As summer comes to an end and the school year awaits, it can be scary and stressful time for both kids and parents. There are a variety of ways to prepare for an easy transition back to school for different aged children. As a former elementary school teacher and Mom of a preschooler, I want to share everything I know with these awesome back to school tips for parents.
Originally Written in 2018
Back to School Tips for Parents
Tip 1: Reset Sleep Schedules
One of the best guilt-free tips for back to school is to reset sleep schedules. If your child stays up late in the summertime, break any poor sleep schedule habits. For example, begin a regular sleep and wake routine in your house at least seven days before school starts.
Sleep is crucial for academic performance (and your sanity). Be bold – be strong – and don’t give up. It is so hard to make kids go to bed earlier; ease into the earlier bedtime by a few minutes each evening. If you have a late sleeper, order a gentle alarm clock with sunrise simulations.
Tip 2: A Visit from the Back to School Fairy
Magic makes everything better, right? The Back to School Fairy can visit anytime the week before school starts. Our fairy brings a story for the night before the first day, as well as a new lunchbox. Even if you have an older child, surprise him or her with extra school supplies, like Post-It notes (my favorite).
Tip 3: Plan Back to School Outfits
If your kids are anything like Annabelle, they prefer to pick out their own clothing. Organize back to school outfits by laying out a top/bottom/socks/shoes for each day of the first week back to school. When I was younger, we always went back to school shopping for clothes. I still like to keep the tags on each outfit until I am going to wear it. Annabelle does the same thing! If you’re not going to buy new clothes for the school year, let your child pick out their favorite outfits.
Tip 4: Pack an Exciting Lunch Box
How many parents feel like their lunch game is weak? Don’t let all of the Pinterest-Parents that make their kids’ lunches look like a work of art intimidate you. Pick up an organized food storage container or bento box. The compartments make your children’s lunch look fancy no matter what you actually put inside.
I love this lunchbox because it comes with a bento box container, as well as a lid with ice packs. There are removal tabs for easy washing if there is a mess in the lunch box at the end of the day.
More Awesome Back to School Tips for Parents
Tip 5: Pack a Delicious Lunch
Preschoolers are picky when it comes to food – some days Annabelle loves ham sandwiches and the next she craves a simple hardboiled egg. Talk with your child about their favorite foods and then pack a delicious lunch each day that he/she can look forward to. I love using different shape sandwich cutters for Annabelle’s lunch box as I know they always make her smile.
Here are some great ideas for school lunch:
- Sandwich: deli meat + cheese, peanut butter (or any nut butter) + jelly, cucumber + cream cheese, hummus + veggies, hardboiled egg + bread
- Snacks: Hummus + veggies, string cheese/cubed cheese + crackers, pretzels, cut-up fruit, nut butter on celery + raisins, homemade muffins (we love these) , homemade trail mix
Tip 6: Read Back to School Books
Back to School Books – A great way to ease tension about the first day of school is reading back to school themed books with your child. We already have a few books about going back to school in our home library, but it’s easy to order back to school themed books online or borrow them from your local library.
Whether you have a preschooler or a sixth grader, there are so many different books out there about the first day of school (or starting a new school). From informational to comical, choose a book that suits your child’s personality.
Don’t let the back to school jitters get the best of you or your child. Make sure you’re prepared for the new school year (as best as you can be) by using these tips for parents. Talk about going back to school with your child before the day sneaks up on you!
Watch my segment on CT Style discussing tips for parents with children preparing to go back to school.