My son has been home with me his whole life, and he starts kindergarten on Tuesday (!) I want to do some special things for him to honor this transition, and I'd love to hear some ideas. He's really excited so there aren't any anxiety issues or anything, I just always feel that we don't have enough um... ceremony? not sure of the word even... in our culture. I'm excited to hear some creative ideas.
How did you celebrate your child's transition into kindergarten?
My oldest starts kinder this fall as well, though we have a few more weeks until her first day. I'm planning on doing anything special in the morning, not after school since I'm anticipating that she'll be tired/cranky/overwhelmed by the day's events and may not be in the mood for anything more than some quiet time in the afternoon and evening. Also, if for some reason she's upset about something that happened on her first day, a "yay, you went to school today!" party may backfire.
She needs to have bring a slew of items that then stay at school like an apron, blanket, pillow, rain gear, hat, cup, etc. so in the month now before her first day, we've been making the things that we can make together. She has loved picking out fabric and helping to sew things, stockpiling them in her spot to keep them until the big day. It's also been a nice opportunity to little by little talk about school and any nervousness she feels.
On her first day we'll have a good breakfast, something that's her favorite and allow enough time to not be rushed to school (helps that my kids always wake up super early). We've also been talking about how everyone gets a little nervous on the first day, even teachers, so we'll probably make a little card or pick a flower or something to bring to her teacher. More than anything, her own excitement will likely be enough to mark the day. And plenty of pictures, of course! I was out of town on her first day of pre-k last year and DH did not come through in the picture department. A few crooked pictures taken with his phone were got I got last year so I'm hoping for better this year, 5 year old cooperation dependent, of course. :)
We celebrated after school with a trip to the coffee shop for cocoa, then to the park where we sat on the dock, took off our shoes, and put our feet in the lake, and talked about life. That night, I made her favorite dinner, and we had chocolate doughnuts for dessert. It was really special for me- as a previously 24hr/day mom to an only- and I hope for her too.
A few days before school started we had a special "J and Mama day" where I let him plan out a full day of fun with me, and my mom watched my younger child. He picked stuff I wouldn't necessarily have picked (indoor glow in the dark mini golf, ha!) but we had a blast. I didn't tell him I was doing this, but in my head I made it a "yes day" where I'd say yes to just about everything unless I felt it was unsafe etc. Another round of golf? Yes! Can we play that video game on the way in? Yes! It was so much fun. I took a lot of pictures and really tried to be present and savor the time with him.
Once school started, I found I needed to keep things very chill at home the first few weeks. He was so tired and overwhelmed, to the point where he seemed almost depressed. I lit aromatherapy oil burners, kept the lights low, and tried to have dinner ready before he came home so that once he did, we could just do some quiet reading and games together. He adjusted pretty well, but I think it took til like November. He had a full day kindy so it was a lot for him. I think I may do a lot of this stuff when he starts first grade in the fall too. It really seemed to help him and it made me feel like I was doing something.
We are homeschooling, so not quite the same thing, but it is fun reading these ideas as we are "officially" starting K this year as well for my daughter. I plan on making a special meal and dessert, and doing a little questionnaire with her (I also do this on her bday) like, what do you want to be when you grow up, what was your favorite part of summer, what are you most excited about for K, etc...just as a keepsake. I kind of wish I had held off on getting school supplies so I could wrap them up as a gift, maybe in a new backpack, but maybe next year that might be a fun idea if your kiddo gets excited about things like that (mine do!).
I live in Germany so the decorated cone (space theme) has been sitting in hiding since July when all the preschool parents met for an all evening craft session. To fill it up, there is a big plastic bag in hiding with a small LEGO creator set, a FIMO set with sculpting tools, an arts apron, a new Magic Treehouse book and maybe I can fit the new dinosaur water bottle in there as well. One package of candy, too. Whatever does not fit or feels over the top on the day (Sept 13) I can save for his birthday in October. I think it is a very nice tradition.
His teacher wrote him a "welcome" letter with a "countdown" caterpillar and he gets to color in a segment each day.
We will definitely do the sundaes, probably on the day. Some people go to a favourite restaurant for lunch (DH vetoed that because he feels that at some point DS will need to wind down, so a favourite lunch at home.
Siblings get a little sibling cone these days...we haven't yet made that one but are planning to.
L started yesterday..We went shopping and got a cool new backpack and matching lunchbox(she has food allergies)..the night before we has her favorite Supper to celebrate going to K the next day..And then that morning we made a special breakfast of blueberry pancakes and bacon(Usually a once a month treat)..then we took lots of pics before leaving,after we got there and one of her running out the K backdoor to the playground leaving me in the dust!!:))
When I picked her up we celebrated by going to the river park and walking and talking about her day while eating grapes out of a bag:))
She loves Kindergarden and I love her loving it!!!