Expert / 29 August, 2023 / My Baba

Starting School? Must-Read School Readiness Tips From Expert Amanda Jenner

This year, thousands of children will be attending school for the first time; most children starting school full-time in September after their fourth birthday. This means they’ll turn 5 during their first school year. However, according to The School Readiness Survey conducted by Kindred2 – they may not be ready, especially where toilet training is concerned. Parenting Expert Amanda Jenner shares her tips on school readiness.

School readiness – some useful tips

Start the toilet training process early

When it comes to school readiness, making sure your child can go to the toilet is super important. For many children, this will be the first time they are experiencing this on their own. Starting the process three months before can be a huge help. Use simple speech and can follow simple instructions

  • Stopping in their tracks when they have done a wee or a poo
  • Buying the resources- big boy/girl pants, potty or toilet seat, hand wash, a good toilet training book to creat
  • e a positive association with going to the toilet.
  • Keeping to a routine, reminding them every 30 minutes to go to the toilet if they need to.

Talk hygiene

Hygiene is very important when they start school and also when they are older to understand the importance. Encourage them at an early age to wash their hands. So many germs are rife in schools and I can not stress how important this is.

  • Wiping themselves properly after using the toilet is vitally important – this is not just for hygiene purposes but for comfort for the child too.
  • Show them how to wash hands after the toilet and before food – do this with them until they get into the habit of doing it themselves.
  • Flushing the toilet properly – pushing down the button properly until the poo & pee have gone.
  • Show them how to wash hands properly using soap i.e in between fingers, rinse & dry.
  • Drying hands properly is equally as important as washing them – using a clean towel.

Practise getting dressed

  • Teaching them to be independent by dressing and undressing themselves i.e doing up buttons, Velcro, zips
  • Teaching how to put their socks and shoes on the right feet
  • Practicing putting uniform on before the big day (maybe do this a week before)

This is all very important as they need to do this independently when they start school and can be very distressed if they can not do it themselves.

Snacks/lunch boxes

  • Get them involved in preparing their snack boxes; this will make them feel grown up and it will encourage them to eat their snacks!
  • Start introducing packed lunches to them at home a few weeks before they start school – this will make them feel more comfortable in school.
  • Include foods that are easy to open – this will cause less stress for the children and make their experience a lot more streamlined.
  • Don’t over-pack the lunch box but give them a few selections of things you know they like – this gives them the option & makes sure they’re never going through the day hungry.

Talk openly about school

Most children would have been a taster at their chosen school, but it is very important to keep reminding them about the big day!

  • Find out the teacher’s name and keep mentioning their name a few weeks before they start.
  • Doing a drive by the chosen school, this will make it less daunting on the day.
  • Getting them to draw the school and their teacher and this is a great way through play and imagination to help ease the process.
  • Reading a book at bedtime about starting school.

All of the above is so important and really does ease the daunting experience of starting big school and these are such easy steps to follow. Arrange playdates with their class friends and if starting a new school slightly older children – arrange to meet in the holidays which will help them feel more relaxed when they start – seeing a familiar face always helps!

Accidents can happen!

Some children will get distracted soaking up their new environment; an odd accident may happen! Below are a number of tips to put them and you at ease.

  • Make sure they know it is ok to ask the teacher for help.
  • Make sure your child knows where the toilet is at school and that it is ok to ask the teacher to go to the toilet when they need to go.
  • Communication is key – If you are worried about your little one having accidents then you must speak to the teacher and come up with a plan together.
  • Spare Clothes – The first few weeks in a new environment can be daunting and accidents may occur so make sure to pack spare clothes in your little ones bag.

 Article by Amanda Jenner, global potty training expert


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