How to Get Her Ready for Kindergarten

How to Get Her Ready for Kindergarten

Little girl starting kindergarten

Pencils, backpacks, and school buses. New friends, new teachers and a brand new schedule to learn. Starting school brings a lot of change for both you and your girl. But there are a few simple things you can do to help her walk through doors that first day not only ready to learn—but to go in with a big smile and a sense of confidence.

Here are 5 ways to prepare her for a happy, safe, and fun start to her first school year: 

1. Dress her for success
Help her have a smooth first day by making sure she can move freely in her outfit. Kindergarten is a place to play, run, climb, and learn, so the fancy dress you bought last week might be best left at home. Make sure she can put on and take off her own shoes and coat. Avoid putting her in anything with complicated closures (multiple zippers, toggles, or buttons can be tricky for little ones) and opt for leggings over tights, as tights can get snagged on the playground or slip down and cause discomfort through the day.

2. Be a tourist
Many schools set aside a day to let incoming kindergartners and parents tour the classroom, so take advantage of the opportunity or ask to schedule a special visit. Also make sure to show your child the hallways, the bathroom, and other important places like the playground and library, too.

3. Get her talking
Take turns telling a story with your girl. Even if she’s got a lot of friends in your neighborhood or is known as being talkative within the family, she still may need a little boost to help her communicate with others in a new setting. Tell a piece of the story as your child listens, then ask her to pick up where you left off. It will help develop the listening and communication skills that can give her a smooth transition into kindergarten. Even simply reading books to her and asking her questions about them (Would she have made the same choices? How would she feel if she were the main character?) can help. Try stories and books about kindergarten as the first day gets closer.

4. Do a practice run
A few days before school starts, set the alarm for the new wake up time, visit the bus stop, or walk the route to school. If you have neighbors who will be attending the same school, it might be a great time to find your bus buddy—or a friendly face to join her on the first ever walk to school.

5. Celebrate her friendship skills
Reinforce the qualities that will help her make new friends, and let her know when you see those positive behaviors in action. Liked the way she shared with a younger sibling or neighborhood playmate? Tell her! Did she notice someone was sad and try to cheer her up? Let her know what a nice thing she did. It can also be helpful to help her practice introducing herself to new people.