Starting Nursery or School  – Tips for August

Starting Nursery or School – Tips for August

The summer holidays are flying by and if you have a little one starting nursery or school in September 

The summer holidays are flying by and if you have a little one starting nursery or school in September it will be here before you know it! Change is coming, times are exciting! Children, like adults, take a while to get used to a new routine, but there are some simple things you can do in the last couple of weeks of the holidays that will help set your child up for a cracking start in new term ahead!


1) Gradually move bedtime back to around 7pm


It is completely normal in the holidays that routines slip, and bedtimes can be inconsistent with days out, being away etc. To help get used to those early starts, work towards getting the routine back in the last week of the holidays. This will stop the shock to the system on week one! 


2) Get their haircut (if it will need doing in the next month)


The first few weeks of school are tiring for everyone and you certainly don’t want to add to your list of things you have to get your child to do! They will be tired, and this is a job you do not need in the first couple of weeks of September! Some children can be self-conscious around haircuts so getting it done now, rather than the last minute, gives them some time to get used to it before they start nursery or school.


3) Start having breakfast and getting dresses as soon as they get up


The order here is up to you – whatever works! Everyone loves slow mornings in the holidays, but they are coming to an end so getting your child used to getting ‘up and out’ now will save stress for everyone (and potential meltdowns) in September. Deciding the night before what they would like to wear the next day helps speed things along. Reward charts can also work well here. Many children like to have a play before they eat breakfast so take some time to get them used to switching the order here.


 4) Practice the School route and point out the gates they’ll be going through


 The school visit back in July feels like a long time ago for your 3-4yr old. Take a route which goes past the school when you can and gently remind them that’s where they’ll be going soon. If possible, have a look through the gate - what can you both see?! If they feel you’re excited for them about this new chapter it helps them relax and view it as an exciting step too!


 5) Practice eating independently with their knife and fork


All Infant children in the UK are offered a free school lunch, many of them cooked. Although you will have introduced cutlery to your child a while ago now, you may still be quickly chopping up your child’s meals for them. This is not possible in schools where the ratio of lunchtime supervisors / teachers to children makes this much harder. Nana’s Manners Stage 3 Knife and Fork set teaches children to hold their cutlery confidently and independently (many schools and nurseries in the UK use our cutlery also). Our knife and fork supports the correct grip so they can learn to hold the food with the fork and ‘saw’ with the knife, the action needed to cut up their own food. Using Nana’s Manners cutlery supports the ‘tripod grip’ development, which is essential for drawing and writing, as it strengthens the same muscles in the hand needed here. A little practice every day helps them be school ready in no time!

starting nursery or school


BONUS REMINDER!.. Buy the school shoes!


That is if (like us) you’ve got the uniform sorted but held off on the shoes! Speaking from experience here – shoes are the things we always try to leave for as long as possible, fearing that summer growth spurt! But leaving it too late can mean a struggle to get the right style/size. With just a couple of weeks to go, the time is now!

Perhaps most importantly - Keep chatting! Children this age find any time beyond a couple of days ahead difficult to visualise. The week before is a great time to start talking about timescales but before then they won’t understand. E.g. “Next Tuesday you’re starting school, so 3 more sleeps!..” works well. Casually mentioning school or nursery when appropriate helps relax them, such as when reading a book at home; “I wonder if they’ll have this book in your new classroom? I’m sure they’ll be so many fun books there!” “Wow, you can put your shoes one so quickly now – that will be great to do when you’re at school!”.  We’re looking forward to seeing all the obligatory ‘first day’ photos by the front door, book bag in hand!  Exciting times are ahead – enjoy the rest of August!