Starting kinder is a major milestone for children and their families, but it can also be a scary and emotional time.
At kindergarten, your child will have opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends. Whether your child is preparing to be away from home for the first time, transitioning from day care, or moving from thee-year-old to four-year-old kindergarten, there will be new experiences and routines to get used to.
Here’s what you can do to prepare for kindergarten, before the big first day arrives:
- practice the journey to kinder
- encourage independence at home, eg getting dressed, taking jumpers or coats on and off
- talk to your child about what to expect and any concerns they have
- establish a goodbye routine together and practice it
- spend time doing activities they might do at kinder, eg reading together, working on a puzzle
- see our online resources for some great ideas for play-based activities to try at home
- watch videos about your kinder (click here for BCYF kinder video tours)
- pack your child’s bag and make sure everything labelled – see more about what to include in your Family Handbook
And when the big first day arrives, here ‘s what you can do to make it easier:
- get up early and allow plenty of time to leave the house
- arrive at kinder on time
- don’t make a big fuss when it’s time to leave. A quick kiss and cuddle, then say goodbye in a positive voice.
- establish a consistent routine each day and try to stick with it
- arrive on time for pick-up at the end of the session
- talk to your child about their day
- be enthusiastic and positive, but also listen and reassure if they are feeling overwhelmed
Remember, the kindergarten years are designed to prepare your child (and you) for school so don’t expect to have everything under control straight away. If you have any concerns, talk to your child’s teacher.
It’s important to maintain regular communication and keep your teacher informed of any changes at home that might impact on your child.
Here are some more helpful tips for getting started at kinder.