As the final few weeks of summer approach, you’re likely starting to get your children prepared to return to class — which can fill them with either excitement or dread. If your child has the back-to-school blues, try some of these tips to get them excited for the new school year.
Let Them Pick Out Their Own Back-to-School Styles
Think back to your first day of school, when everyone was checking out each other’s new outfits. Your children will want to feel special on the first day of school, and a few new looks will give them that much-needed boost of confidence. Bring them along when you go back-to-school shopping, and teach them some life skills by giving them a budget and a shopping list to practice math and organization.
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Get Them a New Haircut
Has your child been begging you to let them change their hairstyle? Now might be the perfect time. New school years are all about new beginnings, and a haircut is a great way to represent that fresh start. Have your kids look at popular hairstyles online (Pinterest is a great resource), then take them to a local barber or salon to get their ‘do done right! They’ll feel like a big kid knowing they picked out their own style, and they’ll be ready to rock to halls.
Set Up Play Dates
Whether your child is looking for new friends or rekindling friendships from previous years, call or email a few parents to schedule some playdates as soon as the class roster comes out. Once they get together, the kids should start to remember all the fun aspects of going to school. As an added benefit, they’re also guaranteed to have at least one buddy on the first day.
Sign Up for Extracurricular Activities
Even if your child isn’t looking forward to returning to the classroom, they might be looking forward to sports, theater, music or other after-school activities. With so many types of activities to choose from, there’s bound to be something for children of all ages, capabilities and interests. “Encouraging kids to get involved in extracurricular activities and after-school programs can help foster school spirit, especially at the beginning of the school year when back-to-school apprehension can run high,” says Dr. Fran Walfish, a child and family psychotherapist and author of “The Self-Aware Parent.”
Extracurricular activities are also a great place for children to make new friends who share similar interests. Waking up with something to look forward to after school will motivate your children to get up and go learn every day!
Create Back-to-School Crafts
Don’t wait until the first day of school to dive into some neat art projects. Together, you and your kids can create some handy school tools, such as a cool purse or pencil case made from construction foam, a study sign to hang on their door to let everyone know homework is in progress or even some nice gifts to hand out to the whole class on the first day back. There’s no better way to make a first impression with new kids (and maybe even some new friends) than with a thoughtful welcome-back treat.
Plan out special breakfasts for the first day of school so your kids will be excited to get up in the morning to see what you made. If you can, get them in on the fun and let them help plan the menu, shop for ingredients or even help with cooking. It will take their mind off anything causing them anxiety about the first day and make them feel important. For a little foodspiration, try these super fun breakfast ideas.
Download a New App
Let Daniel Tiger help your child adjust back to a school sleep schedule with games about morning and nighttime routines, sing-a-long songs and a musical timer to help keep routines on-track. Get more info here.
Organize Their Study Space
Providing your child with a designated space for studying and homework — and letting them decorate and organize it — will get their minds in gear for learning. Make sure they are as involved in the process as possible so the space can both express their personalities and address their needs. Together, you can create a special study nook that will put them on the path to academic success.
Check Off Their Summer Bucket List
As summer winds down, ask your kids if there is anything they would like to prioritize during their last school-free days. You can create a list of activities you can complete, within reason, before the starting bell rings. Maybe they wanted to go camping but the family didn’t get around to it. Have an impromptu backyard camp-out with hot dogs and s’mores! Not only are you taking their minds off of school worries, but you’re also creating memories that will last a lifetime.
With these nine tips and tricks, your children will be begging you to go back to school!
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Caitlin has made a career out of being a natural social butterfly. She holds a Masters in Global Strategic Communications from FIU and has a passion for connecting with the world at large through social media. She loves to spruce up her surroundings with DIY home projects, travel with her besties and meet new people during her adventures. Her newest favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day is with a good coloring book.