Returning to Kindergarten.
Written by: Amber Davison, Deputy Manager at Faraway Tree Kindergarten.
We are so excited to be welcoming you all back very soon. It has been a strange and unsettling time for all of us and some normality is certainly comforting. What makes it all the more special is that “normality” means reuniting with the Faraway Tree family. We are honoured that you have stuck by us throughout and the fact that you are all eager to return demonstrates the huge amount of trust you put in us to protect your child.
Please rest assured that, as always, your child and their wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do. We understand that returning to kindergarten may be a little bit daunting after such a long time in your own bubble. To ease the return, I suggest to simply play it cool. Nervousness and excitement can present in the same way which makes it difficult for children to determine which one they are feeling. Likewise, there is a fine line between building excitement and making too much of a deal. You know your child and what they will respond best to but here are some tips;
Start off slow, recall some fun things your child may have done at kindergarten and perhaps visit the same places we’d regularly go to.
Then, show your child the pictures and video we have been sharing, what would they like to play with first?
The day before, tell your child they will be going to kindergarten and will get to play with all of the fun things you have showed them.
On the day, remind them of the things we have set up ready for them and try to follow the same morning routine that you used to follow.
At the kindergarten, nurturing your child is at the forefront. As normal, we will have a range of fun and inspiring activities for the children throughout the week. The resources we have set up will encourage conversation, collaboration and imagination and we will also be sure to incorporate mindfulness and yoga into each day. Having some time to focus on their own body, their movements and their breathing can help them to find calmness. It is a life skill that promotes physical and mental health, confidence and self-esteem and reduces stress. We have some new yoga books and a yoga bear who can’t wait to meet the children!
We will also be utilising the outside space as much as possible. This has always been our aim and now, with the help of our new and exciting equipment, we will be outside nearly all day, every day. For many of us, nature has provided a solace during lockdown. People have been given the rare opportunity to reconnect with nature. It has gained a new found respect, its healing qualities and tranquillity have been recognised and the country has vowed to welcome nature into daily life. We are able to feel quite grateful here as this is something we have always done and so we are slightly ahead in our approach. The power of nature is incredible and the impact it has on young minds is even more so. Nature is inspiring, it grows the imagination, it encourages us to walk, run and jump, it relaxes us and, most importantly, it makes us happy. Children learn best when they are happy and when they are inspired so it just makes sense to use the outside world as their classroom. Things may have changed but the world keeps turning, the trees remain standing, the flowers still grow and the Faraway Tree children continue to flourish, smile and amaze.