Now that we have hit November EVERYTHING seems to be happening at once and so fast too.  I sometimes feel like everyone saves up all events until the last two months of the year and then our calendars just get invaded.  Luckily it’s all fun stuff, but it’s still so exhausting and so hard to keep up – well for me anyway as I’ve never really been too hot on organisation.

A big event for us this week was my little (or not so little anymore) Miss H has started her preparations for school next year.   10 ways to prepare your child for big school

I don’t feel quite as ‘new’ as I did when Master J started school but this week has reminded me of all the things our budding little big school people need to prepare for the new year.

It was so cute to see how excited she was about her Orientation Day and meeting her big buddy.  I wasn’t too worried about her as she has been in and out of the school a thousand time over the last two years since Master J started that it’s a very familiar place for her.  (Poor Miss L will have spent almost every day of her entire life at school before she even starts).     10 ways to prepare your child for big school

I couldn’t help getting a little lump in my throat watching her skip off – it’s like the end of another era for me.  I think I’m getting worse as I get older and will definitely be needing the tissues when she actually starts. Luckily Master J won’t be around as he will be mortified!

It really is a big deal for them (and us) and good it’s to be as prepared as possible, so I’ve put together a few tips that I found helpful.

My top 10 tips on how to get your child ready for Kindergarden

  1. They need to be able to read or recognise their own name in print.  This will really help them on their first few days to be able find their own bag hook and seat in the classroom.
  2. If you are able to, it’s a great idea to visit the school grounds during the weekend or the holidays.   This helps to familiarise them with where their classroom is, and from there how to get to the toilet blocks, the office and the playground etc. This way they are less likely to feel totally disorientated on their first day.  The school should have provided you with a map in your welcome pack, otherwise you can find one on the school website.
  3. Make sure your child is able to recognise the toilet symbols for male and female so that they know which one to use.  Also make sure that they are able to wipe their own bottoms and wash their hands without help.
  4. Make sure that they are able to put their shoes and socks on by themselves.
  5. Make sure that they are able to put their jumper/jackets on and off by themselves.  I once picked up Master J from school not long after he first started and he was freezing.  I asked him why wasn’t wearing his jumper and he told me that he after he took it off in the classroom it was inside out and he couldn’t work out how to put it back on again.  Showing him how to do just hadn’t occurred to me.
  6. Make sure they are able to open everything that you put in their lunch boxes.   There is not enough time during morning tea for the teacher to open 24 packets of teddies!
  7. Make sure they know how to put their own sunscreen on.  Sunscreen is always available in the classrooms but the children are expected apply it themselves.
  8. Chat to your child and make sure that they understand that their current routine is going to change dramatically and go through the new routine with them before it starts.
  9. Make sure they know how to put their uniform on and what needs to go into their school bags every day.  Believe me you won’t want to be doing it for them all the time, especially if you have more than one child at school.
  10. Try on their school uniform and shoes well before the big day so that you can iron out any issues that may cause them problems, like blisters from new shoes or a zip that is scratching them.

    10 ways to prepare your child for big school
    and don’t forget your tissues!!!
All of these may sound pretty obvious but it’s amazing how much we help them out at home without even realising.  A lot of these things would also have been covered as part of their school readiness program at pre-school, but it’s good practice to start doing them at home too.  It just gives them that little extra boost of confidence and independence before they start school.
Having been through this process before, my one bit of advice would be to not plan too many external activities for your child during the first term.  They are absorbing and learning so much, that during the first few weeks of school they are absolutely exhausted.  In my experience anything extra could just tip them over the edge, and really – do you want to living in tantrum city?????.  Once they have settled in and are used to the new routine they will be able to cope with so much more.
Do you have any little people starting school next year?  How are you feeling about it?


16 comments on “Top 10 tips on how to get your child ready for Kindergarden (or Big School)”

  1. She looks so cute in her uniform and so excited too. Those are great tips. Thank you. My little one will be starting pre-school next year, but it is at the same daycare centre she’s at now and she has a few friends. I’m hoping it won’t be too much of a big transition for her. Fingers crossed 🙂 Hope your little one goes well x

  2. Great tips there Mrs D! I have one that could be starting pre-school next year but I am not sure whether she will or not, it is not compulsory and I am not convinced on the early age entry. Plus she is my baby! Looks like it is all sorted in your house though. Wising you well or this next exciting stage

  3. Thank you Rhianna. It’s really hard to know what to do for the best here in Australia as you have a choice of when to send your child. In the UK you have no choice at all and it does make that decision a lot easier I must admit. I think you just have to go with your gut as only you know you baby the best. Good luck xxx

  4. My 4 year old is starting big school next year. We agonized over the decision as he is a march baby but have decided to send him. He is so excited and I am sure he will be just fine. These tips are great, thanks!! I am from England and started when i was 4 1/2, my sister was 4 and about 3 weeks when she started it really is nuts how different the countries are.

    • I’m just the same Ann. Hollie will not be 5 until April but if we were living in the UK she would have started in September so I am happy that she is the right age. It’s kind of strange how you get to choose here, but I think the best thing is for parents to just use their gut instinct. I hope he loves school xxx

  5. These are great tips lovely, my daughter was on the younger side when she started last year and I really felt for her, this year, second year she has WAY more confidence, ability and knowledge, I can’t wait to see if many of her friends are in the same classroom! I hope you enjoy the last few days with your girl – wow two at school – how amazing will that be! xxx

    • I can’t believe it. Once I get over sending her I think I might do a little happy dance!! You’ll soon have two at school too x

  6. Thank you Robyn. I really found this practical list very helpful, and will come back to it when my daughter starts school. Thanks also for linking up to Sunshine Sundays! xx

  7. It’s just the most daunting thing, sending our babies off into the big school yard! The only thing I would add to your list is to make contact with other parents at the orientation days and arrange some play dates before school starts. This is especially helpful if you don’t know anyone at the school (we didn’t and it was very daunting!). x

    • Isn’t it!! That is an excellent point Bron and you’re so right. When Josh started we didn’t know a single person either and I felt on the ‘outside’ even as a mum for the first few of weeks. x

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