Visiting a kindergarten is a unique experience for a child who learns to be without their parents, to communicate with peers, and to adapt to the new rules. Going to kindergarten is the first big change in a child’s life. This is a change that covers many areas: getting to know new adults and children, a new routine and an environment. Often, adults believe that this should only bring joy. But it is also worth preparing for a wave of emotions, because all changes in human life cause some inconvenience and various emotions (from simple anxiety to high anger, grief and longing). At an early age, while there are no strong emotional management skills, the closest people and educators help the child to overcome his emotions.
To make the changes less distressing for your child, we use the games they love. It is important for the child to play the game in a relaxed way. During kindergarten fun, we give priority to free games dictated by the child and their interests. We are not trying to impose our games, but we offer them. Through play, the child is curious and explores and enriches the environment, looks around, tries out toys and other tools. The power of playfulness always helps to reduce the tension experienced by parents, as changes are happening in their lives.
House of Stories uses five steps to help children adjust to their new surroundings. How long this takes depends on the family’s options, but we recommend about two weeks.
- Time outdoors. We meet with the child and their mother and/or carer during outdoor activities. We let the child explore freely. Mother/carer and teacher discuss the child, especially how they like to play.
- Time indoors. Now we meet inside. When children commence their activities after Morning Circle, we invite newcomers to play. The educator shows the play spaces, and together with the mother/carer, the child finds toys they like best, the different rooms, the toilet, and so on. The child joins in with our songs and outside play.
- Time for play. We invite the mother/carer to contribute to play and creative activities such as knitting, crocheting, drawing, etc. From distance the educator observes the child and their interactions, encouraging them in their preferred play.
- Time without mother. Mother leaves the child to play for half a day.
- Time without mother. The child stays all day.
Group play. When the child’s period for getting used to the situation has finished, we want the child to left in the group alone. The presence of parents distracts the attention of other children and hinders the planned provision of quality education.