Hayden is 3.5 years old and we have decided to enroll him into a preschool with our local school district. He’s never been in a daycare or really any kind of structured setting, so I’ve been kind of nervous about it!
In June, we put him in a summer camp to get him used to going and being around other children. We had a few rough days where the teachers said he didn’t want to listen and wasn’t used to doing things at a certain time. But he adjusted pretty well and would even tell me in the morning what he would be doing in what order!
He also loved his teachers in the summer so much! He constantly talked about them at home and they always got lots of hugs and cuddles!
Next week, he will start preschool for the year. It’s only 2 days a week, but I’m excited for him to be around other children and also to get into a fun, learning routine. I have to admit, I’m a little excited to have some alone time and to get some things done around the house!
When I dropped him off that first day of Summer Camp, I cried so hard in the car. I can’t even imagine how I’ll be when he goes into Kindergarten full-time!
Since this is Hayden’s first time is a school setting, I’ve been reading up on advice! I wanted to share some tips with you that I found helpful! I would love to hear what advice you have too!
Take a Tour
Hayden’s preschool had an Open House this week and I think it was such a great idea! Luckily, he is in the same classroom that he was in over the summer, so he is familiar with where everything is. He has a new teacher though, so it’s a good idea to see if you can arrange to meet the teacher ahead of time, especially if your little one is new to a setting like this.
We were able to tour the school with him, meet his new teacher, play on the playground a little bit and get lots of information about the school year!
If your school doesn’t have an Open House, see if you can arrange a tour with your little one!
See What You Should Bring
Of course, preschool isn’t going to have a school supply list (although I am sure there are preschools that do!), but see if there is anything you should bring or something the teacher needs!
I asked the teacher at the Open House if they needed anything, and they suggested they could always use scrap paper and Kleenex. I will for sure be bringing that in for the classroom to use. Cassie over at Crazy and Cool with a Side of Crafty had a good idea to bring in baby wipes. Not only are they helpful for cleaning up quick spills and sticky faces, they are good for children that are not yet potty trained, like Hayden!
I am a proud Lovable Labels Love Bug and I love all of their labels! They have everything from clothing labels that are machine washable to labels that are perfect for shoes, sippy cups and more.
I have labels from Lovable Labels and I am going to get to work labeling his clothes, backpack, lovey and shoes. There is also another Hayden in the classroom, so it’s good to have everything labeled so the right stuff gets sent home!
In addition to finding out what you may need to bring on the first day of school, it’s good to find out other things about the classroom.
Hayden’s preschool is nut free, so if the school allows you to bring in snacks, make sure that you are aware of not bringing in snacks with nuts. If your child is potty training or working on, see what kind of guidelines are set up with the classroom. We will make sure to bring diapers and wipes, but also pull-ups. I will make sure the teachers asks Hayden a couple times if he needs to go potty.
Get excited for your child! When I first started taking Hayden to summer camp and he was unsure, I talked it up in such a positive way! We would talk about it before bed, when he woke up, when he got home from camp. I would make sure to tell him all the fun things he would do!
Even a 3 year old would have so much fun going to the store and picking out a new backpack! Pick out new school clothes and whatever else he needs! Stay enthusiastic and your child will too!
Hayden doesn’t have a big problem with saying good-bye, but he used too. I saw some kids at his summer camp have problems too! I think the key is to not make a big deal of it. Drop them off, get them engaged in an activity and then tell them good-bye!
Don’t wait around and save your tears for the car, like me! 😉
Sharing and Taking Turns
Once in a preschool setting, sharing and taking turns is a big deal. Since Hayden didn’t have that kind of exposure, except for one on one playdates we would have, it was important for him to start learning that. He had some rough days at first, but we started working on it at home and it helped. When playing with him at his level, I would make sure to play with it and have him ask to share or wait a little until he could have the toy.
For taking turns, I highly recommend the game Let’s Go Fishin. It’s a fun game for preschool aged children and it really helps them learn to take turns. Hayden would get a turn and then I would have him hand me the same pole and have it be my turn.
Let your child bring a comfort object to help them get through the transition. Hayden has a lovey that he likes to carry along with him. I let his teacher know and they had no problem with him having it with him. During the summer, he would usually start off with lovey but when I picked him up, it would be in his backpack!
These are just a few tips I have for starting your little one for preschool! I’m no expert though, since Hayden starts Tuesday for the first time! I would love to hear your advice and stories!