Starting school: physical needs

Self-care tips 

  • Support your child to be confident about getting to the loo in time and wiping properly, using toilet paper rather than moist wipes.
  • Chat about the importance of good handwashing with soap and water, especially after going to the toilet or handling animals.
  • Let your child practise putting on their school clothes, taking them off and folding them neatly in preparation for PE lessons, especially if there are fiddly fastenings such as shirt buttons and zips. Clothes with elasticated waistbands and shoes with Velcro® are easier for young children to handle.
  • There are tips and hints that you can teach your child to help them get dressed successfully - putting labels at the back, holding cuffs to stop sleeves riding up, and wrinkling tights to put toes in first. 
  • Children having school dinners need to be able to use a full-sized knife and fork and carry a plate or tray. If your child is taking a lunchbox, make sure they can open it as well as any containers and packets inside. 
  • Introduce your child to the routine of ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ – catching their sneeze or runny nose in a tissue, putting it in the bin straightaway, then washing their hands to kill germs.
  • Get your child into the habit of hanging their coat up, putting their toys away, clearing the table, and so on, to prepare them for doing these things at school. Why not turn it into a game? Many schools use a piece of music to indicate tidy up time and motivate children to help. Try this at home and ask which song your child would like. ‘Mission Impossible’ is a popular one!