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There are so many important transitions that happen during your child’s schooling years. Whether they’re heading to school for the very first time, moving to a different class, or starting somewhere brand new, some kids are more anxious than others. How can you address these feelings and help ease their nerves? What can you do to get them ready to adapt to a strange new environment, and make new friends?

Firstly, it’s important that your child can speak honestly about these feelings. Learning to communicate and articulate is essential for their mental and emotional well-being as they get older. Also, it’s important for them to understand that they’re not alone – many people feel anxious, for all sorts of reasons. It’s quite normal, however it’s also important to put some strategies in place to manage the anxiety.

One way is to really prepare them for what they’ll experience in those first few days in a new environment. Other techniques to prepare your child for these challenges include mindfulness and breathing exercises.

One thing is certain – open communication is essential, and there’s no better way to broach complicated subjects with young kids than to introduce those subjects through entertaining and informative books. 

This list of books is a great place to start teaching them how to overcome any anxiety or worries. In fact, these books are so great, they’ll help you too.

  • What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say - Davina Bell, Hilary Jean Tapper

    A warm and whimsical guide to negotiating life's little moments and big emotions with empathy, kindness and words from the heart.

  • Hope on the Horizon - Onjali Q. Rauf, Pippa Curnick, Isobel Lundie

    In this inspiring and practical handbook, bestselling children's author and Human Rights campaigner, Onjali Rauf has created a guide to being kind, showing empathy and making the world a better place.

  • Perfectly Weird, Perfectly You: A Scientific Guide to Growing Up - Camilla Pang

    A unique guide to growing up perfectly weird and perfectly happy, by Dr Camilla Pang who was diagnosed with autism age 8 and was the youngest person and first writer of colour to win the Royal Society Science Book Prize for her book, Explaining Humans.

  • My Superpowers - Jessica Urlichs

    Jessica Urlichs, author of the number one bestseller The Rainbow in My Heart, teams up with illustrator and primary school teacher Rebecca Gibbs to create this stunning picture book that demonstrates non-cognitive skills, including persistence, focus, imagination, organisation and more.

  • The Worry (Less) Book - Rachel Brian

    We all have a mixture of fun and not-so fun feelings. And everyone feels worried sometimes. But too much anxiety can get in the way. This is a book for people who worry (so, yeah-everyone!). The perfect companion for children feeling anxious about returning to school or feeling overwhelmed with worried thoughts.

  • The Koala Who Could - Rachel Bright, Jim Field

    A funny rhyming story about dealing with change and overcoming worries, from the bestselling creators of The Lion Inside.

  • The Worrysaurus - Rachel Bright, Chris Chatterton

    It's a beautiful day and Worrysaurus has planned a special picnic. But it isn't long before a small butterfly of worry starts fluttering in his tummy… Can Worrysaurus find a way to chase his fears away and have fun? The perfect book to help every anxious little dinosaur let go of their fears and feel happy in the moment. Perfect for that first day at school.

  • Find Your Girl Squad - Angharad Rudkin, Ruth Fitzgerald, Sarah Jennings

    Find Your Girl Squad is a practical and innovative approach to friendship for girls–the first step to building brilliant friendships is to know who YOU are. This is the ultimate and authoritative twenty-first century guide to navigating the web of girl friendships, written by an expert on child psychology.

  • Ready, Rabbit? - Fiona Roberton

    Little Rabbit has been invited to a party, but is not at all sure that it will be as fun as everyone says... This is a sweet and funny tale about overcoming anxiety and worries through the power of positive thinking.

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