The first day of kindergarten is always filled with both excitement and exhaustion for parents. Excitement, of course, because their little one is achieving a significant milestone. But it is no doubt exhausting to prepare a child for school after the long summer break.
Preparing for a new class is always challenging. But, if you are the parent of a kindergartener, it is a bit more challenging because your child is young and cannot help you with preparations.
But there is no need to worry; this guide will walk you through 10 amazing tips and activities to make the first day of school fun and relaxing for you and your child.
A Checklist to Prepare You for the First Day of Kindergarten
A good early education is essential for a child’s overall growth. Parents need to pay special attention to their child’s early education and training because a child’s brain develops fully within the first five years.
Thus, ensuring that your child performs and learns well in kindergarten is crucial because it will lay the foundation for their upcoming academic years. To plan a perfect first day of kindergarten, here are the things to include in your checklist:
1. Order School Supplies
First, order all the essential school supplies your child will need during the school year. It is always a good idea to purchase school supplies before kindergarten starts. Never wait till the last day or you might not be able to get the right stock.
Moreover, many online stores offer special back-to-school discounts that you can use to buy good-quality stuff at affordable rates. Some of the important school supplies that you can add to your cart are:
- Water bottle
- New clothes
- Pencil box
- Stationery, etc.
It will help if you get colorful and bright school supplies for your child because a study shows that bright colors help young minds learn better. Also, you can take your child shopping with you and let them select their school supplies. This will help to get them excited about their first day of school.
2. Visit the Class
If your child is nervous about the new school, you can take them to their kindergarten classroom before the start date. Introducing them to their new teachers and showing them around the class, helping them find the bathroom is, etc., may help them feel more ready for their first day.
This will not only relax your child but also give you peace of mind after seeing the kindergarten environment for yourself.
You can also meet with teachers to discuss the new year curriculum. If you have any questions related to academics or your child’s progress, you can also get answers you need from the teachers.
If an in-person visit to kindergarten is not possible, you can organize a virtual meeting with teachers and request a virtual class tour.
3. Set a Routine
It is hard to get your children back to the school routine after a long summer break. Your kids may have become a tad lazy, they may wake up late in the morning and perhaps even avoid getting dressed till the evening. So, you would have to change all that.
At least ten to fifteen days before school starts, you should set a routine for your children. For example, wake them up early and make them get a proper shower and breakfast.
This way, you don’t have to deal with a cranky kid on the first day of school.
4. Teach Them Basic Skills
There are some basic skills that every preschooler must know. For instance, pencil holding, counting till 10, dressing up, and eating their food.
You should use summer break as an opportunity to teach all these basic skills to your children. This will help them better adjust to the class.
Besides the basic skills, you should also work on your child’s social skills. Preschoolers need to make new friends and learn to express themselves as they may spend a few hours without you on a daily basis.
So, you can enroll your child in summer activity classes where they get a chance to interact with more people and make new friends. You can take them to playdates at your friends’ homes with kids who are the same age, so they can learn to share and communicate with others.
5. Teach Your Child Self-Care
Before the 1st day of kindergarten, you must teach your children basic self-care. For example, you should teach your child how to dress up and eat their food without any help. Also, show them how to go to the bathroom and wipe their nose.
These are some basic self-care things you must teach your child before sending them off to a big school.
Teachers are always there to help your child, but they also have a class full of children to manage. Moreover, making your child independent early is an excellent practice; it ensures that they don’t have to depend on other people for essential things.
6. Talk to Your Child
Not many children can adapt to new situations easily, especially if your child is sensitive to sensory information or stimuli. Thus, it would be best to have a proper chat with your child before taking them to a new class.
You should tell them what will happen in the new class. What will they do in the class? How will they communicate and socialize with other students?
When you share all the details about kindergarten with your child, it will help them mentally prepare themselves. As a result, they will be less likely to throw tantrums or be fearful when you drop them to their kindergarten classroom.
7. Set Goals and Rewards
Setting goals and rewards can help you excite and train your children for a new class. For example, you can ask your child to pack their schoolbag, and as a reward, you can treat them with their favorite snack.
The reward approach is the best to improve a child’s behavior and help them form a routine. According to research, kids learn better when you set goals and reward them for achievements.
8. Get Them Excited about the First Day of School
You should make the first day of school sound like a fun and exciting activity to your child. You should tell them how they will make new friends, learn new things, and wear new clothes.
It will help to reduce your child’s nervousness and fire them up for their new journey.
9. Help Out at the School
Are you nervous about your kids’ first day of kindergarten? It is common to feel that way because you may be sending your little one out of sight for the first time.
So, the best solution is to volunteer at your kid’s school. For example, you can volunteer at the school library, lunch room, events committee, or help teachers. This way, you can observe your child’s performance and ensure they adjust well to the new class.
10. Read the School Manual and Guidelines
All schools have basic guidelines that every child and parent has to follow. You can get a copy of the school manual and read it with your child.
This way, you can teach your child about the appropriate behavior and discipline their new school expects. Plus, you can prepare them for all the upcoming school events. It will also increase your child’s involvement in preparing for the new class.
Related Reading: Best Kindergarten Books to Read in Class: Teacher’s Guide
10 First Day of Kindergarten Activities to Excite Kids
Is your child dreading attending kindergarten? Are they throwing huge tantrums to skip the first day of school?
