First Day at Nursery
Waving goodbye to your child for their first day at nursery is one of the most challenging things to do for any parent. Will they make any friends? Will they be safe? Will they enjoy themselves? If you find yourself asking these questions then don’t worry – it’s perfectly natural!
There are plenty of things that you can do to prepare your kids – and yourself – for the first day at nursery. But before that, let’s remind ourselves of the benefits of going to nursery in the first place.
The Benefits of Nursery
As difficult though it may be, sending your kids to nursery is an important step in their childhood. Here are some of the main ways in which it can benefit both you and your child.
When your little one steps foot in nursery for the first time, it will probably be one of the first times they spend an extended period of time away from you. Going to nursery means that they can start to gain independence and get used to being away from their parents – if just for a little bit! They may find it daunting to start with, but this is an experience which can only benefit them in the long run.
Similarly, your kids may not have had many opportunities to develop their social skills before starting nursery. Their social circle will likely have been limited to family and family friends up until this point, so nursery might be one of the first chances they have to expand their social circle and work on their social skills. That’s even more important since they’re also going to be communicating with children of a similar age to them.
Routine & Structure
Establishing a set routine and structure in your children’s lives is really important for their development. It’s something you can start to introduce from a young age, so by the time your kids start at nursery they should hopefully already have a daily routine. Going to nursery will strengthen the existing structure in their lives whilst also preparing them for the next step – school!
Learn New Skills
We’ve spoken a lot about the soft skills that your kids will gain by going to nursery, but what about the more practical stuff? Whether it’s drawing, reading, cutting or painting, your kids are starting to learn the skills that prepare them for the rest of their lives. These skills also help to ignite your child’s creativity and problem-solving abilities.
First Day at Nursery – Our Top Tips
Don’t disappear straight away…
Once you drop your child off at nursery, it’s going to take a little bit of time for them to adjust to their new surroundings – so don’t be afraid to stay with them for a short while. If you drop them off and quickly disappear then it could be quite a shock to the system for them!
…but don’t hang around!
That being said, your child also needs to understand that you can’t be with them the whole day, so you need to make sure they don’t associate you with the nursery. On their first day at nursery you could hang around on-site or nearby, in case of any issues, but try to stay out of your child’s sight.
Let them bring a comfort blanket
You shouldn’t make this a regular thing, but for their first day it’s a good idea to let them bring a comfort blanket of some sort if you think it will help. That could be a favourite toy, book or object that they’re used to having at home. This helps your child to retain a sense of connection to home in their new surroundings.
Have you ever been inside a nursery before? They can be loud, noisy and a little bit messy! With all of the activities that will be going on, don’t dress your children in their best clothes – they will only get ruined. If they dress down for their first day then mucky clothes are one less thing to worry about as a parent.
Once you’ve dropped your child off, try to stay busy yourself. If you return home and simply wait for nursery to finish, you’ll only start worrying. Fill your day up with plenty of tasks to keep your mind occupied before it’s time to pick them up. Good luck!