We all glow with our own internal magic. But first days can be scary and cause us to forget all about it. Do you feel ready for that first big day? With these 10 ideas for the first day of kindergarten, we are hoping you will find a few magical moments to share with your little ones while you help them to get kindergarten ready.
Glitter under the pillow
We think this is brilliant. This cute little poem is magic... And it helps kids all over the country to get a rested night's sleep before their first day of kindergarten. Simply read the piem and put some glitter or confetti under their pillow and... poof! A relaxed night's sleep lays ahead of them.
Read about school
Stories make school come alive and will make sense of what is to come for your kids.
Reassuring books about school:
- Corduroy goes to school by Don Freeman. A cute bear goes to school - this is a comfortable read for first-timers.
- Milk goes to school by Terry Border. A funny story about a milk carton going to school for his first day of Kindergarten.
- How to get your teacher ready by Jean Reagan. This storybook flips it on its head, by teaching you how to help prepare your teacher for school.
- Sophie's squash goes to school by Pat Zietlow Miller. Sophie loves her squash, but what will she do now she has to find some real, human friends?!
- And, for help with letters, Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate.
- As for a magical book; it's this fairy's first day of kindergarten, too!
If you like, you could always find a little fairy toy to go with the book, which they can take along with them - for their own fairy's first day at school.
Buy these as well in advance as you possibly can, so that fairy becomes a part of the family, or at least a familiar toy to take along with them. Taking familiar and comforting items (such as small toys) reduce kids' stress or anxiety when in an unfamiliar situation.
First of all, work out your child's social style. They may not be the type of child that is rushing into the playground to make friends. Some children are more reserved. Either way, you can help them to make a few new friends at kindergarten, working with how they prefer to connect with others.
Play rough and tumble with them. Not all kids like physical games, but a little gentle wrestling or tickling with them can help develop their sense of play and allow them to integrate well with other kids.
You can also practice making friends with them and what to say to new kids. You can start with a few simple examples of how to exchange information. For example, "Hello, my name is John." "Hi Jon, I'm Luke and I love Spiderman."
Encouraging positive social behavior will go a long way. Make sure they know to share with other kids, how to initiate play, to co-operate and not hurt others, and to wait their turn. If they can learn to lose a game once in a while, it will also make them a more attractive potential playmate to their classmates.
If anyone in the class has a dinosaur t-shirt and your kid loves dinosaurs, comment on it. Or better yet, make sure they're wearing their own dinosaur t-shirt. Buy a lunch box with their favorite well-known character on it. And introduce both yourself and your child to whoever they will be sitting next to. These kinds of conversation starters will help them to instantly get the wheels rolling and find things in common with the other kids.
Look out for parents you get on with and set up a few playdates early on. This means school will feel more familiar for both of you. Once organized, you could make it a magical playdate by making your own magic fairy cakes with the kids. And don't forget to add the edible fairy dust!
Have your own school day
Children learn through play, so why should kindergarten be any different?
You can role-play being the teacher; writing down the date, checking who's present, asking them questions and giving out the school rules. Have a full day of school activities to run through. This will help them know what to expect and reduce anxiety while they are there.
To make it magical, you could even have a magical scientific experiment. Try making fizzy fairy potion as a part of your science curriculum!
Reduce anxiety and worry
It's normal for kids to be a bit nervous about their first day of kindergarten. Any change is scary. So while you want to be positive and excited for them, allow for feelings of anxiety or nerves to be discussed.
Keep communication open and when they do open up, empathizing with them will help ease any anxiety they might be feeling. https://seedofpeace.org/nvc-introductory-articles/parenting/nonviolent-communication-with-small-children/
And on the day, make sure they know after which lesson they can expect to see you. This will be more clear for them than giving them a time.
For a magical twist, read jitter juice and make a magical mixture to make all their worries disappear!
