Hints & Tips
10 Steps to a Successful First Day at Nursery
- Children are very perceptive little ones, they will pick up their mum’s anxiety so relax, be positive and put a great smile!
- Prepare them; they mostly have fear of the unknown e.g. what to expect in school. Read them a book about going to school. Late pickups can cause extra anxiety.
- Arrange for a nursery visit, a brief pre-visit to the playground and the classroom to see all the things in the classroom e.g. books, toys etc.
- Shop together for the nursery supplies e.g. lunchbox, backpack, etc..... If your child has a preferred character, try to choose the items themed with that character.
- Pack friendly boxes: allow children to pick out their own lunch box & pack their favourite foods so that will be encouraged to eat them.
- Strive for quick separation on the first day make your good bye happy and brief. A quick hug and kiss with the reassurance that you will be back at pick up time works best.
- Provide a transitional object: Ask the teacher if you may send in a transitional object to assist with adjustment such as a stuffed animal or a family photo in order to ease their anxiety.
- Use an incentive chart; reward the children with a smiley face sticker for the happy day. Next set a sticker goal once your child receives a certain number of smiley stickers he/she is entitled to a small treat. Advise the teacher that you are using an incentive chart at home so that she may also help your child reach the goal.
- Talk it up. Encourage your child to talk about what he/she did at the nursery today. Be positive about any activity or artwork. If your child develops a new friendship, perhaps you can arrange a short play date at home.
- Hang in there! Separation anxiety is very common especially during first school experience. It takes some children longer than others, so don’t give up hope. One day you’ll be able to look back at these first few days and be amazed at how far your child has come!