Our Top 9 Tips For Starting Kindergarten

posted in: Education, Life | 0

No doubt, a child starting kindy is an emotional time, on top of having a lot to consider and organise. Here are our top tips for surviving the big transition!


1. The Big Day!

This day is about your child and the incredible journey upon which they are about to embark. To help with the emotions and nerves, focus on making the day special and memorable. Some ideas could include;

  • start a new tradition for the first day of each school year
  • have a family breakfast
  • take photographs
  • add something special to their lunch box

Perhaps get your child to decide what they’d like to do.

Important note! Give yourself plenty of time to get to school so you’re not rushed trying to find a parking spot!


2. School Uniforms

  • Labelling: Use durable labels like Bright Start Kids that withstand washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers for a one-time labelling job.
  • Weekly uniform prep: Set out uniforms for the week every Sunday before bedtime noting sports day, mufti days and any other special events. Use a door hanger with rows of hooks to organize.
  • Special Events Attire: Reserve a NEW uniform set for special days such as Mass or assembly days.
  • Cost-Effective Uniforms: Save by purchasing extra school and sports uniforms, jumpers, and jackets from the Second Hand Uniform Shop, ensuring a complete set of clothes for each day at a fraction of the cost.

3. Food

  • Optimal Lunch Box Packing: Avoid over-packing to ensure your child can finish the food within the allotted time, which is usually about 10 minutes. Usually, the food required will include a fruit or veg for Crunch & Sip, snack biscuits for Recess, and a sandwich for lunch.
  • Nightly Lunch Preparation: Before bedtime, pack snacks into lunch boxes and store pre-made sandwiches in the fridge alongside fruit or vegetables. In the morning, easily transfer these items into lunch boxes while the kids eat breakfast, streamlining the morning routine.
  • Here are our favourite easy lunchbox ideas

4. Entrust responsibility for their bag

View the school bag as a functional tool for your child’s day and an opportunity for them to take responsibility.

Personalize and Label: Pack the bag together, label it, and add personal elements for easy identification in a sea of similar bags.

Lunch Preparation: Ensure lunch containers are labelled, easy to open, and fit well in the bag. Don’t forget a labelled water bottle.

Emergency Clothes: Include a spare set of clothes, especially underwear, to handle unexpected mishaps in a new environment.

Encourage Unpacking: Teach your child to unpack their bag at home to avoid missing important notes and prevent forgotten items, like a rogue banana, from causing issues.

5. Create a School “Command Centre”

Setting up a centralized space for all your school-related items is a fantastic way to keep things organized and easily accessible. To create a School “Command Centre” choose a corner of the room, a dedicated wall, or any area that is easily accessible for both you and your child and add your bookshelf –  make sure it’s sturdy and has enough space to accommodate all the school-related items.

Assign specific shelves for different purposes e.g:

  • School Bags: Dedicate this shelf solely to school bags. Ensure there’s enough space for each bag and encourage your child to place their bag here consistently.
  • School Notes: Place a box or organizer on this shelf for storing school notes. This keeps important papers organized and easy to find when needed.
  • School Hats: Install hooks on this shelf for hanging school hats. This ensures that hats are easily accessible and don’t get misplaced.
  • Writing Supplies: On this shelf, organize pens, Post-It-Note pads, and permanent markers. These will come in handy for quick notes, reminders, and labelling of your child’s belongings.

Magnetic Whiteboard: Set up a small magnetic whiteboard on the wall nearby. Use it to jot down upcoming events and pin associated notes for quick reference.

Regular Maintenance: Establish a routine for maintaining the School “Command Centre.” Regularly check and declutter the shelves, making sure everything is in its designated spot.

6. Home time tips

Make sure you arrive in plenty of time for afternoon pick-up. Parking around a school might be at a premium and the last thing you want is to be stressing about finding a spot whilst the end of the day bell rings.

If you get there way too early then take a look at this and see if you can already pick out the different types of mum at the school gate (or can recognise yourself?)!

When your child leaves the classroom, it’s very tempting just to ask them how their day went. If you do you might find you receive a “fine” or “ok” in response. They’ll probably be tired so some more targeted questions you could ask are;

  • Who did you sit next to in class?
  • What was the best thing you did today?
  • Where’s the best place to play at lunch?
  • Tell me one thing you learned today.
  • Tell me a weird word you heard today (or something weird that someone said).
  • Tell me something that made you laugh today.

7. Efficient Diary Management

  • Whiteboard: Consider using a visible whiteboard in the lounge room to track monthly events at a glance.
  • Shared Digital Calendar: create a Shared Calendar on iPhones for joint scheduling with partner.
  • Vigilant Event Recording: Record all commitments, school activities, and party invitations promptly in the calendars.
  • Golden Rule: Adhere to the motto: “If it’s not in the diary, it’s not happening!” to ensure comprehensive planning and avoid oversights.

8. Get Involved

There are so many ways to get involved with the school. Become the class parent, or volunteer to help in the canteen, the school library, and the second-hand uniform shop. Volunteer to be a chaperone on class excursions. Attend the monthly P&C Meetings to learn about the “behind-the-scenes” planning.

By joining the school community, you’ll get to meet lots of new people and make lots of new friends, who will be a tremendous help in guiding you through the first year of school.

9. Emotions may run high

There may be tears, refusing to let go, shouts of “don’t leave me”. And that’s just from you! Seriously though, there will be a mix of emotions experienced. Embrace them! This first day into education IS important so your emotions may reflect that. But, don’t let the fears, tears and worry spoil it.

Like with so many other things during your child’s development, they will take cues from you and your behaviour. Be prepared with tissues, cuddles, calm words and a plan for the rest of the day for yourself if you need to keep occupied.

Most importantly listen. Listen to their stories, concerns, and excitement. They might talk ten to the dozen or they might be very quiet and overwhelmed. Either way, be attentive and responsive so they know you are there for them and just them for those few moments at the end of the day. They might just need a big hug and a “well done – you did it” or they might need you to listen, nod and whoop in the right places. Every child is different…

Finally, enjoy it! It might not be too long before you roll your eyes and sigh at the homework that’s coming home every night!