First Day of School - A Parents Guide to Reception Class and Primary School

Whether you are dreading it or looking forward to it the First Day at School is implacably approaching as sure as August sunshine will turn in to September leaves. We are experts in dinosaur toys rather than parenting but having gone through it we have some tips we hope will help.

As a child I used to loathe the "Back to School" signs which sprung up as soon as school had broken up. As an adult it became understandable as you understood how short the holidays actually are compared to all that needs to be crammed in to them.

This is especially so when your child is approaching their First Day at School. Preparing them starts early as you drip feed information about school in to them. Its easier when you already have a child at school as they are used to the school room and the sight of the school gate and playground, but when it is the first time for both of you then you definitely need preparing!

We are sell dinosaur toys rather than being parenting experts, and luckily there are loads of articles about what your child needs to know from proper experts, especially after the pandemic when things are necessarily slightly weird still.
We would say that the most important thing a child needs to know is not numbers or letter, or even naming all the dinosaurs you know, but the ability to ask to go to the toilet when the child still has enough time to get to the bathroom rather when they are already dancing in anticipation.
Being able to dress yourself is also a key skill and I've always thought Reception class PE is really a hour of getting in to PE kit and then out of it again rather than any actual sport!

So we will let the parenting experts advise you on how to prepare your child for their First Days at School, but here are our top tips about preparations you will need to make in order to get through the year successfully. 

 1. "How Was Your Day?"
Unless you are incredibly lucky please don't gear yourself up for a full debrief on your child's day as you walk home from school. Stories about the days activities will normally be confined to anything revolting or embarrassing that has happened to other children in the last hour of the day. If it happened before lunch its ancient history and will be completely forgotten. Snippets may slip out as you get towards bedtime but mostly information will only be revealed on a need to know basis.

2. World Book Day.
This is on March 2nd 2023. You may think I'm mad telling you this now but trust me, get it in your calendar now and save yourself a lot of heartache. Your child will not tell you they need a fancy dress costume for it until 48 hours beforehand when they will also reveal the grand plan of who they want to be. If you're rich this means an Amazon Prime order of 101 different things, and for the rest of us it will mean frantic scramblings to get the components together, but either way its stressful! Do yourself a favour and start planning from Feb half term onwards. Or prepare in September and then you won't get caught by a random charity day that needs a costume!

3. Favourite Toy. Every child wants to bring their dinosaur toy (or other toys as we understand that some people don't love dinosaur toys as much as we do!)  in to show off to their class but there is a high chance they will get damaged, lost, fought over or swapped for a sandwich in someone else's lunch box. Prepare some toys that can go in to school, ones that your child knows are old enough to go to school, and you know can either be replaced easily or that will not cause huge upset if lost

4. Cake Sales
Even if you and the kids are dab hands at turning out beautiful handmade cakes I would strongly advise buying some cake mixes, icing sugar and food colours to have in the cupboard. Then when your child blithely mentions at breakfast that they have to bring cakes in that day for a fund raising drive you won't have to run around like a headless chicken to sort it out. Alternatively you can buy a pack of really cheap fairy cakes and put them in the freezer so you can just thaw and add the icing. 

4. Cardboard, Glue, Sellotape, Paints, String and Pipe cleaners.
You're going to need them. Whether its homework or a sudden enthusiasm you are going to have to make a lot of things you never thought you would. Seasonal projects such as  Xmas cards and Easter Bonnets can at least be predicted, and masks and name badges are normal. The worst I have had was a pirate ship from a cereal packet. Great if you are arty, rubbish if you have a job, kids and a dog to juggle too.

5. Headlice shampoo.
Yup, stock pile it now, and get enough for the whole family because even if your child doesn't share stories about their day at school they will definitely share their headlice.

What top tips would you offer for First Day at School? Comment on our Instagram and Facebook pages where you can also see all our dinosaur toys too!


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