Help Ease Your Child's Transition into Preschool with a Preschool Playdate Party!
September 11, 2012
The transition to preschool can be a big adjustment for your child, filled with apprehension for both you and your little one. Help make that transition a little easier by hosting a preschool playdate party where the kids can see what to expect when they get to school and maybe even meet some new friends as well.
If you know a few of the kids who will be in your child's preschool class, then this is the perfect opportunity to get the kids together so they can meet one another without the added pressure of the first day of school jitters. If you don't know who's going to be in their class, no worries, just invite a few of their friends who will be starting preschool, even if they won't be in the same class. Using school colors personalized invitations in a fun back to school design, addressed to the child, will be a big hit because what child doesn't love getting mail? Keep the party short and sweet, just a couple hours long, so the kids, and you, aren't overwhelmed, and mid-morning is the perfect time. The kids will be bright eyed and bushy tailed, not ready for their afternoon nap yet or suffering from a post-lunch sugar crash. As the kids arrive, give them each a nametag, just like they'll receive their first day of school. Create homemade name tags out of cardstock, making them in fun shapes like school busses, apples, school houses, or backpacks. Instead of using safety pins to attach them, punch a hole in the top and tie a string through it so the kids can wear them around their necks. Let them known that they've arrived at their preschool playdate and are going to be enjoying some of the very same activities they can look forward to once school starts!
There's no need go overboard with decorations for your preschool playdate party, but some red and green paper streamers along with some matching balloons will give your party space a fun and festive atmosphere that will help the kids relax and get into a party mood. The point of your preschool playdate party is to try and structure the event like a typical day at preschool, so have the party indoors, no matter how brightly the sun is shining! Set up your party space with a craft area, complete with crayons, coloring books, paint sets, construction paper, scissors, and glue. Have an art project planned to go along with your back-to-school theme, like creating an apple wall hanging, decorating a pencil box for all their school supplies, or decorating an art smock.
Once you've finishing your art project, including the clean up since they'll be expected to put away their supplies at school, it'll be time to head to the next activity. Sit the kids down for story time. Let your child share his favorite book with his friends, or choose a classic, like "The Kissing Hand," which can help kids deal with separation anxiety on the first day of school.
After story time is over, herd the kids into the kitchen for everyone's favorite time of day--snack time! Serve up some tasty treats on red and green paper plates to go with the rest of your decorations. Tasty treats like apple shaped cupcakes, alphabet cookies, or pretzel rods covered in different colored chocolates and decorated to look like crayons are surefire kid pleasers, or you can go with simple snacks like what the kids can expect to have in school, such as goldfish crackers, applesauce, graham crackers, and granola bars. Pour out some apple juice, water, and milk and the kids will be ready for the rest of their preschool party!
Before the full impact of the sugar rush hits, head outside for playtime. Set up an obstacle course using game cones, have a bubble blowing contest, have some fun with a canopy set, or start up a game of catch.
By the time playtime is winding down, it will be time for the kids to head home, hopefully having made some new friends and with a better idea of what to expect when they head off to preschool in a few weeks. Send them on their way with a goody bag containing a few basic school supplies like pencils, star stickers, markers, erasers, and markers. And of course, thank them for spending the day in your classroom!