The first day of preschool is a big day. It is an exciting time for you, the preschoolers, and their families. For many preschoolers, it may be their first time in school setting, or even their first time spending time away from Mom and Dad though. Help support your preschoolers by planning an extra fun and special first day of preschool that will help them feel at home.
WELCOME YOUR PRESCHOOLERS
As your preschoolers head to the classroom for the first time, they may be feeling shy and nervous. Greeting them at the door can help ease that anxiety as you get down on their level and greet them by name. Let them know how excited you are that they are in your preschool class and that you get to be their teacher.
You can also make your greetings fun by letting them choose how they greet you. They could give a high five, wave, a cool handshake, or any other fun greeting they can come up with. Then direct them to where they should go next, which will make it less overwhelming going into the classroom.
HAVE A PHOTO BOOTH
Having a photo booth set up for the first day of preschool is not only fun, but it breaks the ice and also serves as a great memento for your preschoolers families. Set up a small area with a few props and a sign that shows that it is the first day of preschool. The children will love having their pictures taken both on their own, with their families, and with their new friends! To make it extra fun and memorable, you can add disposable cameras for your preschoolers to take pictures with, too.
GIVE A CLASSROOM TOUR
Your preschoolers are brand new to your classroom, and probably to any type of classroom. A tour can help a great deal in making them feel more at home. Show them each center and what they can do there, show them where the bathroom is, and what (if any) areas or materials are off limits to them. Having an understanding of where things are and what they can do will help your preschoolers feel more relaxed in the classroom.
GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER
The first day of preschool should be all about everyone in the classroom getting to know each other. Celebrate that you get the chance to know these wonderful preschoolers, and make it fun by playing name games and letting each child tell something about themselves at circle time. For example, if you are able to get pictures of your preschoolers ahead of time, you could play a memory game with your preschoolers’ pictures. This will help your preschoolers learn each others names and noticing things they may have in common.
MAKE SELF PORTRAITS
Self portraits are a fun first day activity for preschool. It can be as simple as using paper and crayons, or more involved by adding a variety of materials for your preschoolers to use as hair, eyes, clothing, etc. You can make it even more fun by giving your preschoolers each a little mirror to see themselves in as they work. As they work on their self portraits they will be talking to each other about hair and eye color, types of hair, and so many things that they will notice about themselves and each other.
Circle time is an easy way to build a sense of community within your preschool classroom. Giving each of your preschoolers a chance to share something about themselves is a great way to make them feel like part of the group.
Another great way to build community is to have an open collaborative discussion about the classroom rules. Your preschoolers can help come up with things that they should or should not do in preschoolers, which will lead to a great discussion about how important it is to take care of each other and the classroom.
Celebrate the first day with your preschoolers by making them feel as at home as possible and having so much fun. Your preschoolers will be happy to know that you are excited to have them in your classroom and that you are there to support them in their play.