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Transitioning & Preschool: One teacher’s advice

Transitioning & Preschool didn't come easily for my daughter, but when her preschool teacher suggested a couple of books and strategies, everything changed

This school year has brought on some significant changes for my little family. My daughter is 4 and we decided to put her in preschool. The main reason, for me anyway, is for the social aspect.

My sweet girl spends a lot of time with her baby brother. And most of the kids we have play dates with are younger than her. We also take the kiddos to the park a lot. In the off-chance my girl decides to stand in another kid’s bubble try to play with kids her age, they end up being jerks.

Ok. Calling a little 4 or 5-year-old a “jerk” is a little harsh. They aren’t. They’re just young and they don’t quite know how to say, “I don’t like you, go away,” nicely.

So, we decided to do preschool this year to get her around kids her age. Three days a week, for 2 1/2 hours each day. It started three weeks ago. Every single drop off day has been a nightmare for me. My poor son just wants to play with all of the toys as 2-year-olds do. He wants to tear them off the shelves and throw them everywhere. And my sweet girl just wants mama to stay with her at school. She clings, cries, and one day, she even screamed.

Every single day after drop-off, I was ready to throw in the towel. Whether it was both kids having a meltdown, just one of them, or all three of us (it happened once), I was so done. I was physically and emotionally exhausted every morning.

Transitioning & Preschool didn't come easily for my daughter, but when her preschool teacher suggested a couple of books and strategies, everything changed

On the day of three meltdowns, my little lady’s teacher gave me two books to read with her at home.

We had the whole weekend to peruse these books and read them over and over…and over.

The first one is “Llama Llama Misses Mama.”

The little llama has to go to preschool and he’s so sad mama can’t stay. Halfway through the day, he makes friends and begins to enjoy school. My girl liked this book a lot because she loves the ‘Llama Llama’ books and this particular one was so relatable to her. Every time I would drop her off, she was really upset at first, then she would end up having a great time.

The second book is “A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon.”

In this story, Chester Raccoon doesn’t want to be away from his mother. She tells him about the “kissing hand.” She kisses the center of his hand before he goes to school. While he’s there, if he misses his mama, he can put his kissing hand on his face for a kiss. That way he knows she’s always with him.

This Monday, on the way to preschool, I asked my daughter if she wanted to have a kissing hand. She agreed it would be a good idea to try it. I kissed her hand when we got out of the car and she walked to class with one hand holding her baby brother’s, and the other hand (her kissing hand) on her face. She got in line to go in the classroom and didn’t give me a second glance. She had a great time at preschool and she even told someone when she had to use the potty!

The next day, I asked her if she wanted a kissing hand again. She said, “No, I’ll be okay.” She had a fantastic day and my brave girl talked about her bear in front of the whole class for show and tell.

Last night, after putting her to bed she said, “Mom, I really want to go to preschool tomorrow.” Music to my ears. She has come a long way these last few weeks. It has been so exhausting, emotional, and fun for me to watch her grow so much already.

Now my son and I can finally enjoy our new-found alone time together. My sweet little guy rarely gets time away from his sister. Luckily, he’s always thrilled to see her when we pick her up.


Are there any books that have helped you and your little one get through a rough time? Please share below.

  1. I used the same two books with my little one (he’s also 4), and just before I opened your email he actually referenced The Kissing Hand. Absolutely wonderful resources! Good luck with the remainder of the year!

  2. Such great books. My oldest, barely cared that I left on her first day of preschool (my heart broke a little bit, but I expected it, she is a strong independent child). My youngest, oh holy wow the amount of coaxing I can see having to happen with her *sigh* guess I better go buy those books 😉 Thanks for sharing <3

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