In that case, you can introduce some fun first-day of kindergarten activities to your child. This will take their mind off the stressful part and help them see how fun it could be to attend a new school.
Here are some exciting activities that can make the first day of school super fun:
1. Make a Card
The first day of school activities for kindergarten students must be an experience that prepares them for the rest of the year. So, you can set up a small art station in your home and ask your children to make greeting cards for their new teachers and classmates.
This can double as an ice breaker for your child when they interact with their teachers and classmates. Plus, they will not focus on the pressure of meeting new people. Instead, they will be excited to give greeting cards to them.
2. Shopping Spree
Include your child in shopping for school supplies. This will give them a sense of responsibility and motivation. You can ask your kids to list all the things they might need for a new class.
After that, you can take your children to a shopping mall to purchase the supplies. Well, we get it, taking kids to a shopping mall can be a stressful chore. Plus, the threat of the pandemic still looms large.
So, to avoid all the hassle, you can shop online with your kids. You can set up an online shopping cart to buy all the essential school supplies for your kids. However, give a proper budget so they don’t go overboard while shopping.
3. Special First-day T-shirt
Another simple activity that can excite your kids on the first day of school is creating a special T-shirt. You can get a plain white T-shirt in your kid’s size from the local convenience store. And, also get some fabric paint and markers.
Then, you can get your children involved in some DIY to dye or paint the T-shirt. And voilà! They have created a funky T-shirt for the first day of school. Moreover, you can ask your children to draw doodles and write inspirational quotes on a T-shirt.
When your child walks into a new class wearing a cool T-shirt, it may help boost their confidence and hence, make new friends.
4. Cool Introduction
Usually, teachers request new students to introduce themselves to the class on the first day. So, you can prepare a cool introduction for your child to win them some new friends.
You can ask your children to list cool facts about themselves, like hobbies, favorite cartoons, and other personal things. This activity will help children understand themselves better. Besides this, they can make new friends and learn to express themselves.
5. School Backpack Drill
With this activity, you can teach your children how to pack their school backpacks. You can host a small competition in your home where you can ask your children to pack their schoolbags with all the essential supplies.
To make the competition more exciting, you can give a special reward to the winner who packs the best bag. This activity will teach your child to be responsible and learn how to pack their schoolbags without help.
6. Dress to Impress
A dress-up game can make the first day of school a lot more fun and relaxed. You can let your child pick the outfit for their first day.
Though, there is little risk in this activity. Your child might end up dressing for a Halloween party. But it will keep their mind off their nervousness and fill them with energy to start a new class. So, it may just be worth taking the risk.
7. Create a Lunch Menu
Another fun activity for kindergarten students is creating a lunch menu. You can let your child help you while planning the lunch menu for the school week.
This activity will allow you to teach your kids the names of different fruits and vegetables. You can also tell kids which food items are healthy and which are not. In addition, when kids plan their own lunch, the chances of getting an empty lunchbox at the end of the day are much higher.
To make this a bit more fun, you can order a small chalkboard, let your kids draw lunch menus on it every night, and place it on the kitchen counter.
8. Count Things on the Way
This is the perfect activity when you are driving your kids to kindergarten for the first time. You can ask your children to count all the trees that they see on the way from your home to their school.
This small game will improve your child’s counting skills and keep them busy throughout the ride. You can give them a new thing to count every day, like shops, dogs, cars, etc. This will keep them interested in the activity.
9. My First Day in Kindergarten
You can walk down memory lane and share the story of your first day as a kindergartner. In fact, you can ask your partner or friends to share their first day of school experiences with your child, too.
It will help your child see that kindergarten is not at all a scary place. Instead, it is a new place to learn and make new friends. This activity will also help you bond with your little person.
10. Happiness Key
You can create a cardboard key for your house and car using lots of colors. You can call it a Happiness key.’ Give this key to your child while leaving for school.
It will make them feel important and responsible. As kids often see their parents lock doors and carry keys before leaving home, this activity will make them feel all grown up and responsible.
It is not a big learning activity. Just a simple way to calm your child.
Related Reading: Enjoyable Kids’ Activities for a Whoopee Time!
Ready for Your Child’s First Day?
As much as your child needs to prepare for the first day of school, you also have to do some preparations. You need to prepare your child for new changes while ensuring they have all the things to start a new school year. Besides this, you need to plan your schedule to pick up and drop off your kids.
So, parents, you can consult teachers and other kindergarten parents to understand what the new year has in store for you. Also, making friends with other parents can be a blessing, especially for working parents, who can put together resources to get a carpool going, among other things.
Now that you know what to do on the first day of kindergarten, don’t hesitate too much and start planning.
Related Reading: Creative Kindergarten Graduation Ideas for a Fun Party Day
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does a kindergartener’s first day of school look like?
For kindergarteners, the first day of school is all about getting to know each other. Teachers and parents discuss the new year’s academic plans. Teachers show students around the class and make them introduce themselves to the class. Not much learning is done on the first day as teachers focus on making children feel comfortable.
What should parents do on the first day of school?
Here’s the checklist of activities for parents to do on the first day of school:
- Take a photo of your child on the first day of kindergarten
- Prepare lunch
- Ensure your kid’s schoolbag has everything they’ll need
- Check your car for fuel
- Get ready at least an hour before the school starts
- Reach the school at least 15 minutes early so you can talk to the teachers and other parents.