Part of me is a little bit sad that we are even talking “Back to School” yet at the end of July. However, it will be here before we know it, so I’ve been planning ahead and searching for fun ideas and tips to get ready. Lilu is usually very excited to start a new school year and see her friends and teachers again and I want to make this year better than ever for her.
But what if your child is not excited (or worried) about going back to school? These are definitely valid feelings — summer is all about fun, so it’s understandable that children might not be thrilled about being back inside all day, sitting at a desk, and homework.
I’ve put together a plan for helping your child beat the “Back to School Blues” and instead make it an occasion worth celebrating! With fun activities and involving your child in preparing, you can build excitement and ease some of their worries. Here’s what I have planned for these last few weeks of summer:
Have a Special Pre-Back-to-School Celebration
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but what fun to celebrate the end of summer and the start of a new school year full of possibilities! Involve your child in the planning: ask for their ideas of places that would be fun to go, maybe somewhere you haven’t had a chance to visit yet.
Just in case your child suggests something a bit extravagant (you never know!) here are some do-able ideas:
- Explore a children’s museum (you can often find discount coupons online)
- Visit the local zoo (ours offers free admission one afternoon each month!)
- Pack a picnic lunch and head to the local park or playground
- Spend a day on the water at the nearest beach, river, lake, pool or even a kiddie pool in your own backyard.
- Stuck inside? Have an indoor picnic with towels on the floor!
You could even just plan a special dinner at home with your child’s favorite food. The point is to be together and make the idea of going back to school an exciting event worth celebrating.
New Backpack Time!
What child doesn’t get excited about picking out the year’s backpack? There are so many colors and styles to choose from — I was always a fan of Jansport, they are so durable that I would sometimes carry them the next year too.
Lilu is young enough that she likes to have her name written on her backpack and lunch box– nothing outlandish, but she wants to make sure that it won’t get lost or mistaken for someone else’s (not too unheard of with all the princess-themed gear available!)
I love this packing checklist from JDaniel4’s Mom to teach your child independence and make sure that nothing is forgotten — we will definitely be using it this year as Lilu is a big fan of lists and organization.
Get Bedtime on Track
With long summer days (and Daylight Savings Time), everyone seems to stay up a little later. As we get closer to school, I make sure to start the bedtime routine earlier so we can get back to our normal school-year bedtime. That way it won’t be a shock when the big day arrives. The first days of school will be much more pleasant if everyone (mom and dad too!) is well-rested.
Create a Fun Teacher Gift
Getting a new teacher can be scary as a child! I know Lilu adored her previous year’s teacher and always talks about how she misses her. I can remember being nervous myself: would my new teacher be as wonderful? What if they didn’t like me?
Guiding your child in creating a special gift for their new teacher can help them feel like they are starting on the right foot. Your gift doesn’t have to be expensive — it’s more about the thought! A hand-drawn note from your child with a gift card to your local coffee shop (even just $5 can buy a day’s coffee!) tucked inside will be much appreciated.
If you need some inspiration, here are 30 of my favorite Back to School Teacher Appreciation Gifts!
Plan a Special First Day Outfit
This was major for me when I was in school! My mom always took us back to school shopping for some new fall clothes and I wore the best and trendiest pieces on the first day (as I’m sure everyone else did too!)
If your child is younger, help them select their favorite outfit (a great opportunity to practice colors and matching) and lay it out so it is all ready when they wake up on the first day. One less thing to worry about for you too!
It’s not simply superficial, a child that feels that they look their best and that they are prepared will be much more confident.
Even if your school requires uniforms, being ready ahead of time is extremely helpful so all your child has to do is put their clothes on when they wake up (and there will be no chance of searching for misplaced items).
Write an Encouraging Lunchbox Note
We started this tradition last year — I can’t even remember the occasion for writing the first note that I put in Lilu’s lunchbox. All I know is that she came home from school that day (it was a surprise) and was so excited to tell me she had found my note. It was expected every day from then on!
I had to get pretty creative to write what totaled hundreds of individual notes: from inspirational words, to pictures, to song lyrics. I even enlisted Daddy and her little sister (with assistance of course) on occasion. It was one of Lilu’s favorite things and made her day just a little bit brighter. These apple-shaped Post-Its are adorable and perfect for the task!
For more ideas and inspiration for the entire school year, follow my board on Pinterest:
Follow Stacey @ The Soccer Mom Blog’s board Back to School Daze on Pinterest.