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Getting Your Children Ready for Reception: A Guide for Parents

The first day of reception marks an exciting milestone in your child's life. As a parent, it's natural to feel a mix of emotions pride, excitement, and maybe a touch of apprehension. Getting your child ready for this new phase requires thoughtful preparation, both practically and emotionally. In this guide, we'll explore a variety of strategies to help you ensure a smooth transition for your little one as they embark on their journey through reception.

1. Foster Independence:

One of the key skills your child will need is independence. Encourage them to do tasks like putting on their shoes, using the restroom, and tidying up after playtime. This will not only make them feel confident but also help them adapt to the structured routines of the reception class.

2. Social Skills:

Reception is a social environment where your child will interact with peers and teachers. Organize playdates or attend local playgroups to help your child practice sharing, taking turns, and engaging in conversations. These experiences will make the transition to a classroom setting smoother.

3. Emotional Readiness:

Starting reception can be emotionally overwhelming for some children. Talk openly with your child about their feelings and assure them that it's normal to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness. Read books about starting school and discuss their expectations to alleviate any anxieties.

4. Familiarize with Routines:

Reception will have a structured routine that includes playtime, learning sessions, meal times, and rest periods. Start establishing similar routines at home a few weeks before school starts. This will help your child adapt to the new schedule more easily.

5. Encourage Curiosity:

Reception is all about exploring, learning, and discovering. Foster your child's curiosity by engaging in educational activities together. Visit museums, parks, and zoos to ignite their interest in the world around them. This attitude of curiosity will serve them well in their reception class.

6. Practicing Basic Skills:

Basic skills like holding a pencil, recognizing letters, and counting are valuable for a successful start in reception. Engage in activities that promote these skills, such as drawing, tracing letters, and counting objects during playtime.

7. School Visits and Orientation:

Many schools offer orientation sessions or "stay and play" days for new reception students. Attend these events with your child to familiarize them with the classroom, teacher, and surroundings. This can greatly ease any fears they may have.

8. Create a Positive Learning Environment at Home:

Set up a designated area for your child to engage in activities that simulate learning. Fill it with books, puzzles, art supplies, and other educational tools. This will cultivate a positive attitude towards learning and reinforce the skills they'll develop in reception.

9. Build Resilience:

Starting school may come with challenges, and it's important for your child to develop resilience. Teach them problem-solving skills, how to bounce back from disappointments, and how to ask for help when needed.

10. Celebrate Milestones:

As the first day of reception approaches, celebrate the milestones your child has achieved during their early years. Reflect on their growth, and let them know how proud you are of their accomplishments.


Preparing your child for reception is a journey that requires patience, understanding, and support. By fostering independence, social skills, and emotional readiness, you'll be laying a strong foundation for their educational journey. Remember that every child is unique, so tailor your approach to their personality and needs. With your guidance, they'll step into reception with confidence, curiosity, and a readiness to embrace all the new experiences that lie ahead.


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