Just when you and your kids get into the summertime groove, it’s abruptly over. As a parent, you may be eager for your kids to go back to school. This time of year means back to routines and regularly scheduled programming. And, of course, your child will be out of the house, which can provide much-needed peace and quiet.
No matter what your feelings are regarding back-to-school, the transition can be tough for kids. This is particularly true for younger ones who have spent so much time at home due to the pandemic. They may feel overwhelmed and intimidated about meeting new friends. And, even if they have some friends in their class, getting back to a set schedule can be challenging.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take leading up to the first day of school to ease their worries. Take a look at these tips below on ways to get your kids excited about back-to-school time.
1 Get Them Involved with Back-to-School Supplies
A fresh school year requires a fresh backpack, right? Getting your kids involved in buying new items can help get them excited. This doesn’t mean they have to pick every single item out but give them choices. If you know they like the color green, for example, give them a few green backpack options to choose from. If you narrow down their selection, it can make it easier — and faster — for the shopping to be done.
Along with typical school items, you may also want to consider getting a kids phone. These types of phones are stripped of social media, apps, and the Internet. Its main purpose is to get in contact with you. You also have the ability to track the phone via GPS services. Best of all, these phones look and feel like regular smartphones.
2 Throw a Back-to-School Neighborhood Party
Who doesn’t love a party? Focusing on a mini celebration is another sure way to get your kids excited for another school year. A neighborhood block party is a nice, easy way for kids to meet each other. This lets them make friends who will likely be attending the same school and riding the same bus.
Depending on their age, kids can help organize the party by sending out invitations, crafting decorations, and prepping the food. This can also be a teachable moment as they think about organizing. If you want to add a charity component, you can also consider setting up a school supply drive. This act of giving back can be a nice way for kids and parents to show they care about their educators.
3 Pre-plan Breakfasts and Lunches
It’s no secret that kids can be easily motivated by food. Getting them excited about school may mean asking them to help plan out their breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. It’s also a way to teach them about nutrition. Eating a glazed donut in the morning is a nice occasional treat, but it may cause them to feel sleepy in the classroom. However, eating eggs, toast, or fruit can help set them up for a successful day.
When it comes to packing a lunch, a bento box can be your best friend as a parent. A bento box is a container with individual compartments, allowing each area to get a different type of food. It’s helpful for kids who tend to be picky eaters, as it gives them plenty of options. Consider filling the box with a few of your child’s absolute favorites as well as some new items. Ask your kids what they would like to see in their lunch, and aim to include their reasonable choices.
4 Choose Some Extracurricular Activities
Lastly, you may want to sit down with your kids and ask them what they’d like to do after school. This may be joining a club, participating in scouts, or trying out for a sports team. These activities should be fun, so try not to push one or another on your child unless absolutely necessary. If you can, also ask other parents what their kids are thinking about doing. If your child’s best friend is interested in soccer, they will likely want to try it.
Selecting extracurricular activities now will also help you figure out scheduling. As a family, you may want to sit down and create a monthly calendar. This can be particularly helpful for the first few weeks of school when everyone is trying to reacclimate. Your kids may be able to create their own simple calendar to hang on the refrigerator door. This lets them see what they have to look forward to after school, which can help get them even more excited.
Getting back into the swing of things is challenging for everyone. It can be especially tough for kids returning to school after the freedom of summer. Prepping your kids early and providing them with all the tools they need can help them feel more at ease. But remember, no matter the strides you take, your kids may just not be that thrilled to head back to school. Give them some time to adjust. You’ll likely soon notice a bit of pep in their step when getting on the school bus.