While you probably have more anxiety than your 5-year-old does about the first day of kindergarten, there are easy ways you can set her up for a bravo beginning at school, according to Janis Vascimini, a teacher at Rand School in Montclair, NJ. Here's how to help:
Share a story
Spend time reading while relaxing in a hammock or out in a tent with flashlights. "You'll get your child motivated to learn and it's good practice for sitting and listening," Vascimini says. Keep it casual, though -- no drilling her on her ABC's and 123's. Once school starts, she'll have ample opportunity to practice these essentials.
Before school starts, get her a backpack, lunch box, and Thermos. Unless you've received a specific supply list, hold off on items like cute erasers and pencil boxes; the teacher may request specific types. Also, designate a special place for your child to put her school stuff when she comes home. This way, she'll be organized from day one.
Review the basics
Make sure she can swipe her bottom and wash her hands after she uses the bathroom. Show her how to clean up after herself at lunch and explain which containers come home to be reused.
Think about her threads
Ask her if there's something she would like to wear the first day and let her pick it out. The more comfortable she is, the more likely she'll be her happy-go-lucky self at school.