From the Scholastic Bookshelf: How to Talk to Your Child About Kindergarten

Set aside time to discuss first-day worries and anticipation with these resources.

Mar 06, 2023



From the Scholastic Bookshelf: How to Talk to Your Child About Kindergarten

Mar 06, 2023

Starting kindergarten is a huge milestone — your child’s learning with the “big kids.” As exciting as it can be, some kids might have a harder time being away from home for the entire day, adjusting to new schedules, and making new friends. You’ll want to create opportunities to calm their first-day jitters. 

It’s completely normal for your child to feel nervous about beginning this new journey. 

At this age, your child is rapidly developing not just their literacy skills but also their social-emotional learning. As they begin to understand character emotions in stories, they also become eager to express themselves and fit in.

To support your child during this transition, create some routines ahead of time that make them feel prepared, like establishing a set bedtime and picking out clothes to wear the next day. You can also check in with your child’s interests and remind them that kindergarten allows for endless exploration of those topics. During the first week of kindergarten, follow up by asking your child one thing they learned at the end of each day.

You can also turn to books to show your child they’re not alone in this new experience.

For its 100th anniversary, Scholastic spoke with experts to identify a set of tips, articles, and books that make starting a conversation with your child about kindergarten easier. These resources are part of a broader initiative, called the Scholastic Bookshelf, created for Instagram to raise awareness around contemporary issues affecting children today.

The following resources can help your child ease into their new learning environment.

For more quick tips and book recommendations, sign up for our Scholastic Parents newsletter!

Books for Starting Kindergarten

Everyone’s favorite big red dog, Clifford, is the perfect guide for soothing worries. In Clifford Goes to Kindergarten, we join Emily Elizabeth for her first day of school. Emily Elizabeth is nervous about making friends and missing home, but with Clifford by her side she quickly discovers the joys of kindergarten, like singing songs and playing games! This classic will help ease your child’s fears of leaving home on the big day. 

Off to Kindergarten is another tale of first-day jitters, told in rhyme by award-winning author Tony Johnston and delightfully illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Bill is so excited about his first day of kindergarten that he’s making a list of everything he needs. What starts out as a small tally of sensible items — a stuffed animal, a pillow, cookies — quickly grows into a list so long Bill may need a moving truck just to get to school! Enjoy the buildup of Bill’s anticipation alongside your child’s — and be ready to help them make their own list for day one.

Articles for Starting Kindergarten

Here’s another resource to share with your student-to-be: “School Rules” is an interactive lesson in how to conduct yourself for a day of academic learning. Featured in Scholastic Let’s Find Out, a weekly magazine just for kindergarteners, these printables show kids how to respect others in the classroom with their eyes, ears, mouth, and heart. 

Be sure to visit the Scholastic Bookshelf for more resources on kindergarten and other must-discuss topics, like bullying, disabilities, and curiosity

If you are having conversations with your child about similarly complex topics and seek tips or book recommendations, visit our Tough Topics hub. You’ll find a wealth of advice from Scholastic editors to help you navigate challenging conversations thoughtfully. 

Just a few topics include:

And, for more tips and resources — along with expert-approved kindergarten books — visit our guide to getting ready for kindergarten. Shop books below to get excited for the first day of kindergarten and soothe worries! You can shop all books and activities at The Scholastic Store.

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