My mind has been spinning thinking of the best way to make my preschoolers feel comfortable and happy in our classroom setting while helping them become acclimated to their new surroundings and our classroom and school procedures. Of course as a Mom, I also want this for my own girls. I want them to have a wonderful back to school experience. It sets the foundation for the entire year and honestly, I believe that these early elementary years set the tone for all that is to come.
What better way to discuss those first day jitters, fears of the unknown and our daily separation than by reading some relevant Back to School Books and using them as a springboard for discussions on how we are all feeling.
Preschool - First Grade
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn - I read this sweet book every year on the night before the first day of school. In the morning when I drop my girls off at school for their first full day I give each of them a kiss on their palm and remind them that my love will always be with them, no matter what. We actually did some fun activities stemming from this book last year.
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg - this another one of my personal favorites as both a mom and a teacher. You follow Sarah through her first day jitters only to be surprised at the end that she is the teacher. A very cute story and it's wonderful for kids to know they aren't the only ones who experience first day jitters.
How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague - this is such a fun book about how to behave at school. My girls always laugh so much when we read it and we get to discuss proper school behavior while learning about dinosaurs.
I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusackas - This is another beloved first day of school book perfect for preschoolers. It reassures little ones that Mommy will love them all day long - no matter where they go or what they do. The story takes you through the mishaps and triumphs little ones can face at preschool.
D.W.'s Guide to Preschool (Arthur Adventures) by Marc Brown - this one is hard to find for purchase but I get it easily from our local library and it's a great one to share with Preschoolers entering school for the first time as it takes them step by step through a typical day in preschool with the cute and funny DW as your guide.
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney - I love all the Llama books but this one is especially sweet for kids who are just going to school for the first time and are worried about separating from their Mamas.
The Night Before Preschool by Natasha Wing - another cute "nervous about starting school" read that shows how fun school is once the child gets there.
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes - Erase some of your little ones fears away with Wemberly as she discovers that school isn't as scary as she imagined it to be. Young children might worry about starting school - it is an unknown in their lives. This book is great to show them that it is ok to worry while encouraging them to face those fears and try new things as Wemberly soon found that school was fun.
I Am Too Absolutely Small for School (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child - we enjoy Charlie and Lola in our home and my youngest has a special fondness for Lola with all her spunk and imagination. This is one of the books we read this year as we prepare for the Littlest Diva to start kindergarten and it was a perfect addition to our back to school reading.
The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing - I have read this one 2 years in a row as both Lil Divas start kindergarten and it has been a favorite of mine not only because it depicts children prepping for the first day but because it shows that parents are sad too. (Ahem, I may
The Berenstain Bears Go to School (First Time Books(R)) by Stan & Jan Berenstain - share in Sister Bear's adventure (and worries) on the first day of kindergarten. I like how she overcomes her fears to find that school is fun and later she is rushing towards the bus in excitement to get to school.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes - Chrysanthemum always loved her name until she started kindergarten and the other kids laugh at her. Luckily, her music teacher comes to the rescue and pretty soon everyone thinks her name is perfect. A great reminder that each child is unique and this should be celebrated not ridiculed. I used this last year to learn about names with the Lil Divas.
The Night Before First Grade (Reading Railroad) by Natasha Wing - I like that this isn't a picture perfect rendition of first grade. Friends made in kindergarten may be in a different class. This is a hard topic and a real fear for incoming 1st graders. The story shows that although that may happen and first grade is different from kindergarten if given the chance - it can be great too.
First Grade Stinks! by Mary Ann Rodman - Hayley thinks first grade is nothing like Kindergarten and she isn't happy with the changes. In fact, she thinks first grade stinks! There is lots of humor here for kids to enjoy and of course Hayley finds that although it is different, first grade really doesn't stink after all.
Brand-new Pencils, Brand-new Books (Gilbert and Friends) by Diane deGroat - Gilbert is worried about what first grade will be like. Will it be too hard? Will he have any friends? These are the fears my Oldest Diva has about starting first grade so this was a great read for us.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful back to school.
Disclosure - This post does contain affiliate links but the thoughts are my own regarding the books.