Transition to School: 5 ways you can engage the children in your Early Learning Centre - Step4
Transition to School: 5 ways you can engage the children in your Early Learning Centre

Transition to School: 5 ways you can engage the children in your Early Learning Centre

Starting kindergarten can be an exciting but nervous time for children. Whilst it is a time of much anticipation, they don’t really know what to expect.

As school approaches for children in your early learning centre, consider ways in which you can engage them in positive experiences to support their transition to school. Here are 5 engaging experiences and ideas to support children in their journey to ‘Big’ School.

Lunch Box Week

Introducing children to the concept of a lunch box prior to them starting school gives children the opportunity to become familiar with opening different packaging. Children also learn what foods are to be eaten when, so it doesn’t get to lunch time at school, and they have an empty lunch box.

Why not hold a Lunch Box Week event in your preschool room. Invite families to pack an empty lunch box with their child each day. Plan the menu ahead so that your centre chef can pack the children’s lunchboxes each day with nutritious foods that include a variety of packaging. This is a great way to develop children’s fine motor skills and self-help skills, all whilst they become familiar with using a lunch box.

You can also use this experience as an opportunity to incorporate healthy eating learning experiences into your program. Check out our range of resources that promote healthy eating here.

Engage Local Teachers in your Program

Reach out to the local schools in your area and invite kindergarten teachers into your centre. The teacher can join the children for group time and engage them in discussions about ‘Big’ School, encouraging the children to share any questions or concerns they have. The teacher could read some books about starting school to encourage the conversation. Some of our favourite books are My First Day at School and Starting School.

Not only will this allow children to become more familiar with teachers and ‘Big’ school, but it is also a great opportunity for children to engage with the community.

Library Role Play Activity

A school library is a very exciting but unfamiliar setting for some children. Why not setup a library in your centre to encourage pretend play. Find an area where you can display a variety of children’s books, and involve the children in making their own Library Card.

You can use a Market Stand as the library reception and add a General Store Till for the children to scan their library cards. Children can use this space for role play, encouraging cooperation, sharing, and turn-taking.

Host a School Assembly

A fun way to involve family’s involvement in the centre, and in this transition, is to invite them in for a school assembly. The children can prepare a performance prior and they can even learn the national anthem. Involve your centre director or manager in addressing the assembly and why not invite the younger rooms in your centre to join.

‘Big’ School Register

Create a register for parents to document what school their child will be attending. Have it accessible for all parents to see, whether that be on your communication platform, or in the room. This allows families to look at what children are attending the same school as their child, allowing them the opportunity to organise playdates prior, or simply connect with other families. Remember the transition to school can be just as daunting for the families as the child.

There are many activities that you can engage children in that are not only fun, but valuable in the journey to ‘Big’ school. Ensure these experiences, interactions, and the language you use remain positive to support what can be an overwhelming transition for children.

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