It’s hard to believe but the new school year is right around the corner! If you and or your kiddos are feeling those back to school blues, we’ve got some easy things to do that will not only get the whole family ready, but cheer you up too.
Sometimes the best way to beat the back to school blues is to get prepped for school. Get those school supply lists and get shopping! Getting those folders and markers can start getting little ones excited about the new year.
Look up some fun lunch ideas and start planning a menu – we put some Youthland lunch ideas together here. When there’s something delicious and fun to look forward to, little tummies will be filled with excitement rather than butterflies.
As you’re working back into your school routine, grab a few back to school themed books. Books are a great way to get children talking. They can help give kids the words they need to express how they’re feeling be it excited, anxious or confused. A few favorites are The Night Before Preschool, If You Take a Mouse to School and The Kissing Hand.
Make a List
If you’re feeling like summer just went too fast, compile a list of all the things you and your family did. Don’t discount the small things, seeing a movie or making a fort are just as memorable as taking a trip so document all of it!
Compile pictures from your adventures, or draw some to commemorate your favorite events. Have your kids write a description for each picture and tell about their favorite part. Doing so can seal in the best memories of the summer.
Ready the Routine
As the first day of school approaches, start preparing to get back to the routine. Begin working bed time up in small increments until you’re at the right bed time for a school night. Same for wake up – if you kids sleep in, start getting them up a little earlier every day so that the first day wake up time isn’t a shock.
If you don’t have a standardized routine, now is the perfect time to start! Lay out bed times, wake up times and daily chore lists and then put them into practice. Get kids involved in the planning; time them on how long it takes them to get dressed and then factor that amount in each morning. Or have them lay their close out the night before and help pack up their back packs. The more they feel responsible for / having a choice in, the more likely they will be to actually do it.
If you don’t have one already, start a family calendar. Kids love a visual reminder and a calendar is a perfect way to fill this need. Color code by child and or activity to make it easy for non readers to follow along.
Set New Goals
When staring down the sometime monotonousness of school, it can be helpful to create goals to work towards. Kids and parents can make individual goals, but don’t forget to include some as a family too! They can be academic, athletic or even social goals. As a family, agree on goals that focus on time together. Maybe it’s committing to one more meal together during the week, family game nights, exercise goals or choosing a volunteer opportunity to do together.
Having a project that is outside of the school environment can give children and families a much needed break in focus, and at the same time bring them closer together.
Reconnect with Friends
With summer time travel and activities, we don’t get to see our friends on a daily basis. Make a plan to get together with friends before school starts. Time spent with friends is a perfect way to get excited about seeing them more regularly during the school year. It’s also a great way to calm the nerves of a child that is anxious about a new school year. If a big play date isn’t in the schedule, plan to meet up for a quick treat or short visit to the park.