This Starting School post was originally published in January of 2010 and provides a list of practical life skills that can help to smooth the transition to the more formal setting of ‘big school’ for our littlest citizens.
With many children starting school for the first time within the next two weeks, I thought it would be useful to provide parents with a reminder checklist of practical skills which might be helpful in easing your child’s introduction to the school environment.
1. Can your child put on and take off his school shoes or sandals by himself?
2. Can your child put on and take off a t-shirt, jumper and jacket (including zipping it up) by herself?
3. Can your child open their lunchbox, drink bottle and any food packaging (including gladwrap from sandwiches) by himself?
4. Does your child know which items are for eating at recess or ‘little lunch’ and which are for lunchtime?
5. Does your child recognise her own belongings – school bag, lunchbox, drink bottle?
6. Does your child recognise his own name?
7. Does your child know how to wipe herself independently when toileting? Can she undo and do up any buttons, zippers and other fastenings on her clothing to use the toilet?
8. Does your child know how to wash his hands thoroughly and independently? And when to do so?
9. Does your child know how to apply sunscreen independently?
10. Does your child help to pack away her own toys and games?
11. Is your child in a good bedtime routine so that he is well rested for school?
You can read more about why these practical skills are important for children starting school in my previous school readiness posts.
How have you been preparing in the lead up to starting school?
- Starting School: 12 Tips for Easing Separation Anxiety
- Starting School: A Child’s Eye View
- New Beginnings: A Reflection on Starting Kindergarten