Tips For Tots: Start the school year off right

By Anne A. McGrady

As parents now realize, the school year has begun and to help your Tot ease into this new year comfortably, stress free and joy filled, here are some suggestions:

• Update all essential contact numbers – emergency contact phone numbers should be current and working numbers.

• Be prepared to serve your Tot a healthy breakfast or be sure to have Tot eat a healthy breakfast at school.

• Establish a regular sleep schedule to allow Tot’s body to get into a routine to sleep better each night and get adequate sleep.

• Talk to your Tot about hygiene and how important hand washing skills are to your Tot and others.  Tots should wash their hands for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” or the “ABC Song”, this will allow most of the germs to be washed away.

• Prepare an emergency kit for mornings to be kept in the car for last minute kid emergencies.  Equip the kit with ponytail holders, hairbrush, sewing kit, breath mints, breakfast bar and loose change.

• Always notify teacher/office personnel at school if you will be out of town, give phone numbers and local contacts just in case an emergency develops.

• Make a doorknob reminder list – organized by days of the week and jot down Mondays-sneakers, Tuesday-library books, etc.  Punch a hole at the top, thread a bright ribbon and hang on doorknob going out the door everyone uses each morning.  Before leaving, check the reminder.  Happy school year!

• Before Tot leaves each A.M. – say something to boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence.  Be positive, reassuring and stick to your rules.


The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn (2006)

Poor little Chester, the raccoon, it’s time for him to go off to school and he doesn’t want to leave his mother.  So she tells him a special secret about the “kissing hand”.  She takes his little hand, spreads the fingers and places a kiss right in the middle of his palm.  Now when he feels lonely and needs a little love from home, he can press his hand against his cheek and know his mother’s love will be with him.  And, before he scampers off to school, he gives his mother the kissing hand, too, so that she won’t miss him too much, while he’s away…  Audrey Penn has written a sweet, enduring story to help little ones face those scary feelings on their first days of separation.  Her gentle text is complimented by expressive, detailed illustrations and together will let youngsters know that they’re not alone out there in the world.  The Kissing Hand is the perfect bedtime story, pre-schoolers will want to read again and again and makes a wonderful addition to all home libraries.  A great story for children who are temporarily separated from home, loved ones even through death and separation.