Transitions are not easy, especially for young children. That is why we asked The Unity Council’s Head Start experts to help us compile five strategies to help children be kindergarten ready.
- Encourage independence: Your little one will be away from you for a couple hours, and they need to feel confident doing things on their own. Encouraged them to use the toilet without adult assistance, putting on and removing his or her own coat, hats, and mittens, hanging up his or her coat and backpack, opening food containers, cartons, straws, ketchup packets, and putting toys away.
- Establish a Bedtime Routine. Pediatricians say that children from 5 to 6 years old need approximately 11 hours of sleep each night. Get your child and your family into a morning and bedtime routine. Practice these a month before school starts.
- Encourage children to talk about their feelings; talk about your feelings too. Your child will interact with more children and other adults, and they need to be able to tell others how they feel. Tell your kids how you feel in the morning after work, and ask them how they feel.
- Establish Connections: Strong connections between home and school can help ease a child’s transition into school. Take your child on a visit to the new school before the first day of class; this will help them feel familiar with their new school.
- Plan play-dates with new classmates. Talk to other parents from school and invite them and their kids to a park, this will help you and your child feel more connected.