Preparing Your Preschooler For Their First Day of School

Today is all about preschoolers! So often when we think of back to school we think of older kids. We arrange their schedules, we get the school supplies they need, we get them to their practices, arrange their carpools, and send them off on their way to conquer the world.

But, what about preschoolers? Are you sending your little one off to school for the first time? Even if it is only for a few hours a couple of days a week, this can be an anxious time for both a preschooler and their parents!

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Sometimes, there is great excitement and anticipation – at least until the night before! Then your preschooler, who was bubbling with excitement, is suddenly a flurry of tears. Perhaps they are not the only one in tears as the reality of the following day sets in.

This doesn’t have to be an emotionally charged mess, however, if you’ve got a few tips to use in a proactive way. Here are some things you can start doing now, to prepare for those last minute jitters to help keep the tears at bay.

Do you have a preschooler? Here’s how to prepare them for their first day of school!

preschooler first day of school

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There are numerous books at every local library about going to school for the first time

Take advantage of these and start reading them long before that first day arrives. Here are a few favorites:

Have other kids talk to your preschooler about their GOOD experiences at school 

Have them tell your child all the great things about being in school. If they have any negative stories, make sure they know that these would not be helpful at this time.

Set up a time for your preschooler to take a tour of the school

Ideally, this would happen more than once. Hopefully, they will be able to meet some of the key people at the school, too.

Drive past your child’s school frequently over the summer

Remind them that this is where they will be going, and show them how close it really is to your home. Even if it is some distance away, you can play this down by making a big deal about in being “so close to home.”

Involve your child in choosing their backpack, lunchbox, and needed supplies

Then, don’t let them use any of these things until school starts, which can be a challenge!

Allow your child to choose the outfit they will wear for the first day of school

This can even be done well in advance of the first day in order to build anticipation. Maybe it could even be a brand new outfit to celebrate this special occasion.

Let your child choose a picture or pictures of you to take along, or maybe they would like a picture of the entire family

Place it in a special frame or book, and make sure they know just where to find it in their backpack.

Give your child a folded tissue that you have sprayed with your perfume to take along, too

Put it in a ziplock bag and tuck it away in a different place than where the picture is.

Send along a little something that is special to them as a surprise for them to discover

A small animal, a favorite action figure, or a beloved doll could all do.

Put on some lipstick and make a lip print on a small piece of paper or card stock

Tell your child that it is there for them whenever they feel like they need a kiss from you. Have them gently put it up to their cheek, and it will be almost as good as the real thing!

Whether your child is naturally apprehensive or the type who had the world by the tail from the moment they were born, first day of preschool jitters are almost a sure thing. If they are not your child’s jitters, they may be your own! Whether these 10 tips are for your child or to put your own mind at ease, they can be a great way to make the first day, or the first week, a success.


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