The Practical Side of Preparing for Kindergarten
We have many great informational articles and resources when it comes to making sure our children are emotionally and academically ready to start their very first term at school. However, it is also a great idea to practice and prepare for some of the more practical elements involved, to ensure your child is familiar with some of the different things they will be seeing and interacting with in the new school environment.
If your child attends a good childcare Centre, such as our state-of-the-art Cherry Bridge Station Early Learning & Childcare centres in NSW, then they are likely to have a comprehensive School Readiness Program, such as ours. This will help your child to identify with all aspects of their brand new school routine and our centres even tailor the programs for each child, depending on which school they will be attending.
Even if your child has the full support of an excellent preschool, there are still lots of things you can practice together at home. We talk more about the social and emotional school-ready skills in our article: Settling your toddler into preschool, but below we will list some of the more practical considerations and everyday items that you can familiarise your little learner with.
Will your child be wearing a new uniform? If so practice getting dressed and undressed, using the buttons or zips and ensuring that everything fits comfortably.
New school shoes may look very smart, but are they comfortable and is your little one confident with any straps or fastenings. Wear them in for a few days just to be sure.
Will your child be taking a backpack or satchel? Make sure the straps are adjusted correctly and that all the essentials like books, lunchbox, and pencil case can fit comfortably into the bag. Do they need a separate sports bag?
Lunch boxes and drinks
Have a picnic and test it out. Make sure your child can lift and replace the lid and that everything will fit nicely. Water bottles or flasks need testing too. Does your child know how to replace the lid and keep it upright in their bag?
It is important that your child can move comfortably and freely in their sports kit, choose loose-fitting cotton and test plimsolls or trainers. Swimwear must be equally comfortable ensuring straps don’t slip-off and shorts can be tied at the waist.
Make sure it packs all the essentials for a day full of learning. Some schools will supply pens, pencils and rulers, but lots of children have a favourite pen that they know they can hold comfortably and confidently.
Most schools have places where your child can drink or refill their bottles with fresh, cool drinking water and keeping hydrated is very important, so make sure your little learner knows where they are and how to use them. Open days are a perfect time to practice.
It might be the first time your child has come across gender specific toilets and strange little cubicles. Open day at the school or using public services when you are out and about will help all these new ideas seem a little less strange! It’s a great idea to make sure they know the words ‘boys’ and ‘girls’, or the symbols, and which one they need to go to, when they need to go!