September will be here before we know it and with the start of a new term. If you’re little one is due to start this year it can seem like a huge change for both them and you! To help you manage the start of this massive milestone here are my top tips on how to prepare your child for their big day.
Start the toilet training process
Make sure your child can go to the toilet independently before they start school. If they are not then start the process at least 3 months before school starts. Is your child showing the signs of readiness? This includes stopping in their tracks when they do a wee or a poo, having longer dry spells in their nappies and being able to communicate and follow basic instruction. Get yourself prepared first by reading a toilet training book and get everything in you will need including big girl/boy pants, potty or toilet seat and some handwash. Communicate your routine with every adult that comes into contact with your child so they can support what you are doing (nursery, grandparents etc.).
Let’s talk hygiene
Hygiene is so important when your child starts school, you can help them to understand the importance by encouraging them at an early age to wash their hands after the toilet and before eating food. So many germs are rife in schools, I cannot stress how important this is.
When showing your little one how to wash their hands take your time to show them how to do this correctly (i.e in between fingers) and dry their hands fully.
Also make sure that your child can wipe themselves properly and flush the toilet themselves.
Let’s get dressed
Teach your child to be independent by dressing and undressing themselves, it’s a great idea to practise putting their uniform on with them before the big day! Make sure they are confident with fastening and unfastening buttons, zips and Velcro and congratulate them when they put on their socks and shoes on the right feet.
This is all very important as they need to do this independently when they start school and it can be very distressing for them if they are struggling to do this themselves.
Having your little one involved in preparing their lunch boxes will make them feel very grown up and they will feel much more encouraged to eat them as they have had a part to play in making them.
I think a varied, healthy and balanced lunch box is perfect, you want a nutritious lunch that will fuel them for the afternoon ahead. Some healthy ideas include fruit, vegetable crudities, yoghurt and pasta.
Let’s talk school
Most children would have been for a taster session at their school but it’s really important to keep reminding them about their big day. Find out their teachers name and mention this in conversation a few weeks ahead of time. Show your little one the journey to school to familiarise them and start activities at home such as reading books about school and drawing the school and their teacher. These all work brilliantly to ease the process and help make the build-up and the day itself, a less daunting experience.
Starting school and toilet training
- Remember that accidents can happen, especially when children are taking in a brand new environment. Just make sure they know it’s OK to ask the teacher for help.
- Ensure your child knows where the toilet is at school and that it is ok to ask the teacher to go to the toilet when they need to.
- For the first few weeks you could pack some spare clothes in your little ones bag so that if accidents happen they feel prepared.
- If you are worried about this then you must speak to the teacher and together you can come up with a plan.
- Make sure your little on has enough fluids throughout the school day and they know where to get water from.
When it comes to the weekend, enjoy that precious time with your little one and congratulate them for enjoying their first week at school!