Get Ready for Kindergarten

Posted: July 4, 2022

Kindergarten is a big step for children, and they need to be prepared so they can have a smooth transition from home or childcare to school. Some children may be excited while others may be anxious or fearful to make this transition. It is very important that you talk to your child about the emotions they are experiencing so that their feelings are validated. Strategies can also be discussed to help your child feel calm and ready for this next stage.

Tips to help your child be ready for kindergarten

Talk to your child about kindergarten, tell them about your experiences as a child and what you loved most about starting school. Listen to them, find out their fears, excitement and what they think kindergarten will be like.

Provide opportunities for your child to be around other children and adults. If your child does not attend child care, you can do playdates with friends, take them to the park or other social settings, or attend free EarlyON programs. It is important to take your child to places where they can interact with other children, play together, and develop those social skills that are crucial to their success in kindergarten.

Encourage and foster their growing sense of independence and problem-solving skills by allowing them to have choices and make decisions when possible. Allow them to put on and take off their own clothes and shoes. Practice opening and closing containers similar to what you plan on packing in their lunch, so they can learn independence skills before going to kindergarten. Something as simple as picking out a favourite toy that they would like to bring with them on their first day of school can help prevent anxiety over starting school.

Help your child develop a sense of identity and belonging by labelling their school items and help them learn to identify the letters in their name. It is also a good idea to attach a picture of these items on their backpack and bring one in to attach to their cubby, so they know which items are theirs at school.

Have a routine in place so your child can anticipate their day, which will help to reduce anxiety and provide a sense of calm. Children thrive when they have a stable routine. Part of this routine should be a regular bedtime to ensure your child gets enough sleep to function well at school. A stable morning routine with clearly laid out expectations such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, and eating breakfast will make your transition from home to school much easier.

Places to visit before your child starts kindergarten

Visit the Welcome to Kindergarten events at your child’s school so that you and your child can:

  • Get familiar with the school/classroom
  • Know your child’s teachers and principal
  • Ask important questions to make the transition easier
  • Find out information that you may need before school starts
  • Access resources from community partners

Visit EarlyON Child and Family Centres in your community. EarlyON programs provide free high-quality programs for families with children birth to six years old. There are opportunities to:

  • Join fun activities such as reading, storytelling, sing-alongs and games
  • Get advice from professionals trained in early childhood development
  • Find out about other services within your community
  • Connect with other families with young children

Some books to read together

Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come by Nancy Carlson

It’s OK to be Different by Sharon Purtill

The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing


Ontario Ministry of Education. (2018, April 23). Full-Day Kindergarten. Retrieved from: How can I prepare my child for starting kindergarten? (gov.on.ca)

All Kids Belong (2021). New School Brochure.