Many parents will now have received much awaited news…the Primary School their little one will be attending in September!

Lots of children can’t wait to start school, but even for the most confident of four year olds, it can be a bit daunting. Here are some ideas to help your child through the first day.

o Be positive. Your approach to your child’s first day will guide their feelings.

o Hopefully you’ll have visited the school before your child’s first day. Talk about their new classroom, their teacher and things like where they leave their coat and lunchbox etc.

o Talk about friends or other family members who have recently started school and about what fun they are having.

o At home, point out the structure and routines in a day – “Let’s have our lunch now, this is the time you’d be having your lunch at school too.”

o Practise doing up buttons and fastening shoes, but don’t worry or pressure him if this proves too difficult (reception class teachers are used to helping children in the early days)

o Help independence by practising social skills, such as taking turns, making choices and following directions.

o Help your child to recognise his name – they may be able to recognise the first letter or even the whole word.

o Read to and with your child each day encouraging conversations about the stories e.g. “what do you think will happen next?” “how do think this character is feeling?”

o Make time to talk about interests and enjoyable activities they will be doing that build on things they already do at home e.g. “You will be doing painting, and drawing and listening to stories – won’t that be fun” “there’ll be lots of sand to play with at school – you’ll enjoy that”

o About a week before the first day, start getting into the routine of getting up early, getting dressed & having breakfast. It’s very unsettling for children if they are woken at the last minute and deposited at school, with breakfast on the go.

o Teachers are very familiar with children who are worried in their first few weeks of ‘big’ school and are well equipped to deal with fears and tears – so don’t worry!!

At Talking Tots we know how important it is that a child has all the necessary skills in place to help them when they start school. In particular, listening, attention, eye contact, sharing, turn taking and confident communication. If these vital skills are in place children will find it much easier to learn and this will lead to an increase in their self-esteem and confidence.

Talking Tots will be running a Sparkler course during August, giving children a final boost before the big day! The course will be held at Creepy Crawlies Soft Play Centre in South Woodham Ferrers, Each session is designed to boost communication while helping develop concentration and listening skills and will also offer a fun packed, exciting introduction to words, sounds, rhymes and rhythm – vital for when it’s time to learn to read and write.

Activities will also help encourage turn taking and sharing in a group setting – great practice for the move up to big school!

For more information please go to: Talking Tots – Chelmsford & Maldon