That ‘September’ Feeling: Making Friends and Settling In

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By Fe Luton, Director of Research and Content at Subject Leaders

Starting the new academic year can feel overwhelming for us all – having an armful of games, activities and approaches to dip into will help everyone get to know one another and settle into a successful September.

Young boy and girl playing together with plastic cups

That ‘September’ feeling …

Starting the new academic year or in a new setting can feel overwhelming for us all – children, parents and practitioners alike. For children, getting to know new people, settling into new routines, exploring new spaces and embracing new challenges is a lot to sit on such young shoulders. But as we know, children have a remarkable ability to adapt and explore, make new friends and try new experiences.
With the right start to the year we can make sure all our charges feel excited, safe and ready to learn. Having an armful of games, activities and approaches to dip into at the beginning of the year will help everyone settle in to a successful September.

Socialising and confidence in a post-Covid world

With the impact of Covid hitting everyone hard, it has taken over a huge proportion of the lives of young children now starting nursery and Reception. Without as many opportunities to socialise and build confidence away from the home, many children will find starting school or nursery particularly challenging. They may also be frightened to interact with others and be unsure how to, so it is crucial that through the activities we plan, we help them expand their comfort zone, not force them out of it.
Reading books about starting pre-school or school and making friends, such as I Am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child and Hello Friend by Rebecca Cobb will help. You may also like to explore the concepts of germs and personal hygiene through books such as Now Wash Your Hands by Matt Carr. Alternatively, have fun singing these hand washing rhymes or try these hand washing cards.

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