DISCLOSURE: Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links, which come at no cost to you. Know that I only promote products I personally use and stand behind. To learn more about my affiliates, please review my disclosure policy here.
This September my oldest child will be attending Kindergarten! Just a few days ago we visited her soon-to-be new elementary school at a Kindergarten Tea. It served as an hour long meet and greet to be introduced to the kindergarten teachers and some key staff members, including the principal, nurse and guidance counselor and learn some basics to get us prepped from what’s ahead. The kids got to visit the classroom and the parents stayed back to hear more information on the year ago.
Now it’s been many years since I’ve attended Kindergarten so granted many of the things on this list might be obvious to you but they stood out to me! Some things are school specific I’m sure so make sure to pay attention when you attend yours! Here are 10 things I learned from my first Kindergarten Tea.
- Bring a pen. I walked into the meeting with my little clutch purse that holds nothing but my basics as I’ve not yet been acclimated to non-diaper bag life. So I didn’t have a pen on hand and wish I did for a few basic notes. They said they would be including everything in the pamphlet but they didn’t so a pen would’ve been nice.
- They still do quiet time in kindergarten. Brielle has not really been consistently napping for about 6 months now but I think having a quiet time or rest period is still good for her and all kids her age in order to reset. I’m happy to see that they do this in her school where each kid brings in a beach towel to relax on the carpeted floor after recess.
- Even the littlest kid needs full sized things. Each kid needs to bring a backpack and the teacher specifically brought one in to show you the size. It looks HUGE and I’m sure it is huge on their little bodies but she stressed that the smaller sized ones do not fit all that they bring back and forth to school. Sure it isn’t day to day stuff but Mondays and Fridays are bigger backpack days due to the above mentioned towel, their separate lunch box and anything else coming and going.
- They do allow peanut products for lunch, but not snack. In her current preschool daycare they are fed food they provide so this packing lunches thing will be new for both of us! With close friends and family members who have kids with peanut allergies I wondered what the limitations were on this category as PB&J sandwiches are a popular lunch menu item in our house. Kids with peanut allergies are sat at a different table in the lunch room so they are welcome to bring in peanut butter and jelly for lunch, but since they have snack in the classroom, peanut products are off limits.
- They encourage paper and plastic bags! I was actually shocked by this as I thought most places would be going away from this sort of thing. But upon entering the classroom, the kids put their lunch bags/boxes in one area to bring to the cafeteria and they put their snacks in another bin in the classroom. They showed us sample photos of kids eating these snacks from properly labeled brown paper bags or sandwich snack bags.
- Pack individual wet wipes in their lunch bag. The teachers encourage you to pack this single use item in their lunch bag to either use before or after the meal. If you’re worried about being able to open it, they shared how the 5th graders sit near the kindergarten tables to help them with their lunches.
- You need to provide communal classroom supplies. Maybe this is just kindergarten or maybe this is their school philosophy. But they provided a list of school supplies we’d need to provide, many of which served a communal collection that should not be labeled. Crayons, markers, glue and a box of tissues are some examples.
- Kids are such followers. Of course I know this to be true as my girls can test my patience at home but are apparently angels at school. When it came time for all 35+ kids to get into lines and go with these teachers they’ve never met before to walk away from their parents and visit the classroom, there was surprisingly no issues! As they walked out I heard several parents make comments saying they didn’t think that was gonna go so well.
- There is no tea. Yes this blog is named as such (it’s just a play off my name being Tara) but I actually don’t drink tea! Well at this kindergarten tea there was no actually tea. Water, juice boxes and snacks, yes. Just a heads up for anyone who might be hoping for a piping hot cup after that big information sess. :)
- I’m doing pretty good to prepare her for kindergarten. They provided this basic list of things they should be able to do before entering kindergarten and I’m happy to say she’s completed them minus two that we’ve been working on. I have no worries about her being prepared for the year ago! In fact I know she’s SUPER excited about the experience and I’m SUPER excited to see how much she grows in the next year, especially when it comes to reading. She’s already pretty eager about learning a few site words so I know she will soak it up like a sponge.
As always, I plan to share some key things we learn over this experience for any preschool mommas following in our footsteps so make sure to sign up for my email newsletter to keep up to date!