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Countdown to the First Day of School: Ages 3 to 5

moodboard Photography for Veer

One month before:

Set a rest routine. Establish a consistent bedtime routine and morning schedule so that your child goes to bed and wakes up at same time every day.

Talk about school. Discuss making friends and trying new activities, and read school-themed books together.
Review safety information. Make sure your child knows his full name, address, and phone number.

Clear the clutter. Sort through closets and get rid of old clothes, shoes, and toys. Be sure to have your child try on his clothes from last year, and determine what needs to be replaced.

One to two weeks before:

Plan for carpooling. If someone other than you will pick him up, decide on a meeting spot.

Buy school gear. Get an updated list from your child's teacher or school office. Mark supplies with your child's last name.

Update health records. Ensure that the school has updated medical records and contact for your child.

Visit the school. Go see your child's classroom and meet his teacher. Give him time to explore the space and meet his fellow preschoolers.

One to two days before:

Pick a first-day outfit. With your child, decide what he will wear on the big day.

Plan a healthy start. Choose an energy-packed breakfast for the first school morning, and cook your child's favorite dinner for him the night before.

Pack up. Gather your child's supplies in one place and get them ready to go.

Plan a goodbye. Even if you aren't able to take your child to school most mornings, make it a point to drop him off yourself on the first day.