Now that Natalie is all settled in Kindergarten, it’s Delaney’s turn to head back to preschool on Thursday. We attend a parent co-op preschool, where the moms/dads/grandparents work in the classroom with the teacher on a rotating schedule. I absolutely love being so involved and getting to know all the kids and parents. I also serve on the board (President this year!), so I get to be involved in all the logistical details of the preschool as well. It’s a nurturing, hands-on, play-based preschool and we love it!
This will be Delaney’s third year at this preschool. We did a Mommy & Me toddler class there when she was two, and last year she went two days a week. I didn’t actually start leaving her until April, though. She just wasn’t ready, and maybe I wasn’t either! This year she is going 4 days a week, one of which I will be working in the class. We are starting this school year with a huge advantage – she knows the school, she knows the teacher, and she knows most of the kids in her class. Still, I have been doing a few extra things to help ease her into this transition once again.
- Playing school – Delaney loves to pretend, so this works for her. Sometimes I’m the teacher, sometimes she is. We do a mini school day, role-playing things like circle time, moving from station to station, going to the potty, asking for help, joining in with other friends, etc. Sometimes our dollhouse people or other characters go to school too.
- Making up stories – When we’re in the car or the bath or other mellow times, I tell stories that start, “Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Delaney. One day, she went to preschool…” Then I tell about her day, helping her visualize all the fun things she will do at preschool. She *loves* these stories, and Natalie wants kindergarten ones too. :)
- Drawing pictures – We have been drawing pictures of all the different things Delaney likes to do at preschool, such as swinging, eating lunch, painting at the easel, bringing Corduroy home, etc. We’re drawing them on small pieces of paper (4″ x 6″) so I can put them in a small, inexpensive photo album. We’ll add to this throughout the year with drawings, photos, and some dictations too.
- A bit of comfort – In my Kindergarten Transition tips, I shared our little photo cards that the girls hook to their backpacks. We’ll probably give Delaney’s a little update with a fresh photo or two. She loves this so much she sleeps with it sometimes!
Do you have a little one heading off to preschool? Do you do preschool at home with your child? I’d love to hear how you get your school year off to a great start! :)