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Preparing Your Child for their First Day of Nursery

Your child’s first day at nursery is a significant event in their lives and can be a daunting transition for both parent and child. It is also a fantastic opportunity for your little one to flourish and develop. It’s important for you both to focus on the amazing things your child will gain; their first friendships, the brand-new experiences and the growth of their independence. A nursery in Surrey has shared their top tips to make your child’s first few days at nursery as stress free as possible.

Encourage Independence 

Allowing your child to make small decisions at home may seem like something so simple, yet it encourages independent thinking and problem solving, a skill they can use when they start nursery and have to spend time without you by their side. Start by asking them to choose an outfit to wear each morning or allowing them to choose what they would like for their lunch instead of just putting a prepared meal in front of them.

Try to encourage your child to complete some tasks and activities without your assistance. Start them off with a simple activity like colouring and then leave them to it whilst you busy yourself with something else for a little while. This will not only develop their ability to spend time without you but will allow their creativity to grow as they decide what to draw without your input. Confidence in their own creativity and independence will allow your child to flourish in a nursery environment and will prepare them to spend time without your undivided attention.  

Get Them Socialising 

Do you have friends or family with children of a similar age? It’s never too early to start introducing your little ones to other children. Developing their social skills from an early age will allow them to deal with unfamiliar situations with confidence and ease. If you don’t have any one to schedule a playdate with, then consider attending a group for parent and child in your local area.

If your child can develop their confidence in approaching other children socially this will reduce the risk of them feeling shy or isolated on their first few days away from you. A parent and child group is also a great way for you to meet parents in the same situation and to share tips on getting your little ones ready for the big day. It may also be an idea to allow your child to spend time away from you in the care of other adults. Why not have your child sleep over at a relative’s home for the night or have a day out doing something fun with a close friend, showing them they can be happy and comfortable in the care of other adults. 

Start Talking 

Even if your little one isn’t feeling entirely sold on the idea of nursery school at first, don’t allow it to become a taboo subject. The more you discuss it with them and mention it in front of them the more comfortable they will become with the idea. Make it a positive conversation, talk about all the fun things they’ll be doing at nursery and try your best to get them excited about the idea.

Do some fun activities together such as crafts and messy play and emphasise that these are the sort of things they will be doing when they get to nursery. You might even want to do some role play with your child and take it in turns being the teacher and the child, this way they will know exactly what to expect when they start which will eliminate the fear of the unknown.