Disclosure: The Kindergarten Toolbox was generous enough to send us over a kit to try out and review for you guys. As always, all opinions expressed are my own & I only partner with brands I trust.
I still cannot wrap my head around my BABY heading to Kindergarten this fall. I surveyed several of my friends in more advanced seasons of life for tips and I’ve combined their tips with what I’m experiencing right now to give you (which I hope will provide you with a pretty comprehensive guide.)
Here’s my list for preparing for Kindergarten in the fall, share your advice in the comments. I know we’d love to hear it!
-Start hitting up yard sales now to build your kid’s wardrobe. Don’t forget to look for backpacks, shoes, lunch boxes, etc.
-Visit the school any opportunity you can. Walk to the playground, attend orientation or open houses.
-Join email mailing lists for Pottery Barn (or wherever you want to get your kid’s backpack from), Office Max, Office Depot, and Staples. (these places do penny deals, which is the best time to stock up on school supplies.) Join mailing lists for anywhere you could use extra coupons from, basically!
-Make sure your kids can button and zip anything they may need to be able to do on their own.
-Teach your kids to tie their shoes. I know a lot of people will say five is too young, but let’s save our teachers from spending all day tying shoes.
-Schedule time over the summer for dentist appointments and eye exams! Let me say this again, get your kids eye checked before you send them to school. We were able to drastically improve Liam’s vision by catching his vision struggles early, so I’m a huge cheerleader for eye screenings.
-Consider sending your kiddo to some vacation bible schools, summer camps, or library story times. Basically, some opportunities away from your nurturing care. Help them acclimate to drop offs and getting used to listening to other TRUSTED adults.
-Practice lunch time. This advice was passed down from a mom with a kid older than mine, but I thought it was such an amazing tip. Pack mock lunches to let them get used to remembering their new lunch box (lots of people have recommended a leak-proof steel lunch box to me, apparently they’re eco-friendly and super easy to clean). Organise it for your child and a couple of friends (so they can get used to socializing, but still eating within the allotted time). Make them responsible for opening all of their own packaging, and set a timer so they get an understanding for how short their lunch time is.
-Create special spaces. I know I tend to be on the more type A side of mothering, but I think this can be very helpful. Establishing a homework space, a place for papers from school, a spot for packed lunches, backpack deposit, and shoes drop off area. I think establishing these habits and central locations early in the summer will make the transition after school easier. As opposed to waiting until the school year starts and suddenly having 100 other steps to follow.
-Keep your after school obligations light. (Especially on Thursday and Fridays!) I suggest a relaxing movie and pizza night to celebrate the first week of school, as my sources say your kiddos will be exhausted.
-Create a clothing layout system. We have one of those closet hangers with the days of the week on it for each boy. I got lucky at the Goodwill and found two. Every Sunday, create the habit of laying out clothes.
-Make a morning checklist for your kids. Brush teeth, get dressed, make bed, check check check. Whatever your family needs to do!
-Consider getting the Kindergarten Tool Kit! This is a small box filled with everything you need to help your kids build a solid foundation for learning (while having fun!) in short periods of time. This was created by a Kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mom and that really shines through. She has made it academically appropriate, complete with lesson plans and has made it fun enough my boys will go pick up the box items on their own as well. I think it would be a really supplement to a homeschool or just to give your preschooler more confidence heading into Kindergarten this fall.