How To Make A Child Feel Welcomed on the First Day of Preschool

first day of preschool

The first day of preschool (or daycare for younger children) can be scary.  An experienced daycare provider has the ability to make a child feel welcomed using a few trade secrets.

Integrating new children can be challenging if they are reluctant to leave their parent.  As home daycare providers our group often changes and we are in charge of setting the new atmosphere.

A group of children who all get along and help one another is wonderful.  Building those group dynamics takes hard work and energy.

Today I’d like to give you one easy idea that helps integrate new children and creates group bonding.

Choose a daycare mascot.

A mascot is a shared symbolic object that represents a group.  Your mascot can be a toy or stuffie and I would suggest giving him/her a name. You can use your mascot to talk to the children about sharing, being polite and including everyone.

Your mascot can go on adventures with the group.  He can help calm an upset child and bring a shy child out of their shell.  He can take turns sitting beside each child at story time.

A mascot is a shared object that shows the children in your group that you all belong together. Tweet This

Mascots are friendly and appeal to young children.  One year we had a small stuffed Olaf Snowman as our daycare mascot. The children took part in an Olaf Snowman Fun day when he was introduced to the group.

olaf

Fun days help integrate a new child into an existing group because you can organize the activities so the new child has a positive experience with each of your existing children.

A feeling of belonging to a group begins with shared experiences. Tweet This

Experiences that are high energy and fun seem to be the fastest way to make a child feel like they matter to the group.

balloons

Trying to walk like Olaf with a balloon between their knees.  Everyone was giggling by the end of the game.

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Using tongs to pick up cotton balls and transfer to a partner’s bowl in a game of snowball collecting.

snowman making

Using toilet paper to transform a stuffed lion into Olaf’s long lost snowman brother.

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They taped on a carrot nose and some paper buttons.

olaf group pic

Playing ‘Pin the button on Olaf’ game.

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All of these games were quick to prepare and used everyday supplies.  They created positive shared experiences with our mascot Olaf as the focal point.

My group fell in love with our little Olaf.  He is such a likeable character and he always has a warm hug for his friends.

How do you make new children feel welcomed in your home daycare/preschool? Please share your comments with us below!

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