Alaska starts 3 year old kindergarten this year. To say she’s excited is the understatement of the year. She talks about starting big girl school all, damn, day! After reading what’s required for her to bring to class I was really overwhelmed. I know there will be lots of you in the same boat as we are, with your first babies heading off into the big world. Solo. For the first time (insert absolute blubbering mess).
I have a very active and gorgeous online facebook community (become part of my online family HERE) and kindy has been a serious hot topic right now! It’s amazing how parents can come together in one space, to give each other advice and support each other through personal experiences. The lovely Samatha Joseph who runs Count By Nature, shared a bunch of helpful (and funny) tips to my group. I’ve shared some of her suggestions below along with tips from my gorgeous community, who have all been through it before.
Don’t worry parents, your kind child has totally got this and so do you (remember to take tissues on the first day).
- Stuck On You Official – labels & lunch boxes 15% OFF MISSKYREE
- Bronte Co – Wet bags 20% OFF MISSKYREE
- Namely Co – Custom blankets & pillow cases 10% OFF MISSKYREE
- Tip Toe & Co – School shoes 15% OFF MISSKYREE
- Marks & Spencer – 20% OFF KYREE20
- Aqua Maternity – 15% OFF KYREELOVES
1. Label everything! It’s one of the kindy rules to have the students name labelled on everything! Plastic labels are great but little hands can rip those right off and that’s when hats go missing. I purchased iron on labels for the clothes and I’ve used permanent marker to label her hats and at the bottom of shoes. You can buy stick on (washable) labels to go on the lunch boxes and drink bottles but I also went with the custom designed lunchboxes so her name label can’t be ripped off. label the lunch box and the insert as they can be pulled apart. Things can go missing so labelling means no one can think your item is theirs.
Get name labels from HERE 15% OFF MISSKYREE| Get custom lunch boxes / bottles HERE 20% 15% OFF MISSKYREE
2. Take a pillow and blanket. It’s a requirement for our kindy to take both for rest time. I don’t like the thought of anyone else using Alaska’s pillow or blanket! I wanted something with her name in giant letters so no one else will touch or use her belongings. I reached out to Namelyco and asked them to make pillow cases to match their blankets. These will be available to buy shortly YAY. I’ll buy two pillow cases so I can wash them regularly.
Custom name Pillow Case HERE discount code MISSKYREE | Custome named blanket HERE discount code MISSKYREE
3. Create a uniform. You might not get an actual uniform so create your own to make it more special for their routine.
~ Allocate a “kindy drawer” and get them excited to dress themselves from it.
~ Don’t spend big bucks. Go opshopping, Gumtree or Facebook marketplace. The clothes will get ruined so don’t be afraid to buy thrifted clothes. You don’t need to spend lots on fancy clothes.
~ Get them to choose. Alaska and I went on a shopping day and together we chose a couple of play shirts and shorts and identifies each piece as her kindy uniform. She’s so excited to wear them because SHE chose them.
Mermaid Tee HERE | Rainbow Tee HERE | Floral shorts HERE | leopard shorts HERE | Wide brimmed hat HERE | Boys clothes 20% OFF code KYREE20 HERE | Girls clothes 20% OFF code KYREE20 HERE
4. Easy to Wear. Make sure the shoes have velcro so they can pop their shoes on and off themselves. Get into the habit of taking shoes off outside if you go out to play when you’re at home. This will teach them that sandy shoes stay outside and they don’t come indoors.
Velcro shoes from HERE | Other school shoe options from Tip Toe & Co HERE 15% OFF all school range code MISSKYREE
5. Spare clothes. Pack two changes of clothes/ underwear/ socks into a zip lock bag that stays in their school bag. Packing them separately like this is a great way to keep them clean and organised. I’ve chosen to use the wetsuit bags that zip up so the clothes stay dry in case of any accidents. It’s a requirement at our kindy to have TWO sets of spare clothes, so double check what your kindy requires.
Wetsuit bag we are using Bronte Co HERE currently 20% off code MISSKYREE
6. Sunscreen. Teach them to use a little roll on bottle of sunscreen before they start kindy. That way they can apply it themselves as teachers may be too busy to do it for each child.
7. A big enough school bag. The bag needs to fit possibly two or three lunch boxes, a bottle of water, spare clothes, books and anything else required. Make sure the bag is labelled and get your child familiar with their own bag.
8. Go to orientation day. If you miss the orientation day then request to go in to meet everyone before school starts. Get them familiar with the class, toilets, staff etc beforehand. Give the teacher a hug in front of your child to make them feel more comfortable and safe.
9. Lunch time. Ask your teacher how many lunch boxes are required. Some require separate ones for recess, lunch and crunch and sip. Doesn’t matter how fancy the lunch box is, just as long as the child can open and close it themselves. Practice doing this before school starts.
Make sure they can open any packaging as teachers won’t have the time to open everyone’s food. Avoid small packages where possible or teach them to open their own.
Wide range of lunch boxes & drink bottles from Aqua Maternity – 15% OFF KYREELOVES and Adventure Snacks HERE | Get custom lunch boxes / bottles HERE 15% OFF MISSKYREE
10. Join the kindy facebook page. Most schools will have a facebook page set up for the kindy. Make sure you join and keep up to date with all the latest info.
11. Practice. Get them practicing all the things they will need to do on their own. Opening their water bottles, opening and closing their lunch boxes, taking their shoes on and off, putting their hat on and off, zipping up their own bags.
12. Talk about kindy at home. Encourage conversation at home about kindy, talk positively and get them excited. Talk about the teachers, use their names and use the names of the other students. Make sure they know that Kindy is a safe place for them.
13. Snacks in the car. Always have a snack and drink ready for them when you pick them up. Pick up time always equals hungry little bellies.
14. Have a routine. If kindy is an emotional time, take them to the park or for a milkshake or something fun after each class (or once a week etc). Doing something nice and some quality time with them is important and they will look forward to this weekly tradition after kindy.
15. When they miss you. Draw a heart on their hand, when they miss you ask them to press it and say miss you mummy/daddy. Parents can do the same. Laminate photos of you, their pets, what ever they love most at home. Leave them in their school bag and if they are struggling during the day, get them to look at the photos and give them a kiss or hug.
16. They will be tired. Be prepared for how tired they will be after each class. If they are emotional and grumpy, be patient and don’t get worked up by it. It’s a huge transition for your child, but also for you as a parent.
17. Keep Occupied. Make sure you plan a coffee date with a friend to keep you occupied on the first day. Call the centre during the day for an update for peace of mind.
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