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9 Steps for Creating a Smooth Transition to Kindergarten

By Erica Patino

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Kindergarten is a big change for kids. For many, it’s their first experience in a structured school setting. If your child has issues with things like sitting still, following directions and holding a pencil, it can be extra stressful. Here are simple steps to make the transition easier.


Attend orientation.

If the school has a welcome session before summer, go with your child. You can both meet the principal, teachers and other families in advance.


Work on skills.

Over the summer, practice activities she’ll be doing in class. That includes coloring, forming letters and cutting out shapes. Work on following directions.


Introduce new friends

Set up playdates with kids who’ll be in your child’s class. Try to branch out beyond kids she already knows from preschool or the neighborhood.


Talk about worries.

Talk your child about any questions or fears she has about starting school. Explore ways to help your child manage stress.


Check your own emotions.

You may have concerns, but try not to let your own feelings about her starting school show. Focus on listening and encouraging her.


Talk to the teacher.

Set up a meeting so you can share your concerns and insight. Establish a way to communicate regularly.


Prepare for Day 1.

Let your child know what to expect. Talk to her about how she’ll get to school, and whether you’ll walk her to her classroom.


Ask about her day.

Ask what she did and how it went. If she says she doesn’t like school, reassure her that it will become more familiar soon.


Stay in the loop.

Check your child’s backpack daily for information on classroom routines and events. Talk about them together. Starting kindergarten is a huge step and she’ll appreciate your support.

About the Author

Portrait of Erica Patino

Erica Patino is an online writer and editor who specializes in health and wellness content.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Ginny Osewalt

Ginny Osewalt is certified in elementary and special education, with experience in inclusion, resource room and self-contained settings.

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