Our Kids’ Transition into Preschool

I can’t believe it, but we have finally made it to that golden moment of parenthood where both of your kiddos are in school on the same schedule! Well, we call it school but technically it’s a preschool. Whatever it is, I’ll take it. For both of our kids, we tried to lay some groundwork ahead of time that has really helped the transition for them from being at home with us full time to a little bit of a more independent schedule at school. Read on for some tips we learned during our kids’ transitions into preschool!

Know What they Need to Know Each school has varying requirements and prerequisites for the children attending. Some preschools or daycares require that the children be potty trained; some require that they can drink out of cups; others have no requirements whatsoever. Be sure you’re educated on what your kiddos need to have mastered before they head to school.

Nutrition Matters If your school requires that you send snacks or lunches, send something delicious and nutritious! We love the Stonyfield Organic Yogurt pouches or tubes. They’re super simple to toss in a lunch or snack bag and pretty easy for a kiddo to manage with no mess. Our kids love these pretty much without fail, and it’s a fast and easy way to get some nutrition into their diets at school. One other trick I love? We freeze the tubes to make frozen yogurt snacks for after school or when we’re out and about. Then you can just toss them in your bag and go.

Set Their Expectations We took a lot of time before each kid started their school schedule just talking about what they could expect. We even did this with Henry, and he started school at 18 months. I think no matter how young a child, they can internalize the things that you’re telling them, even if it’s in an abstract way. We prepared them by saying things like, “When you’re at school, you’ll sit with your friends to eat lunch!” Or, “It’ll be so exciting to have a teacher read you stories!” Things that clearly let them know they’d be in a new environment, and framed it as a positive step forward.

Be Prepared for Dropoff Henry initially (and still every so often) had a hard time at dropoff. He’s a homebody and sometimes just doesn’t want to leave us. So we know now that if he starts crying, the best thing for everyone is to give him one hug, hand him to the teacher, and bolt. It sounds cruel, but he’s invariably fine a minute after we leave, and if we stick around we just prolong the meltdown. For Henry, we also developed a “secret dropoff handshake” that we do before we drop him off. It’s a fun thing to share and it has created a routine that seems to make him feel good.

Make It Special When we pick up the kids, we always make a big deal about the things that they did in school, to make it feel special and exciting for them. If they painted a picture or used scissors for the first time, it’s a major high-five event. It keeps them invested and pumped to go back the next day.

What about you? If you have kiddos in preschool, I’d love to hear your transition tips too! Any major wins or losses? Any favorite snacks to send? Share your experiences in the comments.

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield. All ideas and opinions are my very own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

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