Reassuring Books for Little Ones going off to Pre-School
Reassuring Books for Little Ones going off to Pre-School Day Care – Pre-School – Nursery School – whatever one chooses to call it – is a reality for many children and a little preparation with some good books can help with the adjustment to the days away from home, and those first long days without Mum. Books that show the child what they might expect at Day Care - the children, the toys, the day’s routine can be both exciting and reassuring.
Most children will happily become used to the new routine – a little squawk when Mommy leaves, and then a day of busy activity until Mommy returns. And because Mommy ALWAYS does COME BACK there does not need to be any fear or anxiety about Day Care.
I personally like to avoid books that assume there is going to be a problem – and choose instead books that simply emphasize how much fun day care will be.
A few of the best are – Preschool Day Hooray! written by Linda Leopold Strauss and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata. This book has an exuberant rhyming text and delightfully humourous illustrations. The day begins as Mum is giving the two little ones breakfast, with milk spilling on the table and baby putting her face into her dish, and Mum trying to get her coat on. Arriving at preschool, the teacher is waiting, little coats are put on hooks, and books, crafts, puzzles, outside play, snack time, nap time, music and dance time, and toy time fill the day - and before you know it Mum is there to take her children home.
What to Expect at Preschool by Heidi Murkoff is much more wordy – you can edit as you like for younger children – and does an excellent job of addressing, in a straightforward and very child friendly manner, all of what a child can expect to experience at Preschool. It answers the questions – what is preschool? Will my mommy or daddy stay with me? What will I do? Who will I play with? When will I go home? With really delightful illustrations and tips for parents this is a book that works for all ages.
Maisy Goes to Preschool by Lucy Cousins is another bright and happy book. Preschool days are exciting for Maisy who will see her friends and spend her day painting, listening at story time, having a snack, playing outside, making music – and going home again at the end of the day. Maisy is a familiar character to many children so they will be able to identify with her and see themselves sharing her day. This book is sensitive to today’s many family situations and there are no parents in evidence – Maisy simply begins her day walking into the daycare and hanging up her coat, and leaving again at the end of the day. And, of course, for pre-school children you can add your own words to the story to make it fit your own situation and provide a personal story for your child.
Another character familiar to young children is Curious George – whose experience is shared in Curious George’s First Day of School. George walks to school with the man in the yellow hat and meets his teacher and all the children. He plays, and reads, and paints – and helps with everything. He also gets into trouble quite by chance – but, as always, it all turns out alright in the end and he has had a great – and fun – first day at school. Spending days at preschool is a big change in the life of a little person who has been at home with Mummy until now – these books and your calm and matter-of-fact explanation of the exciting times to be had will help to make it an easy transition for children – and parents.