For many kids, we are embarking on the end of the school year. It’s a time to say good-bye to friends and teachers. Our kids will be spending time at home and maybe catching some Vacation Bible School throughout the summer, but you might be sending your kid to summer camp or to a new sitter for the summer. With this in mind, I put together a few tips to help kids prepare for new experiences.
Three Ways to Prepare Kids for New Experiences
1. Give them the details. You’ll want to cater the amount of details you give to your child based on their age and understanding; however, if they know what is going to happen, it will make it a lot easier. When our kids go to VBS with my parents, I tell them what week of the summer it will be / show it to them on the calendar, tell them what church it will be at / do a drive-by of the location if they haven’t been there before, and remind them that Pappy will be doing the prayers and Grammie will be leading crafts. This lets them know a general idea of what is about to happen so that they aren’t just thrown into the mix of kids and can expect the number of days they’ll be away from us.
2. Set rules and expectations. Just like when you prepare a new meal, you expect that your child will give the new experience a try. Even if you ask them to just give it 30 minutes, let your child know that you want them to give it their best shot and that you’ll be proud of them while they try the new thing. Remind them that there are rules that they’ll need to follow, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t have fun.
3. Talk about the Familiar. Perhaps you’ll want to read a book like Ally-saurus & the First Day of School to give them an example of a new experience and how it can turn out differently than they hope yet not be so bad. Or maybe talking about another time they did something new and how proud of them you were / a new friend they made / a fun craft they did will help.
Sure, these tips won’t make it absolutely 100% without tears, but should alleviate some of the struggles as your child (and you!) embark on a new experience. Good luck, and come back and tell us what worked for you.
Have I ever mentioned that I was a PK (pastor’s kid) and moved a lot in my life? That means I went to a lot of new schools, attended a lot of church camps / Bible Schools and had to make new friends. While this doesn’t make me an expert at advice for new experiences, I hope my life lessons will help your child!
You can pick up a copy of “Ally-saurus & the First Day of School” at book retailers (suggested retail price is $14.95). It is written and illustrated by Richard Torrey and published by Sterling Children’s Books.
With colorful illustrations that expertly capture the diverse personalities of Ally and her classmates, Ally-saurus & the First Day of School encourages young readers to embrace their differences while also preparing them for new experiences, such as a big move, a new summer camp, or, as in the book, a new school. Add in a charming heroine, a delightful surprise ending, and Walter—a boy in love with his bright, yellow lunchbox—and you have a fun and hilarious read-aloud story that will leave children eager for more of Ally and her imaginative new friends.*articles may contain affiliate links*