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Archive for July, 2016

13 Tips for Starting Preschool

Is your child entering a preschool program for the first time? Use these tips to help both you and your child make a smooth transition.

  1. Visit your local library during a read-aloud time so your child gets used to hearing someone other than Mom, Dad, or Grandpa read aloud book in a group setting.
  2. Establish a routine of “early to bed” and “school wake-up time” several weeks before school begins so your child has time to adjust to the new schedule.
  3. Find out about the toileting procedures at the new school or center so you can review the situation with your child and make sure she is comfortable.
  4. Arrange play dates with children who will be in your child’s class. Usually moms or dads go along on these early play dates.  Ask the teacher or school for a list of children who will be in your child’s class.
  5. If there’s a home visit or school visiting day, make sure you and your child participate. If you aren’t able to participate, call the school to arrange for a visit to the school and to meet your child’s teacher.
  6. Make a book at home about the new preschool experience your child is about to begin. Perhaps take photos of the school or of your child in front of school and add text like: “This is Sammy at school. This is her favorite t-shirt. This is Mommy picking up Sammy when school is over.”
  7. Let your child pick out a new backpack and together write her name on it.
  8. Tell stories about when you went to school and share how you felt about it. Find childhood pictures of yourself and other adults in your child’s life and talk about the photos.
  9. If your child has never before been cared for by someone else, start to leave her for short periods of time with friends or relatives. Reinforce the fact that you will return and that she is safe with others.
  10. Give your child a personal belonging of yours like a favorite scarf or bandanna so she knows you will come back to get it.
  11. Read books about going to school and saying goodbye, such as
      • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
      • David Goes to School by David Shannon
      • Will I Have a Friend? by Miriam Cohen
      • First Day of School by Anne Rockwell
      • When I Miss You by Cornelia Maude Spelman
      • Take a Kiss to School by Angela McAllister
      • It’s Time for Preschool by Esme Raj Codell
      • A Pocketful of Kisses by Audrey Penn
  12. Select a special object from home that your child can take to school–like a lunchbox, a book to share, and a small pillow for rest time.
  13. Remember that separation is a process. Expect that your child (or yourself) will need time to feel comfortable with the new situation.


By Diane Tunis, Rhonda Kleiner, and Fredda Band Loewenstein

Diane Tunis is a Head Start teacher at Arcola Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Rhonda Kleiner is a kindergarten teacher at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland. Fredda Band Loewenstein is associate director of the Early Childhood Centers at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, California.


For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page.

Tips for Sun Safety

Most families with young children welcome outdoor fun and sunny days! But before your family takes off for the parks and playgrounds, here are some sun safety tips.

Outdoor Time

Outdoor play is essential. All children need opportunities for physical play and exploration outdoors. For safety’s sake, try to avoid the sun’s peak hours, generally between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek shade if your shadow is shorter than you.

Sunscreen. Select a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a factor of SPF 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin, including cheeks, neck, arms, legs, behind the ears, and on the nose. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going out, even on cloudy days. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming.

Clothing. Dress your child in a hat and lightweight clothing that covers as much of the body as possible for protection. The best way to protect eyes is to wear sunglasses – Look for those that provide 100 percent UV protection.

Sun facts

We all need some sunlight to stay healthy. Sun exposure helps our skin produce vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium for healthy bones. The amount of time in sunlight needed to produce enough Vitamin D is only 10 to 15 minutes per day a few times a week, depending on skin tone.

Children of all skin tones need protection from dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays. Too much sun exposure can cause sunburn and possibly lead to skin cancer.

Talk to your child

Give your child a positive message about the sun. “We need the sun to build strong bones, to help our gardens grow, and to make lovely sun tea.” Remind your child to use sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses every day.

Be a sun safety role model.  Wear a hat and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen when heading outside. Your child will follow your example.

Source: Adapted from the Message in a Backpack, Teaching Young Children 4 (5): 16-32

© National Association for the Education of Young Children — Promoting excellence in early childhood education


For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page.