As the first day of kindergarten approaches, your child may be nervous, excited, afraid or feeling all of these emotions. And that’s OK! Helping your child feel excited and prepared for kindergarten makes the first day easier for him and for you. Here are some ways to get ready for day one from the Nebraska Department of Education:
- Talk with your childcare provider about adjusting your current routine (such as naptime) to help prepare your child for the new daily schedule.
- Read books about kindergarten and encourage your child to talk about his/her feelings. • Participate in school open houses and information meetings. Help your child feel more comfortable and confident by knowing what will happen, where things are, whom she knows, and what to look forward to.
- Meet with your child’s teacher, especially if you feel your child may need individual attention or support.
- Start a new bed time and morning routine a few days before school starts. A routine will help your child get the 10-12 hours of sleep needed.
- Talk with your child about what you will each do on that first day. Consider sending a small visual reminder, such as a family photo to provide comfort.
- Arrive at school early to give your child time to settle in. Remind your child about your plans for the end of the school day. Give a reassuring, cheerful, and short good-bye.
Books to help your child get ready for kindergarten
These books are recommended by the Nebraska Department of Education to help you get your child ready for and excited about their first day of kindergarten.
- Sam and Gram and the First Day of School by Dianne Blomberg, Ph.D.
- The Berenstain Bears Go to School by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
- The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
- Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson
- Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten by Audrey Vernick
- If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
- Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGee
- Welcome to Kindergarten by Anne Rockwell
- Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London
- When You Go to Kindergarten by James Howe
- Timothy Goes to School by Rosemary Wells
- First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
- The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Want to know more about Kindergarten readiness in Nebraska? Download the eBook.
I really like your tip about how reading books about kindergarten will help your child be more confident about what’s going to happen with his first day. My son is old enough for kindergarten, and he isn’t used to being away from us for periods of time. He does love reading big, colorful books, so I think a great reading material about the experience will really help him adjust to a new school environment.