Preschool is right around the corner. The feelings of anxiety, loss of control, change, and fear can be overwhelming.
Since school is an alien experience for your little one, prepping him with relevant books will reduce anxiety for you all.
Here is a list of seven books to help your child transition into a new life as a young learner.
“Spot Goes to School” by Eric Hill
As the parent of a child who is more than a year away from preschool, I count “Spot Goes to School” among my favorite books on the topic.
Spot, the dog, and his father walk to school together and are greeted by a kind bear teacher and friendly animals: a hippo, monkey, crocodile, and turtle. At first, Spot is anxious because he doesn’t know how to sing, but as the day progresses, he participates in a variety of fun activities. These create such a great day that he attempts to delay returning home. Upon pickup time, he and his classmates tell their matching animal parents that school was great! The purpose of this book is to build positive feelings about school, and it succeeds for a younger toddler.
“What to Expect at Preschool” by Heidi Murkoff
Written by the author of "What to Expect When You're Expecting," this great guide is the perfect introduction to Pre-K for you and your child.
Angus, the lovable Answer Dog, is there as a guide to answer your child's questions about preschool. By responding to questions like “What’s preschool?” and “What will my classroom look like?” Angus will give your child the basic information he needs to understand what to expect on his first day.
“My Preschool” by Anne Rockwell
Anne Rockwell illustrates a day of preschool in vivid, soft-edged color, as a little boy describes the day. “My Preschool” covers the less uplifting but realistic moments, such as children crying for their moms and arguing over toys, as well as the happier events such as sharing in a circle, playing at the sand table, visiting with the music teacher, and, of course, partaking in snack time. This book portrays preschool as a place of comfort and excitement, a depiction that will help you and your child when those days begin.
“Chu's First Day of School” by Neil Gaiman
Best-selling author Neil Gaiman, known for creating darker literature for adults and adolescents, writes about Chu, the adorable but sneezy panda, who is heading off for his first day of school. With beautiful, inviting illustrations, “Chu's First Day of School” deals with the universal experience of starting school, including the parents helping their young panda relax. This book's sophisticated diction and syntax make it an engrossing read for your child.
“Splat the Cat” by Rob Scotton
There is an entire cottage industry of “animals going to animal school” books. At the preschool age, kids can find the silliness of a cat going to cat school a thrill. In Rob Scotton’s picture book, a worried Splat is calmed by a parent. There’s some mischief at school, but in the end Splat learns that school will be just fine. Splat learns about interacting with peers and teachers, as the teacher covers topics ranging from self-esteem to nature. “Splat the Cat” is a fun read, full of puns and jokes that will have your child laughing away any nervousness while he learns the routines that are part of preschool.
“Maisy Goes to Preschool” by Lucy Cousins
The “Maisy the Mouse” series by Lucy Cousins has been popular with parents and children in numerous formats, and this is the starting preschool entry. “Maisy Goes to Preschool” emphasizes the kid-friendly activities found in preschool. A “lift-the-flap” book, its pages are highly interactive and engaging for young readers and parents alike. Read this playful book with your little one, and he will associate positive playful feelings with preschool.
“The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn, Ruth E. Harper (Illustrator), Nancy M. Leak (Illustrator)
“The Kissing Hand” is a classic tale about the separation anxiety of both parent and child. Since its publication in 1993, it has become a classic of the going-to-school genre. It even has coping strategies for parents. Because of the book's long sentences, parents may need to read it to their children, though the illustrations and story captivate children all over the world.
It is a wonderful yet scary time watching your little one gain independence. Any of the books on this list will help you and your child embrace the change as it comes, and build an even stronger bond together through your shared reading time.
For more tips on how to ease jitters before preschool starts, check out this article: The Art of Saying Goodbye to Your Preschooler
McDonald, A. (2013, August 22). Get Ready for the First Day of Preschool With Picture Books. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
Popular First Day Of School Books. (n.d.). Retrieved August 10, 2014, from Good Reads