If you have a little one getting ready for starting nursery you’ll already know that from a parent’s point of view this may be an emotional time. Children grow so very quickly! The journey into nursery may be worrying as well as exciting for little ones and the best way to approach this is to be prepared. Here are our top tips for starting nursery.
1. Name Everything
When it comes to a room full of tots all with indoor and outdoor shoes, packed lunches, drinking bottles, coats, gloves, hats and more it is easy to find yourself rummaging through the lost property box at the end of the week. Making sure that everything has been properly named ensures your little one’s belongings stay with them and this reduces any stress they may feel over lost items.
2. Practice the Nursery Run
You will most likely have visited the nursery with your child before the summer started. If your nursery is one that is open throughout the summer and you feel it might be help it could be worthwhile popping in for a last visit if your child is particularly anxious (and if the nursery agrees). A great way to help little ones visualise how their new morning routine will go is to practice it. Get into the habit in the week before nursery starts of getting up that little bit earlier and getting washed, dressed, having breakfast etc so that when nursery starts this routine has already been established. A couple of times before nursery starts why not take a walk or travel to the nursery as you would on the day, showing them where the nursery is and again reinforcing this new morning routine.
3. Toilet Training
Even if your little one is starting nursery fully toilet trained it is worth popping an extra set of clean clothes and underwear in their bag for the first few weeks. Sometime children get caught up in their new surroundings and leave it too late (and so have an accident) or struggle to get to the toilet, undressed and on the toilet easily. Make this as easy as possible by reminding your child to ask if they need help, discussing any issues with the staff and dressing children in easy to pull up and down clothes. Jogging bottoms for example rather than belted or buttoned jeans are much easier to pull up and down themselves and long socks are easier than tights initially.
4. Making Friends
A large part of going to nursery is developing social skills and making friends. Practice sharing and turn taking and organise a play date or two perhaps with children who are also starting nursery. If your child doesn’t know anyone at nursery on their first day the staff will help them find someone to play with and monitor this so neither you or your child need to worry about them being left out.
5. Talk About It
One of the biggest fears a child has about starting nursery is the fear of the unknown. Talk to them about what they will be doing, show them pictures of activities on the nursery’s website or FB page, talk about what they will do when they get there (change their shoes, hang up their coat on their peg, put lunchboxes and drinking bottles where they go), discuss what to do if they need help, practice and roleplay anything that they are unsure about and remember to be enthusiastic and talk positively.
Nursery is a big step, again for parents and for children however with some extra advanced preparation the transition will be much easier. Do you have any top tips for starting nursery to share?