What should your little one know before starting kindergarten? What can you, as the grown-up, do to help prepare your child for this upcoming transition into school? These are questions that are asked every year and have many different answers and can also be quite controversial. I have compiled a list of things ALL kindergarten teachers hope their students have mastered BEFORE entering the classroom. This includes emotional readiness. Without this, children are going to have a harder time succeeding in school.

Emotional readiness is extremely important for incoming kindergarteners. These tips can insure your kids are ready.

Is your child emotionally ready for this momentous occasion? Are they anxious about starting school? Are YOU nervous about your baby leaving you?

If you want some tips and tidbits on how to make this transition into school life, then read on.

Preparations for the first day drop-off and the long day ahead is very simple and doable.


Many children go to daycare and are accustomed to drop-offs, other kids and different adults. But many stay at home with a familiar grownup. Make sure your little one has been around other children. Make play dates or go to the park. When they have played with and have been exposed to many different kids, entering the classroom full of others will be far less daunting. They will know how to interact with others, or at the very least not be terrified of all the new faces.


Help your child practice independance. Don’t be a helicopter parent. Your baby is perfectly capable of handling falls, mishaps, and conflicts with other children. Preparing your little one ahead of time with conversations about how to handle other kids they do not know will help with first day jitters. They will have the confidence to interact with the others in a positive manner. If they know they can handle situations involving children and adults they do not know yet, they will!


Start early and communicate with your soon to be kindergartener. Make starting school fun and exciting. Explain all the new things they will learn, new people they will meet, fabulous teacher they will have, and the playground they get to experience. If you as the grown-up are positive, the child will most likely be also.


Drop your child off with a sitter, family member, daycare, or preschool. This reinforces in their little minds that you will return. When you drop off for first day of school they will have already had experience in drop off procedures and remember that their grown-up will be back to pick them up. This will go a long way in helping everyone have a great first day drop off!!


Starting early with schedules will set a routine for the new school year. Since they will have to get up at a consistent time, eat at designated times, and not have a nap, starting these routines that mimic the school year will insure that your child is familiar with and adapted to these time frames and new structures.

Grown-up Stress

Managing your own angst about your baby going off to school and entering the big wide world of academics is a must. Children will pick up on stress and anxiety in those around them. If you are calm and encouraging, your first day drop off has a much better chance of being successful and pleasant. Remember, there may be other kids having meltdowns, so you must remain calm and encouraging to your little one. If you must cry–cry on the way home–not in front of your kindergartener.

Remember–you will be there to pick them up when the school day is over!! It is only a few hours.

Days End

Remember your kindergartener has had a very busy first day. They may need to run and play, eat, or take a nap. Whatever works for them. But don’t forget to talk about their day. Telling you about this momentous day will help them remain excited about the coming year and keep you informed of what your child is learning and accomplishing.


Kindergarten is a milestone to be cherished. Encourage and talk with your child. An emotionally stable child with be a successful child.

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