It was 2 years ago that we found out that our eldest was going to be starting in Year R the local Primary School, feelings of excitement, fear, nervousness and curiosity washed over me and that was just my worries about meeting other School Mums.  The thought of our little boy going to school all day, every day, meeting new people, learning new things filled us and him with similar feelings.

Our son had gone to nursery since an early age and he had become a confident, intelligent and cheeky little boy.  We knew that he would absolutely love school and he was ready; he’d got quite upset when the year above him had all left and he was staying on for another year at Nursery.

But as the weeks went by, we started talking more and more about school, shopped for school uniform and started the visits we could see that a little bit of fear was creeping in.  There are a few things that we did to help him and I wanted to share these with you.

Got a ‘Starting School’ Book

I don’t know about you but I’ve always had an Usborne book at home, I still have the kids cookbook my mum bought me when I was little – it has the best fairy cake recipe in it!  So when I was looking for a book I knew Usborne would have one. 

Help and Advice for Little Ones Starting in Year R - Usborne Book Going to School
Usborne Going to School Book from
Little Blossoming Bookworms

This Going to School book is great because it doesn’t skirt around the key issues, such as meeting a teacher, Mummy and Daddy not being able to stay or making new friends.  It is great as showing your little one what will happen in those first few days of year R and that it will get easier.  The pictures are lovely and clear and the story easy to associate with your little one.  There are lots of opportunities to discuss what is happening in each picture and reassure your little one, a skill they will be learning when they start reading.

Usborne books are sold by many independent sellers across the country, by clicking this link it will take you to the home page of Little Blossoming Bookworms and if you buy through this link then she will get some commission.

Bought a personalised PE bag

The school that we were sending our little one to offered a number of branded items that we could purchase but thankfully we didn’t have to purchase them all and we chose to get our son his own personalised PE bag.  It was something he had some control over, he helped us choose the text and decided to add a tractor to his bag so he knew which was his when it came to PE lessons.

Help and Advice for Little Ones Starting in Year R - Personalised PE Bags
Personalised PE Bags from
Teal Fox Designs

These lovely bags are great as they are made from polyester so it didn’t matter if they got a bit wet and the reinforced corners meant that it could take a bit of a battering (we know what kids are like for swinging things around!).  Ours is still going strong and looks as good as new as we are coming to the end of year 2.

We purchased ours from a lovely small business called Teal Fox Designs who was able to make our bag exactly how we wanted it rather than having to get something mass produced.

Got a lovely HUG keyring

Our son had a teddy that went to nursery with him, a little comforter, we were weaning him off it as we got closer and closer to school starting.  I used to have to give it a kiss goodbye when I dropped him off and he would then put it to his cheek if he needed to be close to me during the day at nursery.  I had seen stories of other Mum’s drawing a little heart on their and their child’s wrists before school so they were matching but I thought this might wash off.

Help and Advice for Little Ones Starting in Year R - Personalised HUG keyring
Personalised Hug Keyring from
Stamped With Love

I am a metal stamper and had made tags for our son’s nursery bag so I wanted to make something that we could both have for when he went to school.  I had these lovely split hearts in stock so I made them into HUG keryings.  One half I kept on my keys and the other half went into our son’s school bag.  We put them together right before he went into his classroom and had a cuddle and a kiss, it worked perfectly to sooth this transition.

You can get your own HUG keyring set here.

Label EVERYTHING!

Kids lose EVERYTHING… Jumpers, trousers, cardigans, socks, pants, and shoes!  If it can come off label it!  I think in the whole of my Year R Mums group I was the only one who didn’t lose anything – I’m still waiting for my award!

I can highly recommend My name Label who we’ve been using ever since our son started nursery to label his bottles.  Those particular labels survived going through the dishwasher and being sterilised in Milton tablets with no fading or coming off.  So when it came to getting labels for the school uniform I knew I could trust them to last and they did! 

Help and Advice for Little Ones Starting in Year R - Labels

His shoes on the other hand didn’t fair quite as well! His shoe’s even went through the wash twice after a couple of little accidents at school. Be sure to order early though as I know some friends couldn’t get any when they tried to order a couple of weeks before the start of term.

We kept positive

Help and Advice for Little Ones Starting in Year R

There were occasions in those first 2 weeks in Year R when our son would come home and say he didn’t want to go back, that the other children were not very nice or that the food was yucky.  We stayed positive, talked about what was good about school and how things were the same as nursey with their play time.

We printed out the classroom schedule and stuck it to the fridge so we could talk about what was happening the next day.  In the evening we would then have a chat about the fun things that he had learnt that day even if it was usually “nothing” (you’ll get used to that!).

We even had the lunch menu on the fridge and joked about which veg he was going to leave behind at dinner time – of course he always ate his veg, or that’s what he said!

Trust your Instincts

Unfortunately, it did turn out that we had not really chosen the best school for our eldest, he was becoming more and more withdrawn and saying things that were very out of character.  His favourite colour has always been pink and his Nana had knitted him a pink scarf and hat for winter that he absolutely loved.  He came home from school one day and quietly handed me the scarf and hat and told me he couldn’t wear it anymore because “boys don’t like pink”.  My heart broke!  The school itself was fantastic and his teacher incredibly supportive of our concerns but ultimately it just wasn’t the right setting for him.

We made the difficult decision that after the October half term we would move him to a new school, it was not a decision we made lightly – all the old worries were coming back again.  But after a couple of weeks in the new school our fun-loving little boy (who loved pink again) came back.

Kids really are so amazing!  We worry so much about them starting school.  They go into that classroom (with a little coaxing sometimes) and they have so much fun that they are exhausted and happy when they run back out to greet you with a massive smile at 3:15.  You are going to miss them like crazy but you will love every minute of learning things all over again through their eyes.


You can get a HUG kerying by clicking the link below. You can choose your favourite colours for the word HUG to make these personalised for both you and your little one. We can also design hearts that split into 3/4/5/6 pieces, feel free to contact us to discuss.

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