Entering Kindergarten is a big transition. However, there are some things you can do to help your child have an easier time with that transition. Other than academic skills, here are some ways to help your child adjust socially for Kindergarten:
Take advantage of school events. If there are any events for preschoolers entering Kindergarten, try to participate when possible. Any chance to familiarize your child with the school and staff members is helpful. This also gives kids a chance to meet other kids that may be in their class.
Visit the school playground. We go to our elementary school playground all summer, and it is a familiar place for my kids. This is an easy way for your child to become familiar with their school, and playing with other children on the playground. You can always use this to reinforce skills like taking turns and listening to instructions.
Storytime. If your child isn’t used to sitting at storytime, what better opportunity than to take them to storytime at the library or the bookstore to get them used to the idea of sitting and paying attention to a story. This is such a good time to be reading a lot with your children, so utilize books as much as you can!
Adjust sleep schedules. You want your child to be prepared for the school schedule, so if need be, adjust their bedtime/wake time. You don’t want to be rushing around in the morning for the bus and your child to be exhausted during the day.
Expose your child to various social situations when possible. This is anything from playgrounds to childcare at the gym, summer camp, play dates, and so on. This way, they will experience different situations where they interact with other children. It also helps for children to be exposed to adults in various leadership roles, and helps them to learn respect and taking directions from different adults (because in Kindergarten they will have their own teacher, but also a librarian, lunch monitors, music teacher, bus driver, and so on). Getting children in a variety of programs may also help some them get used to being away from their parents.
What tips do you have for adjusting to Kindergarten?