Starting nursery or transitioning to a new class are important steps for children and are often met with a mixture of excitement and nervous anticipation. Whilst this is completely natural, there are many ways in which you can prepare your child for these milestones; making them more comfortable and alleviating some of their potential worries associated with this process. Firstly, here are some ways to help prepare your child for starting nursery.
1. Establish routines
Providing structure for children is extremely important and some predictability in their daily routine is essential. If children are accustomed to a healthy routine at home this will make it a little easier for them to settle into daily routines when they first join the nursery. For more information on why healthy routines are important and how to establish them, read our previous blog post on establishing healthy routines.
2. Virtual visit
As physical visits to the nursery are not currently possible due to current Covid protocols, we at EBN invite children to join a Zoom meeting with their new teacher and classmates prior to their first day. Introducing your child to their new teacher will ensure that they are more comfortable meeting them again on their first day of nursery. Parents and children can also explore our nursery and facilities virtually through our website. Once children get a snapshot of this stimulating environment filled with opportunity for learning and play, they will likely be more excited at the prospect of joining and will have a better idea of what to expect.
3. Talk about nursery
Speak to your child often about nursery in the lead up to the beginning of their first term. It’s certainly recommended to do this well ahead of time so they can become gradually more prepared. Speak positively about nursery so your child can build a positive association with this big step they will soon be taking.
Find different ways for your child to play and socialise with other children of their age on a regular basis. Children quickly learn social skills when playing with others and this will ensure that it is less overwhelming when they join a new class of children who they may not be familiar with. If possible, arrange playdates at home or in the park; join a toddler club where children partake in different play-based activities or go along to a pre-organised playgroup where children can make new friends – this is also a good way to meet other parents and arrange future private playdates.
5. Healthy food
Your child will likely expel lots of physical and emotional energy when they first begin their nursery journey. Making sure that they have a nutritious breakfast and lunch is highly important to sustain their energy and help stabilise their mood. Forming and maintaining healthy eating habits is beneficial for your child’s growth, development, cognitive function and general wellbeing. Our healthy lunch box ideas will get your children excited about healthy food!
6. Stay calm
When the big day arrives, be as calm and positive as possible to help your child feel more relaxed. After all, they will pick up on any tension or anxious body language that you display. When dropping your child off, it’s a good idea to keep it simple; a quick kiss goodbye and a reassurance that you will be back soon. Lingering too long can make it more difficult for you and your child. Here at EBN we pride ourselves on the professionalism of our wonderful staff; after a quick handover, they will take care of the rest!
7. Joining a new class or starting school
If your child is starting school, the strategies above, as well as some others, will help to make it a smoother transition.
- Joining a new class – we will arrange virtual sessions before the new academic year to give your child the opportunity to meet their new teacher and friends.
- Transition lesson – the school will contact you to arrange an opportunity to meet you before your child joins school.
- Remind them that they have done this before! Reflect on their nerves and trepidation the first time round and highlight how well they did and what a super year they have had.
- Make a list with your child detailing some of their goals and hopes for their new class to increase their excitement and anticipation levels.