My oldest daughter wrapped up her Kindergarten years this past June and is about to kick off Grade 1 in a few short weeks, so I can speak with some experience on what to keep in mind as you prep your little one for the start of their own scholastic career.
Below I’ve created a pre-Kindergarten check list to help guide you through the transition. Many of these suggestions can also apply to the start of daycare, Montessori, camp or any other pre-Kindergarten program where your child will be bringing personal items from home.
Mark Your Territory – labels are everything in a kindergarten classroom. No child is expected to remember exactly what they own shoes look like nor the spoon they just used for their apple sauce so to ensure your child brings home their own gear, it’s wise to slap their name on everything. Here is where Mabel’s Labels or Oliver’s Labels is a godsend. I’ve used both products and either works perfectly!
Backpack Know-How – take your child with you to purchase their new backpack. Ensure they can put it on themselves and that they can, without struggle, open up all the zippers and clasps. Also, it will appear huge in comparison to their body, but it’s wise to select a backpack that can hold their lunch bag, a spare change of clothes (left at the school) and a full size library book.
Cute Shouldn’t Override Functional – when it comes to lunch containers, easy to open is best. Just because the top of the line steel, BPA-free bento box is on sale on Amazon, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your child. Easy to open is the most important feature of any container being used by small hands on a daily basis. Also, it’s a good idea to “pack a picnic” and test out the new gear; plan a lunch date at your local park, pre-the first day, to ensure your child can open everything unassisted.
Sleep is not for the weak - as much as these wonderful long summer days filled with daylight can push off an earlier bedtime, it’s vital to try and begin a routine with your child hitting the sheets at roughly the same time each night. Airing on the side of earlier than later is also ideal as school start times are fairly early.
Enjoy your summer! – plan some quality time with your child this summer. Check out a local splash pad, visit your local farmers’ market or embark on a mini destination to any of the countless attractions across our area. We recently visited African Lion’s Safari and their splash pad, it’s pretty epic; also, if you're a Costco member, buy your Safari tickets there, you'll save $$!
Not beginning Kindergarten just yet? - If you're still on the hunt for a quality program for your little one, something that combines curriculum learning with non-traditional opportunities such as yoga, gardening, library and cooking classes, consider a tour of The Chartwell House Early Learning Centre here in Oakville.
Located at 467 Chartwell Rd. The Chartwell House is situated on a heritage property and offers a safe, wholesome environment for children to Play, Discover, Learn and Grow.
The Centre has a strong focus on eco-friendliness, community involvement with highly skilled educators. Their program takes advantage of a child's natural willingness to play and uses different types of play based scenarios to build on the children's knowledge and skills. Flexible part time options available. Toddler program for 15 months to 2.6 years, Preschool program for 2.6 to 3.6 years, and a Kinders program for children 3.6 years to 6 years of age.
Below are a few images from their various programs: