Kindergarten: The First Steps in Understanding the World is Bigger than Ourselves

Sending my first baby off to kindergarten is a huge milestone for our family, finally concluding the end of toddlerhood, the first test of how well did I prepare her for the real world. Perhaps sending her to kindergarten is more than just a milestone: it’s her first flight in the big world. The biggest lesson she needs to learn doesn’t have to do with numbers, letters, or sight words – it is understanding this world is bigger than ourselves. A world that isn’t protected by Mommies and Daddies, where big sisters don’t chase all the monsters away, and little brothers aren’t always there to play – a world with confrontation, beautiful songs, and great sadness – a world that is hers for the taking.


Environmentally Aware

One of the most important ways to help our children do well in school is to assure they get a good night’s rest. The importance of sleep is even more so than that of an adult. Children who sleep poorly do worse in school. Studies show that sleep is extremely important in helping a child do well in school. Behavior, ADHD, and poor social skills can all be related to poor sleep.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, school aged children need 9-11 hours of sleep.

A child’s little body is changing greatly, thus making them more susceptible to the environmental factors they are exposed to.  Even low levels of chemical exposure can do harm to a young child. Polyurethane foam made from petroleum is the most common mattress filling. This foam can break down and become airborne, leading to potential health effects including cardiac arrhythmias, irritation of mucous membranes, headaches, asthma-like allergic reactions, weakness – and much more.

For me, it is important that one of the first things my children realize as they step into the world is that this planet needs our protection. We are responsible for the future of our planet. We have to make environmentally conscious decisions to ensure the continuation of this beautiful earth. I want my kids to understand we are responsible for what we do here.

Product Recommendation

I love Avocado Green Mattresses for so many reasons, one of them being the way they are produced. They use ethical practices without the use of petroleum-based polyurethane foam, toxic flame retardants, or dangerous pesticides, with no risk of volatile chemicals and gases. They respect our planet one mattress at a time.

Avocado Green Mattress provides a non toxic and eco-friendly mattress to ensure your child is getting the best night’s rest without all the icky stuff. Our kids are spending 9-11 hours a day sleeping; that’s almost half the day on their mattress. They are breathing in whatever the mattress is made of, so if it’s chemically treated that’s what they breathe in, while absorbing toxins through their skin. For me, the choice is simple, I want to protect my children and their environment they’ll grow up in.


Living Responsibly

While my daughter is embarking on her first real journey without me, my son will still be by my side day by day. I want to cherish this alone time with him. While big sis is at school, we will go on runs to relax and chase away those first day (or first week, first month, do they ever end?) tears. I want to do something productive while missing our best big sis, and as the tears subside we will have no problem creating adventures of our own, our story. His story, weaving myself into the pages, because I know all too quickly they change and grow, and one day he will spread his wings and leave the nest too.

I want my children to not only appreciate the beauty of our natural planet but also the beauty we cultivate by taking care of ourselves and our health. The B.O.B. Flex Lunar will assist us in paving the way in this lifelong journey. As I put one foot in front of the other, hitting the pavement, my son will learn many lessons as the world passes him by. He will observe and cultivate the beauty of the world around him. He will learn to appreciate the importance of our health; it is a true gift, and we must do what we can to take care of ourselves. God willing, my health will continue, and I will be here not only to kiss them both goodbye on that first day of kindergarten, but also, that first day of college, and every other big event between and beyond. I want my children to understand I exercise not for weight loss, beauty, or anything other than my wish to remain part of their lives for as long as possible.

While my daughter may be beginning the first chapter in her own story, the story where I don’t help write every word for her, the story where she reads and writes her own words, I still have words to write for my son’s story – we will conquer every mud puddle, knock down every sand castle, and watch every dump truck. Then, once the school day ends, we will greet our big girl with open arms and make memories all together once again.

