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This post is a guest post from Alan Williamson. Alan is the chief education officer at King’s Education.
Having a child who will be going off to school for the first time can be both exciting and nerve-racking for parents. It’s exciting in a way that your little one will be seeing and experiencing more of the “bigger world.” However, it can be a tad scary, too, because instead of being ever-present for your child, you place him/her in the care and guidance of someone else, and in a completely new environment.
For this reason, a toddler nursery would typically conduct an orientation for parents prior to the official first day of school for the little ones. You get to see the facility, learn about the daily activities designed to foster children’s development, meet all the teachers and assistants, and find out about the essential things to bring, especially for the first day.
The orientation can make this significant change in routine for you and your child much easier. It will help you to prepare as thoroughly as possible so that your child can become ready for her new environment.
As part of the preparations for your child’s first day at nursery, provided below are 10 essential things to pack into your child’s bag which nurseries would normally allow or recommend.
1. A change of clothes
Make sure to pack at least one change of clothes. School activities for tots or preschoolers can leave your little one sweaty or dirty, especially when they venture outdoors. They must have a fresh set of clothes to change into not only so they would feel fresh after the activities, but also to prevent skin problems.
2. A pack of baby wipes
It’s always better for children to wash up in the bathroom after getting dirty. However, in some cases, it would be so much easier and quicker for teachers and carers to get them cleaned and freshened up using baby wipes. Plus, baby wipes can be used to clean and disinfect the items children use in class.
3. Extra nappies or underclothes
Disposable diapers or nappies are particularly important, especially if your child is a toddler and is not yet fully potty-trained. Packing a few nappies for school can prevent accidents for your child.
Some extra pairs of underclothes, meanwhile, are advisable for older children who are past nappy-wearing age. Even if they are already trained to go to the bathroom by themselves, there’s always a possibility that they might not get to it in time. So, with extra underclothes, they can quickly change should an accident happen.
4. A sack or bag for underclothes
You want to make sure that your child knows that it’s not okay to just stuff her dirty knickers in her school bag. Even if she hasn’t dirtied her underclothes and just had to change into a new one, they should be kept separate from the other items in the bag for hygiene.
5. Food and drink
This would depend on how long the daily nursery sessions are and if food is not provided. If the sessions last only about three hours, then some snacks and a juice box will do.
However, some classes can last longer and extend past lunchtime. If this is the case, pack a lunch box with a proper meal for your child, as well as snacks and a bottle of water.
6. A feeding bib
Even if you pack your child a change of clothes, you do not necessarily want every meal to require it. So, throw in a feeding bib in your child’s lunchbox to keep meal clutter and stains under control.
7. An extra pair of socks
Aside from the fact that socks can get seriously dirty when children play, they also absorb a lot of sweat, which can lead to stinky feet and smelly shoes. Thus, to prevent bad odor for your little one’s feet, always pack an extra pair of socks for her to replace her soiled ones with.
8. Products for sun protection
Prepare sun protection for your little one. A small tube of sunscreen and a hat will suffice. You want to make sure that your child’s skin is adequately protected from the harmful rays of the sun should a day’s activities include outdoor play and exploration.
9. A comfort item
A favorite toy or a half the pair of a heart necklace shared with Mommy can bring great comfort or a sense of security to a child who may be overwhelmed by all the new things presented by the first day of school.
10. A little first aid kit
This should have all the usual components of a first aid kit, as well as the specific medication that your child uses (if she does use any). Do inform teachers and carers about the contents of the kit. In the event of an allergic reaction, the adults will be able to act accordingly to make your child feel better right away.
These are the essential items to pack for your child on her first day at nursery. Regardless of whether she is attending preschool or a baby nursery for kids who are six to 14 months old, the items here are all useful and can help ensure that her first day away from home will go just fine.
Alan Williamson is the Chief Education Officer at Kings’ Education, a premium school brand in Dubai which leads a fantastic group of premium UK curriculum schools, including Child’s Play Nursery. As well as being passionate about teaching and learning, Alan has been actively involved in school leadership related to Special Educational Needs.
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