The First Day of Kindergarten
Summer break is rapidly coming to an end and for some the first day of school will truly be their first ever! That’s right…we are talking about Kindergarten.
I still remember every one of my children’s first day of Kindergarten. Every single one made me tear up. Some of my kids couldn’t wait to leave me out on the playground with the other blubbering mothers, while others looked at me with big puppy dog eyes when it was time to say goodbye. By the time my seventh child went off to school, I thought that I’d be immune to the bitter sweet feeling and large lump in my throat. I wasn’t. In fact, I went home and cried my eyes out.
Most soon to be Kindergartners experience a mix of feelings from excitement to anxiety. Whether your child is raring to go or hesitant, these books and recommended activities will help calm their fears and celebrate the big deal that is becoming a Kindergartner. After reading these books, I’m willing to bet that the only one who will be in tears on the first day is Mom (seriously, pack some extra tissues in your purse. I never did learn this trick.)
The First Day of Kindergarten Reading List
The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing.
Written to the tempo and rhyme of the classic Christmas tale: T’was The Night Before Christmas, this book will delight your soon to be “big kid” with a tale of what to expect. It also addresses the feelings that kids commonly have, which makes the story’s characters easy to relate to.
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten by Joseph Slate.
Using the alphabet, animals and rhyming, the author creates a whole new way of looking at the first day of school…from both the students’ and teacher’s perspective. Miss Bindergarten has a lot to do to get ready for her new students and Christopher Beaker really needs to find his sneaker! This was one of my all-time favorite books to read to my kids on the night before school started because it was funny and taught the kids that everybody has to get ready for the big day ahead, even the teacher.
Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis
Dexter already knows everything there is to know about kindergarten. His big sister, Jessie, told him all about it. So Dexter is not scared. Not even a little bit. But his stuffed dog, Rufus, is scared. Actually, he’s terrified. But Dexter—er, Rufus—has nothing to fear: As he’ll soon find out, kindergarten rocks! (overview by Barnes and Noble)
My kids loved that Dexter was trying to act brave but was scared deep down. I loved that the story directly dealt with the issue of fear that some kids have.
Kindergarten, Here I Come! by D.J. Steinberg
Is poetry your family’s thing? Then get ready for a collection of poems that take your child through a whole year of Kindergarten experiences! Why focus on first day jitters when you can encourage them to look ahead them to all of the fun things that Kindergarten has to offer?
Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Willems
I had to list this book for all those kiddos out there who will be riding the bus to school. The very idea of a pigeon trying to drive a bus will have your little bus riders rolling on the floor and hoping that they find a driver of the aviary kind in the driver’s seat of their own school bus. Mo Willems Pigeon character has captured our hearts in his many mischievous undertakings and this one is the perfect tool to turn those bus riding jitters into giggles!
The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
What happens when the crayons all decide to quit and run away? Your child will love imagining how it would feel to be a crayon that is under appreciated and over worked. Make sure that your child double checks on the first day of school to see that all of the crayons have stayed in the box!
How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? by Jane Yolen
Classroom and playground etiquette have never been more enjoyable to teach. I loved using the prehistoric students in this book to teach my kids about the rules of school. The artwork is both gorgeous and funny, doing justice to the story itself. This is a must read in my opinion.
Back To School, Splat! By Rob Scotton
Splat, a very naughty by nature cat, has homework on his first day of school! Your kids will love this silly little kitten as he tries to figure out what to tell the class about his summer break. This is a great way to lead into a discussion about your own child’s summer break memories before the big day, because they will probably be asked to write about it at some point.
Junie B. Jones and The Stupid, Smelly Bus by Barbara Park
Hilarious. This is the one word I would choose to describe the Junie B. Jones series of books. My oldest son had to be reprimanded at school on quite a few occasions and June Beatrice Jones (her full name), was the only person he could ever relate to. Thank God for Barbara Park’s creation of this good intentioned yet rascally child we know as Junie B. (Don’t forget the B. if you know what’s good for you!) This collection will always grace our shelves and be loved by our family.
Recommended post reading activities:
- Talk to your child after reading the book and ask him or her questions about how they feel about going to school.
- Ask them about the characters and how he/she thinks that they feel. Then, ask them what advice they would give to the character.
- Have your child draw a picture about what they think the first day of school will be like.
- Write a special note to your child from the character in one of the above books to surprise them with on the morning of their first day of Kindergarten.
- Write a story together about the first day of school. Let your child pick the character, setting and problem to be solved. Decide together how the resolution will come about. This is a great way to find out what your child may be apprehensive about.
- Play the “What If?” game. Ask your child what he or she would do in different Kindergarten scenarios, then let them create what if scenarios of their own to have you ponder. Make sure to throw in some silly ones to keep the mood light.
We want to know: What is your first day survival advice for moms and kids?
Happy First Day of Kindergarten, everyone!
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