Group of elementary school kids running down the hallway with backpacks

Preparing Kids for School

The time for your child to start school is fast approaching. Start preparing for this occasion a few months before the commencement of school. There are things you can do in advance to help ease the stress and tears on that first big day.

Teach them to tie and untie their shoelaces or buckle and unbuckle their shoes.

Cropped shot of mother and daughter preparing a backpack for school

Tips to prepare for school

  • Visit the school several times with your child.
  • If your child hasn’t been to pre-school, arrange for them to spend a day with friends who have children of a similar age, so they get accustomed to being separated from you.
  • Encourage them to be able to tell someone their name, address and phone number.
  • Teach them to put things away after finishing an activity.
  • Teach them to tie and untie their shoelaces or buckle and unbuckle their shoes.
  • Let them practise putting on and taking off their outer clothing – raincoat, jumper, shoes and socks.
  • Invite their friends over for a pretend school day, when they can have lunch outside from their lunch box, play ball games, and sit and draw.
  • Buy their schoolbag well in advance, so that they can practise packing and unpacking their lunch box, raincoat, etc.
  • Let them decorate their own lunchbox and backpack so they know which one is theirs.
  • Teach them to open a popper, unscrew a drink bottle and use a water bubbler.
  • Show them how to cover their face with a tissue when they cough, sneeze or blow their nose.
  • Make sure they can flush the toilet and wash their hands by themselves. (Check for soap and paper in the school toilets.)
  • Remember to check that your child’s immunisation is up to date and consider a health check with your Child and Family Health Nurse or family doctor.”
Cute Asian child drinking juice in front of school


5.30pm Dinner (no later or they’ll be too tired to eat).

6.00pm Bath and dress for bed.

6.30pm May join the whole family at the dinner table for a snack or dessert.

7pm (or earlier) Brush teeth. Quiet time in bed – dim lighting, gentle story or soft music.

7.30pm Bedtime (10-12 hours’ sleep).

Related articles