Our once tiny baby is now a little boy, and is getting ready to head to Nursery School / Preschool in a mere 3 days! It will be our first time that “back to school” really applies to our family, and I’m incredibly excited!
Change, however, isn’t always the easiest thing for little children like our three and a half year old son. And what with our impending move in a month, our family will be going through quite a lot of change! So I’ve done some research on how to make his transition to his new preschool a bit easier.
1. Read about Preschool
This was a nifty little trick I learned when I had my second tiny baby, Felicity. In order to prepare Rhys for our new arrival, I bought a ton of kid books about babies and new additions to families. It does seem a little foolish to read about new babies, or even preschool to a three year old. But, it works – it takes the information that he needs to know and relates it to him in a fashion that a three year old can digest. The book pictured above talks about teachers, how he can meet new friends, sitting down for story time etc. Like all things, repetition and hearing the same keywords over and over again promote a type of muscle memory reflex for the brain. If I can get him to hear certain words all the time, and then hear them in school just as often, then he’s already prepared for what’s to come.
2. Practice making lunches
Honestly, I am not a cook. I’m not even good at making peanut butter and jelly half of the time! I don’t even know how my kids have survived this long. BUT, I have become better with practice. That said, this will be the first time that I have to make a boxed lunch since my days in middle school. It’s been a fun give and take between my son and I, and I have been finding out what he likes to eat on a daily basis. So, the more I do, and the more I try to decipher his complicated little palette, the better off we will be. In the end, find out what your little one likes to eat that is lunchbox friendly. Practice making these lunches and bringing them to a park or playdate.
3. Keeping the house clean
Adults need to get in a new routine as well. I know that feeding the kids and keeping the house clean is something that not everyone excels at – and I am first in that long line. But, it is really important to our family because it keeps my house free of germs that my kids can get, free of clutter that can gather inevitably from having two children, and most importantly, free of that weird smell that wafts through every parent’s home which seems to be comprised of stale graham crackers, milk, and an ever slight tinge of baby poop. My favorite product to use around the home is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® found at Whole Foods Market.
I love Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® products because they are good cleaners which are chock full of great plant derived ingredients and essential oils. It smells great, especially the Lemon Verbena Scent, and it really handles dirt and grime very well. I am a huge fan of the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Multi-Surface Spray, Dish Soap, and Multi-Surface Concentrate. If I’m going to have to clean, I might as well make the best of it, and at least enjoy how it smells.
What’s more is that for every 25,000 bottles sold, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® will donate a dollar to the Whole Kids Foundation which is dedicated to helping kids eat better and enjoy it. Founded by Whole Foods Market, this nonprofit organization is guided by the same values, principles, expertise and standards for quality ingredients, food production methods and nutrition. They help support gardens at schools so kids can learn about how their food is grown, as well as creating salad bars at schools to give kids healthier options.
This great video below helps describe the foundation better than I ever could —
4. Establish a set routine for the child
It is truly difficult to get things to be the same way every day. I get it. But, the best chance you have for making his transition as effective as possible to create a routine for both morning and evening. Yes, the beauty of having them sleep in is that you get to sleep in too (hopefully), but, get their bodies used to waking up early when they would have to go to school. Then set up parameters for them to meet in terms of getting dressed, putting on shoes, brushing their teeth etc. Then, when they come downstairs, the first thing they do is go to the dining room table to have breakfast. Next, I like to fit in some early morning outdoor exercise time before school, shortly after breakfast. Do the same with your evening routine. Dinner, bath, brushing teeth again, and so on. Try to start these routines a couple of weeks before school starts so it is second nature to them.
5. Visit the Preschool together
While you’re out on a drive, perhaps you should stop at the school so they get an idea of what it looks like as they walk up to it, or what the parking lot looks like. Take them for a walk around the premises, and try to arrange a time with the school where you might even be able to visit and see the inside of the building. I know for my son, just seeing a familiar setting (even if he has only seen it one or two times) is a HUGE advantage for us because his memory is uncanny. Seriously, if he has been somewhere a couple of times, wherever it is, he will remember the place, why we were there, and when we went. I think he’s like Sherlock Holmes sometimes (Benedict Cumberbatch of course – not Robert Downey Jr.) Our Preschool actually had a playdate AT the school the week before school started. This way, all of the classmates saw each other, and became familiar with the school and playground.
Sending your child to school (even if it’s preschool) for the first time is hard enough as it is. Add in the fact that it upends their life for a little bit, and your home can be totally thrown into a frenzy if it’s not handled with care, then we are really talking about some bad mental breakdowns here. From the kid, sure – but mostly the parent!
Finding what works best for them, what works best for you, and keeping your house in the clean shape you need it to be to best promote your routine is absolutely vital. Speaking of that, it’s time to get break out the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® Multi-Surface Spray again – I think the stale graham cracker smell is rearing it’s ugly head again, and I must vanquish it with some good ol’ Lemon Verbena. Once more unto the breach dear friends….
Best of luck to all of you with little ones starting off school!
Talk soon, friends.