For many parents, sending their little one to nursery means the first time they are far away from them since the time they were born. It is also the first time for many children to socialise with other children and for some, it comes much easier than others. Although overwhelming, it is important to ensure you take the time to choose a nursery that is appropriate for you and your child. The first day can be full of anxiety so here are a few tips on preparing for nursery.
- Plan more social activities - teach them the concept of taking turns, being patient and sharing can be very daunting and a completely new experience for many children new to nursery. Teaching them this before they join can make the experience easier for some. Try to plan play dates so they can get used to the concept of playing with other children.
- Time away from their parents - spending time away from their parents can be easier on them if they are used to spending time with other carers like family members, relatives, grandparents, etc. If it's their very first time away from their parents, it might come as a real scare and make their time at nursery that much more difficult.
- Visit the preschool beforehand - pay the nursery a visit. See how you feel about it, what kind of vibes you get and more importantly, how your child responds to being there and how the carer interacts with them.
- Potty training - a lot of children come to nursery at an age way too young to be potty trained and most nursery carers do not expect children to be potty trained. Depending on the child's age when entering nursery, discuss this with the staff and know what they are expecting.
- Self-help skills - make a game out of practicing self-help skills like zipping up their coat, fastening their shoes or putting on their backpack. This will give them a chance to practice a few things before their first day.