There are lots of emotions associated with starting nursery. If your little one is starting in September, you might find that you’re experiencing a mixture of excitement, worry and anticipation. This is perfectly natural, and all parents feel the same way. Some children can’t wait to start and meet new friends while others might be a little more apprehensive. Either way, getting prepared early is the key to getting off to the best possible start. So, what do you need to buy before your child starts nursery school?
The most important thing to buy is comfortable clothes that you won’t mind getting too messy. There is lots of creative play and exploring to be done at nursery, so don’t send them off in anything too pristine or expensive if they’re going to be spending each day playing with poster paints and glue and playing games outside and getting muddy. Most children are mucky pups, so send them in something loose, comfy and not too precious.
While many nurseries will provide food for the day, including snacks, some children are fussy eaters or may have special dietary requirements, or you may just feel more comfortable providing them with your own food from home. There are lots of novelty lunchboxes and coolbags aimed specifically at children decorated with their favourite characters from TV and film. You can also buy a special bottle for them to make them happier about lunchtimes, and you can pack it full of their favourite foods. Just check in advance if anything should be left out in case other children have allergies.
It can help children feel more grown up if they’re allowed to take their own little bag with them. Some nurseries, especially those linked with a primary school, provide their own book bags, but if not you could give them a little rucksack in which they can pack their favourite toy or book so that they will feel comforted by something from home. You can also put a spare copy of your contact details in their bag in case it goes missing or there is a problem. Also make sure that the bag is clearly marked with their name.
Some days there might be specific activities the children are allowed to participate in, such as cooking, special arts and crafts or sports, so make sure you know about these in advance so you can provide them with the appropriate kit or ingredients. Most nurseries will be able to provide everything for the majority of activities, but there might be times when they appreciate contributions from parents, so find out if this is the case.
Jennifer Oster is a young mother to two nursery age children who are growing up fast and blogs about her experiences as a parent