LOVE The Night Before Preschool by Natasha Wing.

– Pete the Cat: Rocking My School Shoes is catchy and cool with bright illustrations. You and your little one will be singing the lines from this book in the drop-off line!

– For a funny, adorably illustrated what-not-to-do narrative about going to school, add David Goes to School by David Shannon. If there was ever a naughty preschool boy, he would surely find his match in David.

All of these books are more than likely available in your local library, but if you want to take a field trip to a cute bookshop before school starts, you must check out Kids Ink Bookshop (just next door to Lunch Money Boutique in Butler-Tarkington). Check out their website to catch story time. Going to a story time whether at a book shop or at the library is a great opportunity to talk about story time etiquette.

Sharing and Taking Turns

Sharing is a big lesson that will not be mastered in preschool, but it will absolutely be introduced. Why not practice a little bit at home beforehand? Hide and Seek is a classic. There is nothing as cute as playing this game with a preschooler (unless they hide too well, so you might want to talk about that first). You will need to take turns being “it” and that provides the platform for talking about taking turns. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to practice counting out loud!

Waving Goodbye

It will be harder for you than it will be for them, even if they wail and kick and scream. Even if they call your name with a pinched up, red face. Those big emotions are perfectly natural the first few times. The best thing that you can do is validate their feelings while reassuring them that you will be back to pick them up very soon. Wave goodbye with a smile and let the preschool teachers take it from there. They are pros. Your kids will be laughing and playing in no time. If you really feel worried, you can always ask for a picture later in the day.

You’ve got this! You both do.

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april 2024 Indys child magazine

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