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Transitioning and Settling back in after Holidays

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After time away on family holidays, returning to childcare or kindergarten can generate a mix of emotions in our children. Feelings of excitement to see their friends and teachers, concern about leaving mum or dad, or even anxiety about what it's going to be like, are all very common. The biggest challenge for young children is been separated from their parents, so getting children back to a normal daily routine will make returning to childcare easier for both children and parents.

At Busy Bees Aoraki , we would like to offer parents some helpful tips to help make the process of transitioning your child back to centre a smooth one.

1. Talk to your child and get them excited

Sometimes children may feel anxious or stressed, so it is important to find out what part of the experience is making them worry, to validate these feelings. Talking to them about the excitement of seeing friends and playing will help to reduce any nerves. Recall with them the wonderful times they have by showing them pictures on Storypark of days with their friends and teachers. Demonstrate a positive attitude about what their day will be like, saying things like, “Your teacher and friends will be so excited to see you again, and you can tell them all about our holiday.” They will feel more comfortable to settle in once they feel excited to get back to preschool.

2. Get them back-to-centre ready!

One way to get children excited to go back is to recreate a routine in the last few days of holidays before the first day. You can plan some regular centre-like activities, practice some routines and prepare their backpack.

Things you can do the night before include:

  • Think of what to bring the next day
  • Pack their bag together
  • Prepare their lunch box
  • Go to bed at a regular time

Things to do in the morning include:

  • Get out of bed on time
  • Eating breakfast, brushing teeth and getting dressed straight away
  • Leave the house on time

To support your child to get used to a routine, planning activities at certain times can be a great idea. This will also reduce stress, which will benefit you and your child’s wellbeing. You can always adjust your schedule but having a consistent bedtime and wake-up time in those days leading up to starting back, is essential to ensures your child has had enough sleep and is in a sleep routine.

3. Re-introduce some of the fun activities they do at Busy Bees

Doing some of your child's favourite centre or crafting activities together at home will help them look forward to returning. You could take photos doing these activities at home, share them to Storypark, or print and take photos to talk about when they start back.

This is also a great opportunity for you to spend quality time with your child and get to know what they learn and what they do at childcare.

4. And just for something sweet, the Hug Button... 

You may have heard of this cute idea before.  If your little one is finding it tough settling into preschool, maybe a hug button could help? Here's how...

Draw a small heart on your hand and another on the hand of your child. Hold hands with your child to 'charge them up', and tell them that every time they press the heart button they are sending you a hug and you are sending one back. Talk about your days when you are back together again.

Children’s anxiety around going back to childcare normally only lasts a few days. Adjusting from holiday mode the first week back can be difficult for children, as it can be for adults too! Incorporating some of these happy and healthy habits can make you and your child's transition back to Busy Bees smoother as you look forward to your next holiday together.



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