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10 Fun Ways to Help Kids Get Ready for Back to School

It may seem too early to think about it, but before you know it, backyard barbeques and lazy days in the pool will come to an end.  However, when one thing ends, another always begins. 

What do I mean? School, of course! But heading back to school doesn’t have to be drudgery. Here are some creative ways to make going back to school fun.

1. Prep a fun lunch.

Prepare a special Back to School lunch menu that is reminiscent of summer days-- fun summer names included. Think “ Pigs in a Beach Blanket ;” “ Fourth of July Fruit Kabobs ;” and graham cracker, Fluff and Nutella “I Want S’more Summer” S’mores for a snack.

2. Do the school supply shopping early

By doing so, the last week at home can be enjoyable and as stress-free as possible. Use the last week of summer vacation to really live it up. Consider camp outs, ghost stories by the fire, or a sleep- over.

3. Allow a final summer “wish”.

Before getting back into the school routine, allow kids a final request. One last trip to the zoo? An afternoon at the water park? Keep it reasonable but an opportunity to allow your child to have control in having closure on a fun summer.

4. Write a letter to the new teacher.

By putting it in writing, a child may realize just how many experiences he or she had over the summer, helping to prevent the “But I didn’t get to…” complaints. (And an added bonus: writing helps get those wheels turning again!)

5. Create a summer journal or collage.

Collecting pictures, souvenirs and other summer memorabilia will help your child remember a fantastic summer and serve as a reminder during the school year that summertime is a reward for hard work all year. (It also serves as a great reference when the obligatory “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” assignment rolls around.) Opt for collage format or try out our DIY summer journal craft .

6. Help kids look their best.  

Capitalize on your child's desire to look good and help them select a new hairstyle out of magazines. For girls, you may also want to consider a special manicure date with Mom to help your scholar look her best. And for boys, you may want to focus on the current theme of choice (movie characters, cartoon characters, sports) when helping to select clothing, backpacks and other school essentials. A favorite character or theme can make kids feel comfortable when starting a new school year.

7. Take a tour of the school or classroom.

A visit to a soon-to-be classroom helps ease the transition to back to school and helps kids feel more familiar with their new learning environment. For younger grades, some teachers may even allow kids to drop off school supplies, making the first day that much more stress-free.

8. Schedule a play date on the school playground.

Not only will it give your kids fun, outdoor time with friends, but will also help acclimate them to the school environment again.

9. Get ready to wake up!

To help kids’ sleep schedules adjust to the earlier school routine, plan on waking kids about 10 minutes earlier than usual each day, increasing the time each day by 10-minute increments. To help stave off the early morning crankiness, have a special breakfast or outing planned to distract kids from the earlier wake-up time.

10. Have a special movie night party.

The night before school, allow kids to watch their favorite school-themed movie to set the tone. (Just as long as it’s not Ferris Bueller’s  Day Off!)

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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