Getting ready for pre-school

Friday, August 16th, 2013

There’s nothing quite like your child’s first introduction to the educational world. It’s an emotional time for all concerned ג€“ she may be nervous, reluctant to leave you and uncertain what to expect, and hey, you probably feel much the same! Here are a few tips to help ease the transition for both of you.

Get into the mind-set:

Your little one will be much better prepared for the temporary upheaval of joining pre-school if you talk to her about it often, ahead of time. There are plenty of lovely storybooks and activity/sticker books on the topic of ג€˜getting ready for school’, which are designed to introduce children to the general process in a non-threatening, simplistic way. Try Starting School by Janet and Allan Ahlberg or Going To Nursery by Catherine and Laurence Anholt.

Familiarise your child with the pre-school routine, teaching her what to expect from having her own coat hook and shoe box to registration, carpet time to free play and so on. Many children respond well to role-playing games in which you can take it in turns to be the ג€˜teacher’ and the ג€˜pupil’ in your pretend classroom. Help your child learn to recognise her name, and even practice writing it if she’s able.

Also it’s really important for her to begin properly socialising, so that she gets used to meeting and playing with different children, and sharing toys fairly. This is best handled by attending a local playgroup, and if at all possible find her a little friend or two who’ll be attending the same pre-school and develop those relationships further.

If your child will be staying for lunch, get her used to washing her hands before eating, then literally show her how it works ג€“ let her practice using her water bottle and lunchbox at home, and teach her always to eat her savoury food before the sweet stuff.

Carefully consider which sessions you book:

If your child still has regular naptimes, it makes sense to take this into consideration when you arrange timings with your pre-school. So if she’s used to an afternoon nap, don’t book an afternoon session.

Also if your child is shy or clingy, speak to the staff members. Often certain sessions (such as afternoons) are quieter, so timid children might be better suited to those. Feel free to build up your child’s stamina with less sessions leading to more later, and consider the weekly schedule as a whole ג€“ Mondays and Fridays might not work well initially as you’re potentially leaving too big a gap in between attendance.


We simply can’t stress this enough. Young children aren’t always able to recognise their own belongings, and even if they do, they have scant regard for keeping an eye on them in the hustle and bustle of the pre-school day. Invest in some inexpensive name labels (either dishwasher-safe tape stickers or the traditional fabric tabs are suitable), and a laundry pen, which is a great way to name clothes quickly and indelibly.

Don’t forget to clearly label their bag too. And while we’re on the subject, make sure to pack at least one change of clothes, nappies if your child is wearing them, and a plastic bag for safely stowing wet clothes away (this is just as handy for the aftermath of water-based games as it is for little accidents!).

Tuesdays with Grandpa Peter

Peter’s story-time tradition started after our Leopardstown centre held their annual Grandparents Day in September & invited the children’s grannies and granddads to join them for games and activities.

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Read More

Witches, Goblins, and Ghosts – Oh my!

Halloween is the time when scary skeletons, spooky ghosts and wicked witches roam the world. All of the Giraffe centres enjoyed the build up to Halloween last week, and the children and staff certainly got into the spirit of the festivities! The children were delighted to dress up for the whole day for their Halloween parties. For […]

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Read More

Summer festival Fun at Giraffe

Summer is festival time in Giraffe! The children look forward to the Summer Festivals every year, and every Giraffe Centre hosts different events through the summer months. This year, we saw Teddy Bear Picnics, Jungle Days, Magic Shows & Magicians, Beach days, Family BBQs and much much more! We have as many fun outdoor activities […]

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Read More

Preparing you & your child for school

Starting school is an exciting time for you and your child

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Read More

The A to Z of Getting Fit with Your Children

If you’re a parent, then you know it’s a constant challenge to balance keeping the kids both healthy and entertained at the same time! That’s why we at Giraffe Childcare have come up with a clever, informative and adorable infographic, titled The A-Z of Getting Fit with Your Children. From Football to Yoga, Playgrounds to […]

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Read More

We all say thanks to the teachers!

Today we are smiling from ear to ear after receiving this very special letter to our Pre-school Liffey Valley teachers… so nice to hear, thank you Ewan x Thanks to Giraffe Childcare. My name is Ewan and I am nearly seven. I went to Giraffe Childcare. My favourite class was the Pre-school class. I loved […]

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Read More

10 ways to foster your childs creativity

10 ways to foster your child’s creativity

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Read More
- Enter Your Location -
- or -