New year, new transitions! Videos & books for early learners

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian

Welcome to the -ber months: September, October, November, and December! Most people celebrate the start of a new year in January. Not me. I graduated more than ten years ago, but the start of the school year is still the start of my personal new year.

For a lot of young kids, it’s the same! September brings new routines, new classes, new teachers, and new classmates. It can be the big transition into kindergarten or a move into a new preschool classroom.

Find videos and books below to help ensure a smooth start to the new school year.

Watch these videos

Miss Jenny has a video on how to make transitions easier. These can be used to move from one activity to another or to prepare for something new.

Kids use play to learn, to integrate what they’ve been feeling and experiencing, and to bond with friends or caregivers. Times of transition are a perfect time to get down and play with your kids and see how they are processing the changes.

Share these books

Even though school has already started, it can take weeks for routines to develop. Until the routines feel safe, kids can be worried or nervous. Miss Jenny has some favorite books about big feelings, new classes, and making friends.

  • School’s First Day of School is a story about starting a new school—from the point of view of the school building! Is the school the only one with jitters? 
  • Be Kind is a great book about what it means to be a good friend or classmate, and Be Strong is about many kinds of strength, including emotional and physical.
  • Your Name Is a Song celebrates the beauty of names from around the world and the importance for teachers and children to honor them. 
  • The Day You Begin shows different children worried about a new school for different reasons. We all feel like an outsider sometimes, and we can be brave and try something new anyway.

Here’s to a successful and healthy school year!

Shelley Harris

About Shelley

Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.