Tips on preparing your child for the first day of kindergarten. Sniff, Sniff.

At the end of this month, many of you will be sending off your little ones to officially start kindergarten. Kindergarten? What? Weren’t they just eating veggie puffs out of the tray in his Excersaucer?

As parents, we find ourselves wanting try and prepare our kids ahead of time so that they never has a single negative experience at school (this can happen, right?). We long for them to go bounding into that new classroom ready to meet, greet, paint, write and play like a Rockstar. We want them to approach this new experience with curiosity and excitement and feel the thrill of learning and growing and making new friends. You know, normal kindergarten behavior.

In the months and days leading up to their first day in school, here are a few tips I’ve found that will help BOTH of you ready yourselves for this new adventure.

Hop On The Bus

If your child will be taking the bus to school, it’s a good time to discuss appropriate behavior and safety tips. Staying seated, keeping their hands to themselves, using inside voices and deflecting arguments. If possible, scout out an older child in the neighborhood that can serve as their “chaperone” on the bus until they get comfortable with this new mode of transport. Some schools will even allow for a tour of the school bus, call your school to find out more.

Homework. Yup, already.

Personally, I’m a firm believer that homework in kindergarten is a way to encourage (ok, force) parents to get involved with their child’s education and academic development. Get ready for required homework time now by carving out time during the week to sit with your child and practice writing, word identification and simple math equations. Having a leg up on this stuff will build their confidence within the classroom and within themselves.


If your child attended preschool, they’re comfortable eating amongst a group of other children; however their food intake is monitored and encouraged by their teachers. Public schools don’t have the manpower to oversee the consumption levels for each child in the cafeteria. Talk with your kids about the importance of eating a full and balanced lunch which will give them energy for the whole day. If you plan on packing a lunch, shop with your kids and allow them to choose what ends up in their lunch box. Check out our lunch box page for ideas.

I Can Do It Myself

Practice self-help skills. Teachers don’t have a lot of time to help each individual child, so make sure your child can zip, button, tie shoes, and tell which shoe goes on which foot. And make sure your child is independent in using the bathroom and washing hands.

Pack Your Bags

I have a strict “no character” clothing or accessory rule in my house…except for school. When we go shopping for her new backpack, if it’s the Ariel bag she wants, it’s the Ariel bag she’ll get. Kids use these items to express their personalities, preferences and interests. They become conversation pieces for making friends and learning about each other. And she loves it. Whatever works!

Open Your Trap

Don’t forget to talk to your child about their expectations, fears and questions they may have about their new school. Make them feel safe and secure in their new environment and share your excitement with them about this new endeavor. And, remember how impressionable they are—now’s not the time to tell them about your traumatic playground experience from the 1st grade. Leave your war stories for another time. If you maintain a positive attitude, they’ll do the same.

See you in the fall!

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Do you have tips on preparing your child for kindergarten? Tell us about it in comments below!

    4 Responses

    1. Also remind relatives and friends that your older child might want to talk about something other than the new baby. If relatives or friends ask how they can help, suggest a fun activity or something special for the older child.

    2. Ashley Turns

      My oldest is going to be going to kindergarten this year and I want to find the best school for him. I love you suggestion to have your child do the shopping for lunch items with you, to give them more choice. To prepare for his first day of school at kindergarten, I will be sure to discuss the importance of healthy food in his lunch with him.

    3. Camille Devaux

      My sister has been trying to get her son ready to get enrolled in kindergarten. She needs to have some insights into getting the best possible tips. I think she would appreciate knowing to let her son express himself through a new backpack to get him excited for school.

    4. Hector Uba

      Thanks for the tips on preparing yourself and your kids for their first day of kindergarten. Giving them homework and structured time before they actually go to kindergarten is really important and helps them learn that there are times to play and times to learn. My sister is putting her first kid in kindergarten this year and she is nervous and sad; I will be sure to share this with her.

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