Arthur and his settling in session at Preschool – Plus some handy tips to help you!

Settling in

I knew I was going to have some problems settling Arthur into preschool. I have always been led by him, and he has asked to go to preschool. We went for a settling in session. This is where we go and play for an hour. During the visit Arthur clung to my side and he wouldn’t go and play. One of the ladies came over to Arthur and asked him if he would like to wash a doll. You would of thought she had poked him with the crying and shaking! Eventually we came to the play dough table and we had fun making love heart cookies. Arthur enjoyed playing with the added security of me being there, and he started to interact with other children too. A staff member came up to Arthur and asked if he would like to go outside and play.

Arthur smiled and looked at me. He signalled for me to follow which I did. As soon as we reached the garden Arthur saw the  superman motorbike and that was it he was off! He loves ride on cars and we recently had to put his motorbike in the bin. One of the bolts came out and became quite dangerous. So when he saw this he was so happy, he left my side and ran straight towards it. For the next 15 minutes Arthur zoomed around the garden and was as happy as can be.



I asked Arthur if he would like to return to Preschool and he said yes. So although he didn’t want to leave me, he enjoyed it. He doesn’t start officially until after half term (beginning of November) so we have a little while yet.

Other suggestions

I asked a few other bloggers if they had any tips on how to settle little ones into childcare. I had lots of replies so here is what a few of them said

  • How about a play date with other kids that will be in the class. We did this recently for a boy starting preschool who kept getting upset every day. This week he hasn’t cried when left. Helps if they know a few friends first.
  • I got my son a number of books, but only two worked for us (named below), I honestly couldn’t rate them enough and recommend them to many friends and family members now! Whilst I didn’t use a reward chart, I did say to him that he could have a special treat once he’d done a whole week at nursery – he picked a very special (to him) Build-a-Bear teddy and the nursery staff were brilliant with allowing it to go in with him which I’m sure helped settle him! xx My First Day at Nursery School and Will You Come Back To Me?
  • Make sure you feel confident with the playschool and talk with the teachers about your concerns. See how they handle your questions , if they make you feel happy. Usually there is a reason why children cry and don’t like something, try finding out why he didn’t like it by asking him. Has he been around other children before, other than his siblings? If the reasons why is because he is missing you, make a little photo flip book with photos of you and his family, the playschool should support you on this and allow him to have it to look at when he is feeling anxious.

and a couple more

  • I find my boys are always happier to go in if they’re taking something with them, used to be a favourite cuddly toy, now more often a special stick they found in the woods or a huge leaf! Gives them something to hold on to and a way of interacting with the teachers (or staff). I sent my little one in today with a Tupperware box of little superheroes! (Waiting nervously now to see if we get them all back at the end of the day!)
  • This is something I’m worrying about for when Arthur turns 2 in January as he will be doing a couple of mornings at pre school and he is very ‘attached’. One thing I have done already is taken him there whenever they have open days, or if toddler groups do taster sessions there (like rhythm time) we go so he is used to the setting with me being there. Nearer the time I am going to ask to take some photos of the setting and the staff so that I can make a ‘nursery book’ with photos and labels so that we can talk about it at home and prepare him a little more. They also do settling in sessions which will help, but the biggest thing (and one thing I found when I worked in a nursery myself and also as a reception teacher) is no matter how upset your child gets, stay happy, smiley and bouncy – tell them they are going to have fun, give them a kiss and then leave. The sooner the better. Staying only drags it out and makes it worse and often its our own insecurities as parents that make it harder. Just remember that that the experience will be great for him and will be good preparation form when he goes to school (and there’s no choice there) so better to be used to it? Good luck, I can only imagine how hard it must feel xx



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