When you have a kid starting kindergarten, it’s normal to feel anxious. As the mom of a 5-year-old who is starting school in the fall, I worry about whether or not he’s truly “ready,” how to set up a new daily routine, and most of all, how my son is going to fare emotionally when he’s away in his classroom for most of the day.
Kids are feeling this anxiety, too. For a lot of children, going off to kindergarten can be overwhelming. One of the best ways to help them cope with that anxiety is to spend some time together talking about how they’re feeling and preparing them for what lies ahead. In my house, we like to do that through reading together. (These books help calm the kindergarten jitters!)
One of the best books for incoming kindergarteners is The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. The book tells the story of Chester Raccoon, a little rascal who does not want to go to his new school in the forest. To ease his fears, Chester’s mom shares a special secret called The Kissing Hand. His mother kisses his hand and tells him that whenever he feels lonely, he can press that hand to his cheek as a kiss from her and remember that his mommy loves him.
The story itself offers a sweet idea for helping kids feel secure and reassured in new situations, but there are also other ways you can use the book to help get your little one ready for the new school year. Read on for my favorite activities for soothing little one's fears before the first day, then check out this guide to kindergarten for everything you need to know about your child's first year of elementary school!