Product Recommendation

The B.O.B. Flex Lunar is the perfect stroller for all our adventures. Our days will begin extra early, while the sun is just beginning to wake itself up. The Flex Lunar has ultra reflective fabric will help keep us visible during our morning jogs. (Added bonus, my son thinks it looks like the Batmobile). The swivel-locking front wheel swivels to maneuver tight turns, including making our way through crowds of parents and kids at school pick up. The adjustable padded handlebar offers nine positions, which means that the stroller fits perfectly if my daughter or very tall husband wants to push it.

The Flex offers a state-of-the-art adjustable suspension system, offering three inches of travel and two stages of weight support for an ultra-smooth ride. Let’s not forget about the storage provided underneath and along the back of the stroller, so we can tuck in our book bags, water bottles, and lunch boxes. We love the fully seated position so that my son can see the world as it passes him by. B.O.B. is more than just a jogging stroller, it’s the ultimate stroller for school days and adventures. With all that B.O.B has to offer it is clear why it is the #1 jogging stroller.


Express Yourself

While I have many lofty goals for my children, big dreams, big hopes – sometimes there’s a more simple question we have to address first, like, what’s the first day of school outfit? My daughter is a free spirit, and mostly I let her dress in a way that makes her happy. She read a Fancy Nancy book – Fancy Nancy: Best Reading Buddies, and the “reading buddy” loved to mismatch her clothes – she wanted to be unique: “That’s a fancy word for original”. Ooh, la, la – I could see my daughter’s eyes grow, thinking “That’s me – I’m unique”. Not a problem, because finding beautiful unique first day of school outfits could not be any easier, “Ooh, la, la”!

Product Recommendation

Chasing Fireflies has adorable back to school clothes and shoes; my daughter was able to find the perfect outfit to express her own fun style. Per her perfect style she was drawn to the Girl’s Daisy Cutout Booties; she’s already tried to wear them on our daily Target runs. But what’s not to love? They have a gorgeous lace cutout design that will look perfect with her Girl’s Antique Floral Dress. This lovely dress is light, flowy, and adorned with mini floral print and an ivory lace hem. Finally, she needed the Girl’s Crochet Button Boot Socks to complete her look. They are thick knit, with tiny buttons and a lace trim across the top to add that extra flair she loves.


Make Your Own Adventures

Now that we’ve got big sis ready, we can’t forget little bro. He is always running around to keep up with his big sister, or any other big kid that he finds at the playground. He’s a runner, a jumper, and a crazy climber – the kind of kid that makes you nervous when you watch him play. He’s a fearless dreamer that will forge his own way leaping from puddle to puddle. He will need the perfect shoes to do it all in.  

Product Recommendation

Nina’s Shoes are perfect for my little world conquerer. They are comfortable and fashion forward – the best of both worlds.  Ready to jump in puddles, chase crickets, and pick big sis up from school in. The Jimmy toddler shoe is the most adorable tiny loafer.

The Johnny provides style, but still casual enough for playdates. They have velcro straps to help ease in taking them on and off.

And the Donald is perfect for that playground flair. Style is complete with functionality with a flexible vulcanized rubber out sole, memory foam foot bed, and a padded collar. He will fit right in with the big kids with his big kid shoes.


The way our kids enter the world is a reflection of our parenting, our values, and ourselves, but perhaps, it’s more than that.  It is our child’s first definition of themselves. Their first footsteps into the world – what impression will they make?

Interested in learning more ways to make your home eco-friendly, check out our article: The Best Eco-Friendly Additions You Can Add to Your Home. 

Sources: HealthyKid.com, National Sleep Foundation

Photo Credit: Ashley W.

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Ashley Wells

Ashley lives in North Carolina, with her husband, 4 year old little girl and infant son. She has dreamed of being a SAHM since she was a little girl and now enjoys living out this dream by making everyday adventures with her two tiny sidekicks. She loves yoga, fitness, dark chocolate, and wine. She's an organizer of playdates, preschool happenings, and girls night outs. She's an encourager of making messes, finding passions, and dreaming the impossible.

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