8 Tips For Sending Them Off To School With Confidence
Are you or your Little Hotdogs feeling anxious about heading off to school for the first time? Here’s our round-up of how to boost their confidence before they reach the school gates:
The more independent your child is before they start their first day of school, the easier they will find the transition - being able to get themselves dressed/undressed on their own will allow them a real sense of achievement. Teaching your child to hang up clothes, put on/take off shoes and how to to use the bathroom alone (including washing and drying their hands) will also help.
If eating lunch independently is new to your Little Hotdog, help them practice opening their lunchbox, water bottle and any food packets themselves. Or if they’ll be having hot lunches, encourage plenty of knife and fork use before school starts.
If you’re child is not used to spending periods of time away from you, practicing time apart (like an afternoon at a friends house) will foster their confidence and help when that first school morning comes around.
Meeting new classmates before school and spending time with them in your presence is another great way to ease the transition. If your child starts making school connections before the big day, you could also arrange to walk together or meet at the school gates so they can enter at the same time for moral support.
Boost their listening skills
The school day requires a lot of listening with spoken instructions shaping their day. Taking ‘listening walks’ and playing Simon Says at home are two easy and enjoyable ways to help your children tune in and listen to what is going on around them.
Enjoy stories about starting school
Spend time with your child reading books about starting school so they can learn about the day to day routines of school and what to expect. Ask your child which bits they are most excited/anxious about and encourage them to ask any questions.
Recommended books for school starters include:
- Topsy and Tim Start School
- I am Too Absolutely Small for School (Charlie and Lola)
- Starting School by Allan Alhberg
- Martha & the bunnies: I Heart School
- Usborne: Lots of things to spot at school
Cbeebies have some fab shows to help little ones get ready for school too. You can find their full ‘Ready for School’ themed episodes here.
Try on their uniform
The moment they try on their uniform for the first time is a huge milestone! Build the excitement by trying it on in advance and taking pictures to send to proud family and treasure forever. Don’t forget to label everything too! Mine4Sure have a huge selection of iron-labels and have brilliant reviews.
Let them add their input. Moving into uniform for the first time can be a big thing. Letting them help to choose their coat and hat will help them to keep their individuality and help them feel included.
Make an exciting school pack
The new chapter of school is a lovely time to treat your child with a school pack of cool school essentials: a new water bottle, a fun lunchbox, a playground hat! KIDLY have a fantastic range of back to school treats.
Practice the school run
Help your Little Hotdogs get used to the school run in advance. Make it an adventure by paying attention to everything on the journey, what exciting things can you spot together? What shapes and signs can you see on your way? Practice how you’re going to get there on the first day (walking, driving, scooter etc) and try and make it as fun as possible!
Heading out at the time you’d be leaving on the first morning is also a good way to ease the adjustment if they’re not used to leaving the house early.
Talk about their teacher
Get your child used to the idea of spending time with their teacher, by mentioning them by name where possible. Explain what sort of things their teacher is excited about playing and sharing with them, and how their teacher will help them like you do.
Looking for more ways to boost your child’s independence? Then read our other blog post: A Guide to Raising Independent, Confident Kids
Fresh Air Stories: Kat Brown in Kent. The first in a series of interviews talking openly about how we can get our kids outside more.