Pre-K: How to Have a Great First Day

by Tonya Elstein
Starting preschool or pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) is an exciting time for children, but it can feel a little overwhelming. Here are some tips to make a smooth start in Pre-K.
For children just starting school, there is much that is new. Having a new routine, interacting with new friends, engaging with a new teacher, and seeing older children in the hallway is a lot to process for young ones. The transition to preschool can be harder for some, so we have a few tips to help make it easier for your little one.
Children learn best when they feel emotionally safe and secure in their environment. For most children, gradual familiarization feels safer than abrupt immersion in a new environment. Visiting a new school with a parent for just a short amount of time can help with the transition, especially if there are several consecutive visits.  
Here are a few more tips for preparing for the start of preschool.

  • Establish an early bedtime routine
  • Buy a new backpack and lunchbox together with anticipation
  • Count down the number of days before school starts with excitement
  • Talk to your child about what to expect
  • Work on independence skills like putting on shoes and getting dressed
  • Encourage your child to help clean up
  • Play on equipment at parks
  • Expect your child to talk in complete sentences when requesting items or communicating
  • Ask your child if he or she has any questions about school
  • Read, read, read
  • Stay positive so your child doesn’t pick up on any anxiety from you  
  • Calmly reassure your child that everything will be fine
We hope these tips help you and your family get off to a calm and smooth start.  

Also, keep in mind that a high-quality preschool or pre-K program is the best investment you can make in your child’s future. Please download our ebook filled with suggestions for selecting the right preschool or elementary school for your child.

— Tonya Elstein
Director of Education