The early years
As you’re getting ready for a summer of fun with youryoung kids, you can also start planning for their first day ofschool in September.
Summer is the perfect time to prepare your children fortheir first day of kindergarten or Grade 1, says Judy Meintzerof Alberta Health Services’ Early Childhood team.
Between summer adventures, consider having your kids’oral health, vision and hearing checked. Updating yourchild’s immunizations is also highly recommended.
Summer is also the ideal time to give your young kids lots
of time for free play, something that’s vital for them to learn
about their world, Meintzer says. “Preschoolers really need
rich experiences—they need experiences with other kids and
with other objects, books and a variety of things they can
explore indoors and outdoors.”
As summer grows shorter, you can help your kids know
what to expect at school in the fall by talking with them and
reading stories about going to school. “Maybe even go to
the school and have a tour so your child is not going to be in
an unfamiliar place on the first day,” Meintzer says. “Often
schools have an open house before the first day—going to it
helps your child know what to expect.”
She also suggests paying attention to your child’s bedtime
well before the Labour Day weekend. At the beginning of
August, you can start getting them up a little bit earlier, so
they will go to sleep earlier. Most preschoolers need about 10
hours of sleep a night.
“We know that kids really need to get their sleep in orderto have the energy and focus that school is going to take,”she says. “Kids tend to be really, really tired when they firststart school because it’s such a change in routine and it’s adifferent type of activity than they’re used to, so it’s quiteexhausting.”
— Jen Allford
To learn more, visit myhealth.alberta.ca and search for “Is yourchild ready for school?”
It’s summer—time to get
ready for school
Planning helps kids adjust to new places and routines
Summer is the perfect time to prepare your kids for their first day