Welcome back, mamas! Last week, I mentioned several tips and tricks for parents to help “ease in” their preschool newbies. Allow me to throw in a few extra ideas to add to your arsenal.
- Arm yourself with the necessary supplies. Ok, so you have already purchased school bags, lunch bags, school clothes, etc. You may not have thought the more obscure items. I’m talking about (as one example) the slider variety of sandwich bags. Yep, my children’s teachers gently informed me that little kids often have a hard time opening the “yellow and blue makes green” kind of bag. Your child’s preschool teachers will thank you for it if they do not have to open a gazillion baggies at lunch time. Same goes for water bottles, pouches…well, you get the idea! I also erred in placing bananas in my then-2-year-old daughter’s lunch bag. Every day. So essentially, not a day passed when a teacher did not have to dedicate time to assist with the peeling of said item. (I’m so sorry!) Also, make sure that your kids have closed toe shoes. Most schools don’t like the kids wearing sandals on the playground. Oh, and long dresses are a no-no for climbing up slide ladders.
- Get to know the other parents. You probably already know that you will be highly encouraged to be in charge of giving a party at some point during the school year. At my kids’ preschool, these parties are planned by two parents. It’s maybe not the most optimal situation to pair yourself with another mom who reports having the same craft dysfunction as you. Put a craft gal and a food gal together and you’ve got smooth sailing.
- Set up play dates with classmates. Ahaparenting.com offers what I consider to be a more natural approach to intervening in your child’s social life. (http://www.ahaparenting.com/Ages-stages/school-age/Help-kids-adjust-school) Very simply, ask your child who he enjoys spending time with at school. Ask the teacher who he may be gravitating toward. Or you can do as I did and spy on your kid through a one-way mirror to see who he plays with when he doesn’t know you’re watching. Especially for a shy child, these play dates could provide a less intimidating setting to build friendships without the distraction of other (perhaps more extroverted) children dominating the scene.
What valuable tidbits have you learned along the way? What strategies worked (or flopped) as you helped your tot settle in to preschool?