The elementary school where my 4-year-old will start kindergarten in September has a delightful series of transition programs.
Children are invited to one of the two kindergarten classrooms for a themed activity. Last month, the principal read a book as children sat on the color-blocked rug with their mothers. My little one was shy, and as the principal read the book for the second time, telling the children it was time act out the animal noises, he pressed his face alternatively into the rug and my lap.
The other boys and girls were doing much the same. One boy latched onto his mother's leg and refused to budge.
A number of the parents and children recognized each other, since they were enrolled in the preschool that is housed at the school.
The animal theme was shifted to a craft, as each child was given a tiny container of Play-Doh and encouraged to mold their favorite animal out of it. T started making a lime-green dinosaur, that is until he saw me rolling a piece into the form of a snake and picking up tiny pieces of pink Play-Doh off the table and rolling them into two little eyes.
Suddenly, he wanted to make a snake.
And he wasn't so timid anymore.
Forty-five minutes later, we made our way home with a bag of cinnamon graham crackers.
Today is the second, a music and movement mini class.
I'm looking forward to it as much as T is.
It's a terrific idea for him to become more familiar with the school and the idea of kindergarten.
Though I beginning to think the "transition" part is more for the parents to ease anxiety, judging from how quickly T is at adapting to new environments.