Play with letters and numbers
This is a good way to get your child feeling comfortable in the classroom for their first day of kindergarten. The alphabet and counting will be go to lessons, so if they already feel they know about letters, they will have the chance to feel comfortable and at home in their lessons.
If you haven't already, put the alphabet and numbers around their room. When you're out and about, point out signs and ask which letters they can see.
For a magical way of learning letters and numbers, take a sheet of paper or white card and use a candle to write their name, their age, or something that they love. Do this in secret. Then, prep some paints with them and watch their eyes light up as they discover the secret text underneath.
Keep in touch, through magic!
In this book, Chester raccoon doesn't want to go to school and leave his Mom. Her solution is to kiss his hand at the beginning of the day, so that her love for him goes with him wherever he goes.
The book the kissing hand helps kids to feel like you are there with them. A magic kiss is a reminder that when you kiss their hand, they hold onto that love all day.
(If missing you is a concern of your child, you could also read Llama Llama misses Mama.)
Another activity that will keep you busy and show that you are there for them is making your own kissing hands. In this activity you will want to download these stickers: https://www.scribd.com/doc/54172000/Kissing-Hand
and will need some on handprints painted in different colors. Once they have dried, cut them out (great scissor practice for little hands) and stick the labels in the center of each hand. This is a cute way of teaching your kids how to express their emotions.
Put them on a keyring or somewhere safe in their room, so they can ask for hugs and kisses whenever they are sad or worried. Knowing you've got their back, will give them a stronger sense of security and confidence.
To make it magical, you could use golden hands and glitter paint to make your very own fairy wings. Add in a fairy's body and put the sticker on her instead, as if she is bringing them a gift. So cute!
Another way to keep in touch is to try these magical bracelets; which are made to calm any first day of kindergarten jitters. (https://happyyouhappyfamily.com/first-day-of-school-jitters/)
You both wear matching bracelets all day long. The idea is that anytime they feel scared, they can touch their bracelet, and they will be able to feel your love. That way, you're always connected to each other by heart. Aww!
Make a magical world
After a full day of learning, meeting new friends and getting used to their new school environment, it is likely they will just want to relax.
Give them this gift by setting up their bedroom to have a super cozy mood, complete with mood lighting and their favorite coziest blankets.
Whenever they are ready, tell them there is something quite amazing that has appeared at the bottom of the garden...
Their very own fairy house!
What could be a more magical surprise, than finding you have fairies living at the bottom of your garden? Even better, take an old dolls house, and fashion it into a fairy school. Because fairies need to learn, too!
Have a visit from a magical being
Some kids get visited by the magical 'back to school fairy', and sometimes Santa or their scout elves pay them a visit the night before their special first day.
They often leave a reassuring note and maybe some school supplies to show they care.
This out of season visit can make it all the more special, and add a sprinkle of magic to their day.
Another gift that could be left by their magical friend is a mood board about their life. Finding this has been left on their wall can remind them of who they are at home and help them connect to their new friends at school.
To start, print and cut out their favorite things, whether that be dinosaurs or long walks with mommy. Stick on their favorite food and dessert and pictures of the people they like.
Santa or the elves might also leave a certificate for them to fill out, once they have been super brave and gotten through their first day of kindergarten.
Cherish the memories
This is a special time in both you and your child's life. So make sure to take a picture at home before you leave. (Don't take it outside school, where they will be getting nervous and preparing themselves mentally for what happens next).
You might want to write them a letter saying how proud you are of them and detailing everything that happened during the run-up to it and on the actual day.
You can keep this letter (and maybe write one each year) in an album, which would make a great gift for when they are older. This is also a lovely way of telling them exactly how you feel.
For a magical spin on it, you could make the letter from Santa or a scout elf. An off-season letter can bring magic all year round, and Santa hearing of how brave they were at school will certainly bring a smile to their face.
So there you have it, 10 best ideas for the first day of kindergarten. Hopefully they will fill your lives with joy, and a little bit of fairy dust magic!