Getting Ready for School

How can I help my child get ready for school?

Support your child in learning to:

  • use the washroom independently—flush the toilet and wash hands
    • If your child is not yet completely toilet trained, please ensure that they can independently pull down/up their pants and underwear and change themselves.
    • Pull up diapers are strongly recommended for children who are not fully toilet trained. Educators are not available to change diapers. If you have any concerns or questions, please speak to your child’s teacher or ECE
    • Accidents happen even when children are using the toilet independently. Please send a change of clothes, including underwear.
      [View Document fron Public Health Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph on Toilet Learning (PDF)]
  • Dress him/herself—choose clothes, jackets, shoes and boots that are easy for your child to independently put on, take off and fasten (Velcro shoes and pull on pants are great). Please provide a complete change of labeled clothes for possible accidents
  • Enjoy books and stories while listening quietly. Talk with them about the story.
  • Use crayons, markers and pencils.
  • Talk about their experiences
    • Play with your child and provide opportunities such as going to the park, library or grocery store
  • Play with other children and encourage turn taking and sharing

Links to Further Information:

A few weeks before your child begins attending school:

  • Practice packing and unpacking their backpack—provide a backpack that will hold a lunch kit, library books, change of clothes, and school work
  • Practice independently unpacking his/her snacks, lunch bag
  • Practice opening lunch containers
  • Practice walking to school or to the bus stop often, so it begins to feel like a familiar routine.
  • Attend the bus orientation and go over the bus safety rules a few times, if your child will be riding the bus.
  • Practice arrival and dismissal routines (find out routines from the educators)
  • Begin getting your child and yourself used to the bedtime and wake-up schedule that will be required during school.
    • Children between the ages of 3 and 6 years need approximately 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night
    • Both the amount and quality of sleep your child gets will influence his or her learning.
  • Ensure that your child knows how to tell adults and other students about any allergies (e.g. peanuts) or food restrictions he/she may have. (e.g. I can’t eat nuts. They make my tummy sick)

What should my child wear to kindergarten?

  • Choose clothes, jackets, shoes and boots that are easy for your child to put on, take off and fasten by him/herself. Spend time practicing with him/her
  • Kindergarten children learn best when they are exploring, discovering, experimenting – in other words, getting messy. Choose clothes for your child that are durable and easy to clean.
  • Outdoor play is an important part of the Kindergarten Program. Your child needs outdoor clothing for all types of weather. For example, splash pants, rain boots, hats, snow pants, jackets, extra mittens and socks.

What foods should I send with my child?

Snack and lunchtime are an important part of the kindergarten program. Young children love to socialize with each other while they eat their snacks and lunch. Please send your child’s snacks and lunch in containers that they are able to open by themselves

It is suggested that children bring light, healthy snacks.

  • Fruits and vegetables, yogurt, hummus, or whole grain crackers and cheese would be considered a great snack.
  • Canada’s Food Guide discourages foods with:
    • High sugar
    • high salt
    • trans fats
  • Your child’s teacher or ECE will inform you about any food restrictions based on the allergies or sensitivities of other children in the class.
  • For more information on healthy snacks:
    Wellington/Dufferin Public Health

    Canada's Food Guide  

What if I am having concerns about my child’s adjustment to school?

Remember, children develop and adjust differently - some children require more time and support than others

Talk to your child’s teacher or ECE. The teacher and ECE want to hear your concerns and to work with you to support your child


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