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The Ultimate Parent Guide to Getting Your Preschooler Ready for Reception This Summer: Part 1

Essential Skills Every Child Needs Before Starting Reception

How to prepare my child for Reception this summer

Getting Your Preschooler Ready for Reception

Starting reception is an exciting milestone for parents and children, marking the beginning of their educational journey. As a parent, you can play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition and getting your preschooler ready for Reception.

How to prepare your Reception child

Essential Skills Every Child Needs Before Starting Reception

In this guide, I will provide essential tips and strategies to prepare your child for this important milestone, drawing from my experience as a reception teacher. I understand the challenges parents face, as highlighted by a mother's frustration with conflicting advice online. This inspired me to provide a reliable guide, sharing my expertise and supporting parents during this significant transition. Let's make this journey a positive and memorable one!

Reception Ready: Start talking about school early

1. Start talking about school early: Introduce the concept of school early on.

Discuss what school is, what they will learn, and what to expect. Use positive language and share the exciting aspects of the school experience.

Reading books about starting school together can familiarise your child with the idea.

Popular books like: Harry and the Dinosaurs Go to School and

Reception Ready: visit your child's new school

2. Visit the school: Take your child to visit the school before they start.

Contact the school office of your child's primary school to schedule a tour or attend open house events.

Explore the classrooms, play areas, and meet potential teachers. This firsthand experience will alleviate anxieties and create a sense of belonging.

Most schools offer transition days for your child to meet other children and to get familiar with the surroundings.

Talk to your child's new reception teacher to see when these dates can be arranged or if they do home visits.

Reception Ready: Establish school routine

3. Establish a routine: Prepare your child for the school schedule.

Practice the school morning routine, including waking up early, getting dressed, and eating breakfast at the same time every day. Make sure your child has enough time to get ready in time to leave. A consistent routine will help them adjust more easily.

Some things to try...

Perhaps your child has some friends from preschool who will be starting reception at the same time. You could plan to meet friends and mums/dads at the school gate or somewhere along the journey to school if you walk. Practise the school run a few times during the summer holiday so that you are both prepared for the school morning journey.

Reception Ready: Encourage independence

4. Encourage independence: Promote independence by letting your child practice everyday tasks.

For example, encourage your child to dress themselves, use the toilet independently, and carry their own backpack. This prepares them for responsibilities and boosts your little one's confidence.

Reception Ready: Teach social skills

5. Teach social skills: Practice sharing, taking turns, and using polite language with others.

Organise playdates or group activities to interact with peers. Role-play scenarios reinforce social skills and build positive relationships.

Offer lots of opportunities for your child to experience meeting and playing with other children. Creating good friendships is key to a successful first year at school!


Preparing your preschooler for reception involves a combination of practical steps and emotional support. By following this ultimate guide, you can help your child navigate this exciting milestone with confidence and ease.

Remember, every child is unique, so adapt these tips to suit your child's individual needs. With your love, guidance, and support, your preschooler will be well-prepared for a successful start to reception this summer.

In part 2 of this guide, I will share more tips for helping your child to adapt to Reception in September. Stay tuned!

Hi, I'm Kara, a primary tutor and phonics expert and I’ll teach you the latest phonics and reading tips for supporting your early reader.

My blog is chockful of super actionable tips on how to support your child's transition into Reception or Key Stage 1. I'll also offer advice about your child’s early literacy goals so they can grow in confidence and fluency.

I’ll be sharing my free literacy resources so be sure to subscribe! ♥️📨

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