Is your little dinosaur fan starting school this year, like our Little Dinosaur Aficionado? First day jitters are common for little dinosaur fans and for Mamasaurs (and D-Rexes, but they are less likely to admit it). Starting school is a big step and a big change. Help your child start school with a roar with these 8 easy-to-implement tips – and, of course, there are dinosaurs involved!
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1. Play it up in the weeks beforehand
This year, with COVID restrictions, it is more difficult for schools to have school visits in advance and rules are changing at short notice. Even if you do get a class and teacher assignment, there is no guarantee that the assignment will remain the same once school starts.
That’s why it is even more important to talk about school in the weeks beforehand and get your little dinosaur excited. New friends, new toys, new activities, things to learn. Calm their nerves about things that could be making them nervous: yes, they will be able to eat, yes they have toilets, yes there is still playtime, and yes, you will be there for them after school. If possible, walk to school beforehand and have a look at the playground so that your child is familiar with the area. Familiarity will give them the confidence to start school with a roar!
2. Let them choose their supplies
Any child will need supplies for the school year: a bag, lunchbox, pencils and stationery, for example. Let your child pick out what they want to give them a sense of agency and control. And make sure there are some dinosaur options in there too!
3. Start a bedtime routine early
Repetition and structure can be very helpful for little dinosaurs when they have the jitters. Start a few weeks beforehand – where possible – by implementing a bedtime routine. And even though it is holidays, try not to let your child sleep too late so that the early school mornings are not too much of a shock. This will help your child start school with a roar!
4. Play school
Fortunately, our little dinosaur aficionado loves playing school. She has activities she has to do and then there is always a break. If he is lucky, Daddysaurus Rex gets roped in to attend too. As do the toy dinosaurs.
At the moment her favourite school lesson is to recognise a dinosaur from a picture, learn how to write its name and draw a picture of it. I hope her teacher appreciates her love of dinosaurs…
Help your child start the new school year with a roar and play school with your little dinosaur and some of their toy dinosaurs. Which dinosaurs barely fit in the room? Which one has trouble sitting down for class? Which one wants to eat all their food before the break? Which one is the fastest at break? Make it fun and think about all the things that would happen if the dinosaurs were at school. We don’t eat our classmates looks at exactly that question.
5. Organise playdates
If you know some of the other little dinosaurs who will be in your child’s class, try and arrange a playdate or three. This will help with the transition and the nerves.
6. Run through the first day
As best as possible, run through what is likely to happen on the first day of school with your little dinosaur fan. This knowledge will help calm first-day-of-school jitters and give your little dinosaur fan the confidence they need to start school with a roar.
In Germany, the first day is unlike every other day. It does not start with school, but with a special ceremony, normally with parents, relatives and godparents invited to join. Teachers and older students will often be involved in the ceremony and they will normally be given a tour of the school. Many schools also hold an ecumenical service, where the new students will receive a blessing to mark their right of passage.
The school day is short and the party continues at home with relatives and friends invited to come and see the new student. This often means more presents…
We’ll be running through what our LDA can expect on the first day, who she will see, what will happen. We won’t be having a party on the same day, but will be having a combined birthday and first-day-of-school party for her on the weekend afterwards.
We’ll also be subtly practising some first-day conversations. Our LDA will not know many in her class as she is going to a different school than the others from her kindergarten. To help her make friends, we’ll be roaring our way through a few conversations, too.
7. Make the last day eventful
If possible, make the last day of school holidays, your child’s last day as a “small child”, eventful, but comforting. This not only rounds off the holidays nicely, but they will sleep better if they are tired.
Choose an activity that your child enjoys, like going for a swim or playing at the playground, that will give them an opportunity to burn some energy. Follow the evening routine you have established and don’t forget to read their favourite dinosaur story: we’re getting Ally-saurus & the First Day of School for the occasion.
8. Dino-fy their first day to start school with a roar!
If your little dinosaur fan has a favourite dinosaur outfit, help your child start the new school year with a roar by wearing that outfit!
Don’t have an outfit yet? We’ve found quite a few things at Next, H&M, Boden, and amazon. But we’ll go into our favourite sources for dinosaur goodies in a later post.
First-day-of-school photos are obligatory. Take some with your child’s favourite dinosaurs, and with their dinosaur Schultüte, of course!
If your child has a favourite dinosaur that will make them feel more comfortable, let the dinosaur stow away in their bag (unless the school does not allow it). And take a first-day-of-school photo with that friend.
If your child will be eating lunch or a snack at school, dino-fy it. Cut their sandwiches into dinosaur shapes with cookie cutters. Make separate herbivore and carnivore snacks. Check out our dinosaur recipes for inspiration.
Let your little dinosaur fan help choose the menu too! It will definitely help your child start the new school year with a roar and you never know what they will come up with.
With these 8 tips, they’ll be roaring like a T-Rex on their first day of school
It is normal for children (and Mamasaurs) to be a little nervous about starting school. With these 8 tips, you will give your little dinosaur lover the knowledge and confidence they need to enjoy their first day of school get their school year off to a good start – with a roar of course.