Getting your little one ready for preschool in the morning can be stressful – packing lunches, forgotten permission slips, missing shoes – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 tips to help you and your preschooler get a great start to the day!
1. Early to bed, ready to rise
When your little one gets enough sleep, they are more likely to wake up cheerful, energetic and ready to learn at preschool. If you have to drag your child out of bed in the morning, they might not be getting enough sleep. Check out the Raising Children Network’s great information about sleep for preschool-aged children.
2. Helping hands
Encourage your preschooler to get themselves ready as much as possible. Instead of doing everything yourself, teach your little one to do simple tasks like brushing their hair, packing their bag, and putting on their shoes. They may not be as fast or as good at it as you at the beginning, but by getting them to do things for themselves, you are encouraging their independence and responsibility – and freeing up time for you to do other things!
3. Be prepared
Take the pressure out of the morning routine by getting prepared the night before. Anything that doesn’t need to be done in the morning can be done the night before – such as making lunches, packing bags, and reading/signing notes. Remember to encourage your little one to do some of these tasks independently too, such as packing their bag and getting their clothes and shoes ready before they go to bed.
4. Keep it simple
Try to keep your morning routine as simple as possible on preschool days. Save non-essential tasks and chores for evenings and weekends when you have more time – folding the laundry and mopping the floor can wait! Try to keep breakfast simple too – quick nutritious options like wholegrain cereals, fruit and yoghurt are great.
5.Make a plan
Some families find it helpful to develop a morning schedule that puts all these ideas together. It often works well if you involve your little one in making the schedule – making a list of the morning tasks and who needs to do what.
Turning your schedule into a chart can help keep your child focused on the things they need to do and encourage them to feel responsible for getting to preschool on time. You can make your own chart together, or download one from the internet. Choose a chart with images as well as words for pre-readers.
Once your little one gets into the swing of things, you should find you’ll need to remind less, and praise a lot more – a much more pleasant start to the day!
* The Australian Government provides funding to ensure all children have access to a preschool program, in the year before full‑time school. Depending on where you live, this year may be called ‘preschool’ or ‘kindergarten’. States and territories have responsibility for providing preschool or kindergarten in their jurisdiction. Contact your state or territory education department for more information.