This is a sponsored campaign with HarpersCollins. All opinions are my own.
Back to school has been crazy this year, mostly for the fact that I will now have TWO kiddos in school. My youngest daughter is starting Kindergarten this year and there are so many mixed emotions. She is excited, I might just be slightly terrified thinking about it all, the fact that I will have two going to school this year and only one left at home with me during the day. I just keep thinking what a change it’s going to be for us, I am so used to her here at home with me but she is really excited about going to school with her big sister and making new friends, that it really just overshadows any fears I have about sending her to school for the very first time. I will miss her during the daytime, but I am also looking forward to sitting and talking with her after school about her day. It’s bittersweet.
Her older sister is just one year apart so she is heading off to first-grade. I have seen her blossom so much since the first day of school last year, she is already READING! I cannot believe I already have a reader in the house!
Today I am partnering with HarpersCollins and the I Can Read! early reader books to share 14 ways that we have been preparing our daughter for Kindergarten this year. Plus, don’t miss the giveaway at the end!
14 Ways To Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten
- Read more – Spend more time reading with your kids. Don’t save reading time just for the evening before bed when everyone is tired, make it an everyday activity too. Now is the time to start reading some reading some beginner books with your readers. I Can Read! books are organized into color-coded levels which makes it easy for parents to choose which ones are perfect for your kids. You can find books at every stage to engage and excite your child. There are hundreds of titles including some award-winning authors and illustrators. Some of our favorites are Danny And The Dinosaur, Pete The Cat and of course the Mercer Mayer books from when I was little like Just A Teacher’s Pet.
- Get Organized with Binders – Get organized with your kid’s school work with labeled binders for each of your children. Last year I started a binder for my older daughter’s Kindergarten favorite artwork that she brought home. I use sheet protectors to keep it safe and stored it in our closet. I plan on doing this for each of my kids favorite artwork that they bring home from school. It will be a wonderful keepsake to have once they are older or even a gift for them at graduation!
- Get a Growth Chart – Now that you have a little one in school you might want to start tracking their growth if you haven’t started already. It’s so neat to watch month-by-month or year-by-year and see how much they’ve grown within that time. Ours is from The White Loft.
- Practice manners – Your kids are going into a formal setting, some for the first time, from a comfortable setting at home. Your kids will also be meeting different types of personalities once they begin attending school. It’s a good time to remind your kids about manners, how to address teachers and how to ask politely for things that they want or need.
- Encourage your kids to be inquisitive – One of the reasons my daughter said he was a little scared to go to Kinder was because she didn’t know everything. I had to remind her that she knows just as much as all the other kids who are starting Kinder too. I told her that the reason she is going to school is to learn. I encouraged her to ask questions and be inquisitive about everything that she wants to know. I let her know that school, other than here at home, is the BEST place to ask questions.
- Practice the morning routine – My daughter does not like to get her hair combed at all! She is very happy going several days without me combing or even touching her hair. But now that we are a few weeks from the start of school we have been practicing our morning routine which consists of combing her hair and getting dressed. We’re getting a bit better with it day-by-day.
- Create or designate a homework workstation – We have an art table that we are converting to a school work table and we’re adding this wall rail + buckets to hold all her pencils and colors.
- Gift for your student – Surprise your little student with a small gift before or after school. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it can be a new book, some new pencils or even balloons when you pick them up from school. Think of something small that will get them excited for their first week.
- Build confidence – Give your child choices, help them feel empowered (within reason of course), let them make mistakes and try to figure things out for themselves, but also remind them that no one is perfect and that making mistakes is ok. Your child will be without you to do everything for them, and sometimes for the first time. Building confidence in your child is so important before sending them off to school.
- Take a tour + meet the teacher – Take the time to visit the school and meet the teacher. This can help with any anxiety your child might have about their first day at school. Most schools have designated days for these things before the school year starts.
- Make a list of school lunch ideas – Keep them simple but make them fun. Try these fun sandwich cutter shapes to cut sandwiches or even cheese and meats into fun shapes.
- Plan out some quick and easy after-school snacks – Make it a special moment for you and your child by letting them pick a snack a day and then sit down together and talk about the day.
- Let your kids choose their own style – When it comes to back to school shopping. Give them lots of options and enjoy this time with your kids. My kids LOVE to choose what they wear each day so I don’t anticipate it being any different when school begins.
- Focus on social skills – Kindergarten is a lot of working and playing together and if you help your child build some social skills before starting Kindergarten she will be more comfortable cooperating with other children. We have done lots of swimming camps and preschool events at our local library.
Thank you to HarperCollins for this post. Be sure to download a ton of free printable activities and read 100 Tips for Beginning Readers. Are you a teacher? Be sure to download your Download Teacher’s Guides for I Can Read! books!
Enter to win FIVE I Can Read! books and a lunchbox and pencil case from State Bags! U.S. shipping addresses only. 1 winner.