The start of a new school year can bring lots of excitement, if only because of the joy of new clothes and school supplies. Ah, the smell of new, freshly sharpened pencils! Here are our tips for helping your child get back into the mindset for school while actually encouraging their excitement.
- Take your child with you to shop for back-to-school items. It’s important to get buy-in from your child on what they want though because it will help build their excitement for school.
- While school supply shopping, ask your child to put a check mark next to the items they want to be in charge of finding. They may not care about that ream of paper but they’ll certainly want to choose their folders and binders.
- Staying up late during summer vacation makes it difficult to readjust to a school schedule. A month before school starts, push bed time back by a few minutes each night. Your child will hardly notice they having adjusted their body clocks to school-day hours.
- Choosing new school clothes and shoes can be a big factor in how excited your child will be for school. Set a budget before heading to the stores. Then let your child help choose. This is their chance to express some individuality.
- Ease kids back into learning before school starts in fun ways. Provide toys that build skills while having fun such as the Four by Four Building Blocks, which encourages creativity and color and height arrangements. Any of our HABA games, in fact, will build skills for a variety of ages.
- Practice in-school behaviors such as sitting quietly and attentively for a period of time that is age and grade appropriate. Practice raising hands and requesting permission to speak. Let your children act as the classroom teacher and you too raise your hand as part of role play.
- Make sure younger children know how to work buttons and zippers. Preschoolers need to be able to remove sweaters and coats as well as pants for using the bathroom. They need to be able to tie or buckle shoes too.
- Make sure your child knows their name, address and phone number.
- Don’t over-talk school. There’s a delicate balance between trying to prepare a child for school and overwhelming a child. Prepare them for the fun they’ll have through role play, using one or more of our plush or flexible Little Friends dolls.
- Don’t vocalize concerns that you’ll miss them during the day or that they won’t do well. Children tune into that message setting defeat in motion.
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