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9 Aug

It’s coming… the first day of school!  A new year filled with learning and new friends.    How do you prepare your kiddos for that first day?  Preparing your child for a new school year can help them feel confident and get them excited about learning.   As a former teacher and a mom who has been preparing kids for back to school for many years, I thought I would take a moment to share four of my favorite tips tricks with you. 

1.) Read It!

Hopefully you have been making reading a part of your child’s day throughout the summer.  A few days or a week or two before school begins grab some books about going back to school.  Reading books with children is a great way to introduce any new experience. Reading books about the first day of school can show your child how other children beginning school have the same feelings of uncertainty and how they overcome them.  Some of my favorite books for parents to read to children before school starts include; Bailey , Amelia Bedelia Goes to School, Wimberly Worried, and First Day Jitters.

2.) Get Back In The Swing of Things!

Part of summer is late bedtimes, sleeping in, and unstructured play.   It’s what makes summer great and is a much needed break for kids.  Unfortunately, when school starts up again you have to nix the sleeping in and staying up late.   A week or two before the new school year begins, explain to your child how their routines will change.  Describe to them what the morning routines will be like.  Start practicing the routine a week before school starts to get your child back into the swing of things.  In fact, get up earlier a couple of days before the new school year begins.  Getting the school bedtime routine going before school starts will help prevent your child from being confused, cranky, or refusing to get out of bed on the first day school.

3.) Celebrate Back to School!

Find a way to make back to school a celebration.  It’s an exciting time and if you show your excitement to your child they will often follow your lead.  With your child, make a special treat to share with your neighbors.  Your child will have fun handing out the treats to their friends in the neighborhood.  Here is a recipe for Apple Rice Krispies treats I have made in the past with my kiddos.

You start off with the basic rice cereal treat recipe; 10 oz of marshmallows, 4 tablespoons of butter/margarine, 6 cups of rice cereal 

Also needed: Tootsie roll candy, leaf gummy candy, Kool-Aid Cherry Flavored, and
small box of cherry gelatin. You will also need wax paper and cooking spray. I used cooking spray on my hands while I worked on the apples.

In a sauce pan- melt your butter and marshmallows. Once they are completely melted and mixed well, add in the packet of Kool-Aid and 1 box of gelatin. Mix well.  Add Rice Krispies.  Once it lightly cools, start forming your apples and place on wax paper. Use the tootsie roll for the stem and place the leaf next to it.  You can warp them in a Zip-loc baggie.  Then have fun handing them out.  You should get about 11 apples per batch. 

Another way to celebrate is to organize a Back to School Play Date.  Invite over a few of your child’s friends.  Suggest that they pack their lunch boxes and practice a school lunch during the party.  Have a back to school scavenger hunt where the kids will hunt for a few back to school supplies. 

Or you could have a special Back to School dinner.  Go out for a dinner celebration a few days before school starts or serve a special dinner in your child’s lunch box. 

There are so many ways you can make back to school a celebration – get creative!  Most importantly, get excited about school and your children will catch the bug. 

4.) Visit the Classroom

Before school starts take your child by their classroom to show them where they will be going on the first day.  Even if they cannot meet their teacher, just showing them their classroom will ease some anxiety. 

The four tips above have been my back to school lifesavers over the years.  I hope these four tricks will make the transition of back to school easier for your child. 

Colleen Gallagher
Teaching Heart
www.teachingheart.net