The lazy, hazy days of summer are about to become a blur of morning madness. That’s particularly true If you have kids heading to school. New schedules, new routines, and new activities will soon take the place of savoring the carefree days of summer. It can be an exciting time, especially if your child is heading to preschool for the first time. It can also be a challenge for you and your toddler to adjust to this brand-new experience. We have some ideas to get you and your little one ready and develop some habits to last the whole school year through.
The Preschool Debut
- New backpack, lunch box, sneakers? Check. These are all signs of a new school year about to begin. Build a little excitement and get your small fry involved in choosing his favorites. Dinosaurs? Trains? He’ll walk proudly into his first classroom donning the new gear that he picked out all by himself.
- That new gear may include a few new outfits as well. Be sure to label everything with your child’s name. Use a fabric marker as it does not wash out or fade. It also eliminates problematic stick-on labels that may curl and fall off clothing over time.
- And just what outfit will she wear every day? Tackle this together in advance to avoid morning meltdowns. Play the ‘this or that’ game to keep it fun while getting things done. The shelves in a hanging closet organizer marked with the days of the week are roomy enough to hold everything from a hat to undies. Using this system can also help nurture the growing independence your little-miss-preschool is developing as she dresses herself in the outfit she chose.
- While the outfits for the week are chosen, there are other tasks that you’ll need to include in your daily routine. Backpacks will need to be filled and emptied, and snacks or lunch prepared. Here’s another opportunity for your tiny tot to get involved in making choices and, it can become part of the evening/bedtime routine. Getting your toddler involved is great way to help her develop and improve her self-help skills. You can even make a game out of it to see how quickly it can be completed.
- Preschool and kindergarten classrooms are set up with routines in mind. The children will learn to follow those routines and schedules, and it’s a good idea to replicate some of those techniques at home. You can use a checklist with pictures showing each task. A sticker chart is another visual tool that will help your toddler understand what needs to be done and feel the pride of accomplishment.
Get Ready, Get Set…for All–That–Paper
Probably more than any other time in your child’s school years, the preschool years are filled with lots of paper. Here come the drawings. Rainbows, turtles, handprints, houses, snowmen, and flowers. Not to mention the 3D art projects filled with macaroni, feathers, ribbons and cotton balls. It can be endless. You’ll love everything your precious little Picasso creates, and it can be inundating. Get a handle on it early. Check out these archive apps like Plum Print, Artkive or Tinker Lab. You’ll get to enjoy the first fruits of preschool for years to come without having to make room for all – that – paper.