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Ready to Learn: Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten

Ready for School - getting your child ready for kindergarten

Today is my final post for this year’s Get Ready for Kindergarten Through Play series, and I’m talking about simple things you can do to send your child off to kindergarten ready to learn! Getting your child ready for kindergarten can feel daunting (speaking from experience), but a little preparation really does go a long way! You can find all of the posts for this series – for both last year and this year, by clicking on the link above or the button below.

Get to Know the School

I never went to kindergarten (I started school for the first time halfway through second grade), so when I sent my first child off to kindergarten I wasn’t sure what to expect. One thing I did right was to make sure that she knew where the bathroom was and the rules for going to the bathroom. This is an easy way to prevent anxiety and embarrassment for kindergartners! Knowing where to find the principal’s office, nurse’s office, and library is also very helpful! Bonus activities include learning about your school’s mascot, traditions, and (if possible) looking up photos of events from previous years.

Write a Letter to Your Teacher

I saw this idea all over the internet last year, and I love it! Have your child write a get-to-know me letter to their teacher, and either deliver it on the first day or at an orientation event. If you have a snail mail address for the teacher, that also works!

Meet Classmates

My daughter’s school has three play dates for incoming kindergartners this year, and I have been grateful for the opportunity for her to meet some of her classmates – and for me to get to know some of the parents! Even one familiar face on the first day can go a long ways towards making your child feel more comfortable.

Go Over the Schedule

Knowing what to expect when has eased a lot of school anxiety for my kids. Your child might even enjoy following a mock school schedule for a day – mine play school all the time!

Schedule Down Time After School

While this won’t happen until school starts, I think making sure children have down time after school is an important way to ease the transition. Down time gives kids a chance to process their day, talk to you, and simply play!

What are you doing to prepare your child for the new school year?

Get Ready for K Through Play button

This is the final post for this year’s Get Ready for Kindergarten Through Play series! Here are some great ideas from my co-hosts for this series, and clicking on the button above will take you to the links from my blog for both last year and this year!

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

12 thoughts on “Ready to Learn: Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten”

  1. Fantastic advice. We had 1’settling in session before school started for J but after parental consultation they have 6 play and stay sessions now which are really helping ease the transition. I love the letter idea

  2. Elisa | blissful E

    I particularly like the bathroom tip – anything that prevents embarrassment is so helpful! It also makes the teacher’s job easier so he or she can focus more on educational activities rather than toilet breaks.

    1. Exactly! Not knowing where the bathroom was and not knowing a school’s bathroom rules were two things that used to stress me out when we moved to new schools (usually in new countries, and often in languages I didn’t speak) as a child.

  3. These are great suggestions. I love the idea of writing the teacher a letter and knowing where the bathroom are and the rules is key. You are so right about down time. We have full day kindergarten here, probably most places do now too, my son would come home so drained this past year.

    1. I am glad that we only have full day once a week, and not until school has been in session for a while – especially with Lily being one of the youngest kids in the class this year!

  4. I agree with you that visiting the school as much as possible helps a lot. Visit the playground during the weekends with your child to make the school feel familiar.

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