The first day of school is a milestone that parents feel excited and anxious about in equal measure. You can count on it too that children, especially those going to school for the first time, will feel scared even though they are raring to explore more of the world.
Parents can help their little ones get mentally and emotionally ready for the first day of school by talking about what to expect, reading books, and visiting the school and meeting his teachers beforehand.
Reading books that show other kids who are also nervous about school will have a positive impact in their psyche. It is comforting for a child to know that someone else out there feels and thinks the same way he does.
Here's a list of 10 picture books that will help ease your child into his first day in school, whether it’s his first time or not. Easily available in local bookstores, you still have time to get a book or two before classes begin!
1. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Most kids dread going to school because they are going to miss their mom. The Kissing Hand offers a reassuring and heartwarming solution to this problem: the Kissing Hand. Chester Raccoon learns that he will always have his Mama’s love wherever he goes, and that we sometimes have to do things that scare us. Bring out the hankies!
Hardcover edition available at Fully Booked Online for P718.
2. The Berenstain Bears Go To School by Stan Berenstain
Little kids love the adventures of the Berenstain Bears that are often very funny. They are sure to be delighted in this First Time Books about Sister Bear who is worried about going to school for the first time and Brother Bear who can’t wait to go back. A few days later, Sister Bear is the one who is excited to go to school fun while Brother Bear wishes he’s on vacation again!
Available at Fully Booked Online for P199.
3. David Goes To School by David Shannon
David shows readers what not to do in school, and thus perfect for first time school-goers. Kids will find this book hilarious and yet comforting as David eventually learns how to behave properly in school and gets rewarded for it.
Available at Fully Booked Online for P680.
4. Fancy Nancy: JoJo’s First Day Jitters by Jane O’Connor
Nancy is excited to help her little sister JoJo get ready for preschool. But when JoJo gets a bad case of first day jitters, Nancy saves the day and helps her through her fears. A heartwarming book about an older sibling helping a younger one, this book is ideal for that caring Ate and her little sister.
Available at Fully Booked Online for P252.
5. Llama, Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
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It’s Llama Llama’s first day of school and he is having a bit of separation anxiety. Little kids who dread being left “alone’ in school will find comfort in seeing another kid also anxious about school. They will be comforted that though Llama Llama misses his Mama, she is there at the end of the day waiting for him.
Available at National Bookstore for P560.49
6. The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
A spinoff of the classic Christmas poem ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore, the rhymes and illustrations in this book make it fun and engaging to kids. The first few verses show how much the kids are excited yet scared to go to school. The latter part shows parents crying outside the kindergarten door, which grownups might find disturbing but which kids will likely find silly and amusing.
Available at Fully Booked Online for P168
7. Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Kevin Henkes is the go-to author for books about childhood issues that all children can relate with. In Wemberly Worried, Wemberly is a worrywart worrying over every little thing, including the first day of school. Simply worded and beautifully illustrated, this book is empathetic of all worrying children.
Available at Fully Booked BGC for P252
8. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Kevin Henkes tackles the issue of getting teased in this book about a girl uniquely named Chrysanthemum. On the first day of school, her classmates make fun of her name, which she thought was perfect. Everything changes for the better, however, when her music teacher helps her.
Available at Fully Booked Online for P280
9. Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London
Flop! Flop! Flop! Toddlers love Jonathan London’s Froggy series because of onomatopoeia, or the sound effects included in the stories. When Froggy goes to school, he feels nervous and actually has a nightmare where he almost misses his bus. Children will be able to relate well!
Available at Fully Booked Online for P252
10. Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School by Herman Parish
Amelia Bedelia first appeared in 1963 and was originally written by Peggy Parish. Kids love Amelia Bedelia because of how she takes figures of speech literally. Herman Parish, the original author’s nephew, created books about Amelia’s childhood starting in 2009. Imagine a little girl taking her teacher’s admonition literally: “Please glue yourself to your seat.”
Available at Fully Booked Online for P432
The first day of school is something that young children are excited and apprehensive about. Reading books about school and other children are a great way to start a conversation with your child, to know what he is thinking and feeling, and to help him overcome his fears.