It’s that time of year again … time for kids to head back to school. Whether you are parent that’s super excited to get your kids out of your hair and back to class or a parent that’s dreading the end of laid back days spent together, helping your kids get off to a great start on the first day of school is important for your whole family. Here are some ideas to help them with the transition:
Talk about it. Just simply taking about returning to school can be helpful in preparing kids for the first day of school. Ask them what excites them about the next grade and also make sure to address any worries or concerns they may have.
Read about it. I have found that my kids really enjoy reading books about school as we approach September. There are lots of great books for young kids about first days and attending school. For some ideas you can check out http://blog.playdrhutch.com/2012/09/04/back-to-school-books-for-kids/.
Start back on your family’s school-year bedtime, morning, and eating schedules. If your kids have gotten into the habit of staying up later during the summer, start getting them to bed 15 minutes earlier each night. This can help ease them back into the routine and help you and your kids are get enough sleep and make it to school on time.
Make a countdown. Figure out how many days are left until the first day of school and then make a countdown. It can be as simple as x-ing off days on the calendar or you could make a paper ring chain (taking one link off each day) or make a countdown sticker board like this one – http://blog.playdrhutch.com/2012/05/23/making-using-a-sticker-countdown-board/. Time can be a difficult concept for children to grasp, therefore countdowns can help reduce the “How many days until school starts?” or “Does school start today?” questions.
Get prepared. I know that one of my favorite things was (and still is!) purchasing school supplies and a couple of new outfits at the beginning of a new year. Make shopping a fun time for the kids to get excited about going back to school. You don’t need to go crazy on the amount that you spend, just allow the kids to be part of this important preparation step.
- Receive a visit from the Back-to-School Fairy! Check out this great free printable from Busy Kids = Happy Mom.
Plan a back-to-school event. Be it a small party with neighborhood friends, a play date with classmates, a special family dinner, or even a fun outing, celebrating the end of summer and the start of another school year can be a wonderful way to recognize the transition and make it fun.
(this post was published in a different form in the August issue of Metro Parent and Michigan Chronicle)
For MANY more amazing ideas, please check out the other Back-to-School posts from fellow Kid Blogger Network members, such as …
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Laura Hutchison (aka PlayDrMom) is a chubby kid turned competitive figure skater tween turned high school pom pon girl turned MSU Spartan turned grad student turned Mrs. HutcH turned Dr. turned Mom. She adores living in the Mitten, is addicted to Diet Coke, and firmly believes that ice cream is a main food group.