Can you believe that summer is more than half over? Time flies when you're having fun! Whether your child is just starting school or they are classroom veterans, it is always a challenge getting the family into school mode after having so much freedom over the summer. We've got some tips to make the transition a bit easier on everyone!
First days of anything are nerve wracking for everyone, even adults. While it is normal for parents to be a bit apprehensive about their children starting school, especially if it is pre-school or kindergarten for the first time, kids pick up on your vibes. It is important to talk about school starting and summer ending in a positive light. Preparation is key to helping to ease anxieties. When parents and kids feel prepared and ready, the first day will be less stressful! Some ways to prepare are to go school shopping for a couple of new outfits, school shoes, backpack and school supplies. Most schools will provide a list of materials needed such as writing utensils, folders and notebooks. Another way to prepare is to visit your child’s school ahead of time so they can see their new classroom and maybe even meet their teacher. You could even inquire about doing a playground meet-up a couple of times before the first day of school to get to know the other classmates and parents. This way, the families can meet each other in a playful setting, which will help eliminate some of the unknowns of the “first day of school” that cause apprehension.
Make Healthy Eating a Priority
Eating healthy foods is a great way to help kids prepare for school. It is proven that children who fill their bodies with good foods concentrate better in school. Summer was likely filled with quick snacks, impulse meals while traveling and summer carnival food -- yum! But now that fall is approaching, it is important to get kids used to eating a full breakfast before leaving the house. Packing a lunch is also a great way to ensure your child is eating healthy. Encourage them to assist you in packing it each night. The less you all have to do in the mornings before going off to school, the less stress! And even with busy school schedules, sitting down to eat dinner together and reflect on your busy day is a great way to de-stress as well.
Establish a Routine
Children function best when they have structure. It doesn’t have to be a strict schedule, but when kids have some idea of what their day looks like, it will help everyone stay sane. Practice your weekday/school day routine a couple days or a week before school starts. This will not only help everyone get comfortable with the changes that come with going back to school, but will also give you the opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t and make appropriate tweaks. Most likely, bedtime during the school year is going to be earlier than summer time. By practicing the school routine, kids will get into the habit of regular baths and an earlier bed time.
Reduce Screen Time
Most likely your summer saw increased screen time. Now that school is around the corner, it is important to reduce screen time and set strict times for gadget and TV usage during the week. The best way to do this is to make a gradual change and perhaps even start by substituting in another activity in place of video games or tv shows. This will be easier than making them give up their Minecraft or TikTok habit cold turkey! A quick family board game session is a great way to transition to less screen time. HABA has a huge selection of board games that play in 20 minutes or less that would work great!
Reflect Back on a Fun Summer
Whether you formally kept track of the activities you checked off on your summer bucket list, or you just kept a mental list, looking back on memories made this summer is a great way to make a smooth transition to fall. Encourage your kids to talk about their most favorite moments and discuss some activities they’d like to plan to do next summer!