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How to Get Your Toddler Excited for Daycare? 12 Dynamite Tips

Sending your little one to daycare can be a major transition for both parents and toddlers. You might ask, “How do I get my toddler excited for daycare?” While it’s natural for toddlers to feel apprehensive about new environments, there are plenty of strategies parents can employ to ensure the transition is smooth and that their child grows excited for this new adventure. Below are some tips and tricks to ignite your toddler’s excitement for their new daycare move.

1. Start with a Positive Attitude

Your attitude towards daycare will directly influence how your toddler feels about it. Talk about daycare as an exciting place where they will make new friends, play with new toys, and learn fun things. Highlighting the positives can really help your child create a sense of anticipation and excitement.

2. Visit the Daycare Together

Before your toddler starts attending, schedule a visit or two. Let your child explore the environment, meet the caregivers, and even play with some of the toys or kids if possible. Familiarity can help reduce any potential anxiety.

3. Read Books About Daycare

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There are numerous children’s books that tackle the topic of children starting school or daycare. Reading such books can help familiarize your child with the concept. It’s a great way to spark conversations about their feelings and address any concerns.

4. Create a Daycare Countdown

Building up the anticipation can be fun! Consider making a countdown calendar, marking off the days until the child care big first day. This can make the process feel like a celebration, much like waiting for a holiday or birthday.

5. Play Pretend

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Engage in role-playing games where you pretend your home is a daycare. You can be the teacher, and your child can be the student. Swap roles, add in stuffed animals as classmates and teachers, and mimic activities they might do in daycare. This not only makes the idea of daycare familiar but also fun!

6. Shopping for Daycare Supplies

Make a special shopping trip to buy supplies like a new backpack, lunchbox, or even special daycare clothes. Let your child and family be actively involved in choosing these items. This can create a sense of ownership and pride in preparation for the big day.

7. Talk About Friends and Activities

Talk to your child about the new friends they will make and all the fun activities they will do. If possible, find out some specific activities or routines from the daycare and discuss them. Knowing there will be storytime, painting, or outdoor play can make your toddler look forward to it.

8. Establish a Goodbye Ritual

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Sometimes the hardest part about daycare is the separation. Create a special goodbye ritual that you both look forward to. It could be a special handshake, a kiss on both cheeks, or a fun little chant. This can make departures smoother and less stressful.

9. Stay Connected

Some daycares allow parents to visit or check in during the day. If that’s possible, use this as an incentive to drop by. Knowing you might pop in for lunch or a quick hug can make the experience more reassuring for your toddler.

10. Celebrate Small Achievements

Every day after daycare, talk to your child about their day. Celebrate small achievements, whether it’s a new word they learned, a craft they made, or a new friend they played with. This reinforces positive feelings about the experience.

11. Consistency is Key

The more regular the daycare routine becomes, the easier it will be for your toddler to adjust. While it might be tempting to keep them home after a tough day, maintaining consistency will help them get used to the routine faster.

12. Stay Calm and Supportive

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Even with all the preparations, expect there might be days your toddler feels unsure or even cries. Stay calm, offer reassurance, and trust that they’ll adjust with time.


Starting daycare is a significant milestone in a toddler’s life. As parents, we play an essential role in shaping their perceptions and experiences. By introducing the concept of daycare positively, being supportive, and making it a fun transition, we can ensure that our toddlers not only adjust but thrive in their new environment. Remember, every child is different. Some may take to daycare immediately, while others may need a bit more time. With patience, love, and some creativity, you can get your toddler excited for daycare!