The first few weeks of back to school can either be filled with excitement or dread. There are several reasons for why children might be feeling the latter – from being nervous about meeting new friends to simply wanting to hang on to the carefree sentiment of the holiday period. But with the right tips, you can help your child feel eager and excited about starting the new school year.
1. Go back to school shopping
Shiny new shoes, glittery notepads and decorated binders are a great way to get your child motivated about going back to school. Take your child along for back to school shopping, equipped with a shopping list and a budget (for tips on creating a budget and shopping with kids check out our blog post on maths tips here). Going lunch shopping is also a fun activity too – your child will love picking out what snacks they would like for their first week of school.
2. Organise play dates
For some kids, going back to school means making new friends. Once the class list comes out, hop on the phone or email and start scheduling play dates with old and new friends to remind your child about one of the best parts about going back to school. Often children will talk excitedly about starting school together, and it’s always helpful to have a friend by their side on the very first day.
3. Have fun with labels
Children love stickers! Brand new items like school bags, lunchboxes, pencil cases and exercise books are just waiting to be decorated all over. Stock up on stickers, labels and colourful pens and let your child have fun personalising their new items in their own unique way – it will be a great way to motivate them to go back to school and show off to their classmates!
4. Sign up for extracurricular activities
Even if your child isn’t looking forward to cracking open the books and learning new things, they might get excited about sports, music or art. There are so many extra-curricular activities to suit all ages, capabilities and interests. If your child is excited about what’s to come after school, it may help them feel more motivated about waking up to a new school day.
5. Alphabet breakfasts
‘A’ on a Monday is for apple pancakes. ‘B’ on a Tuesday is for banana oatmeal. ‘C’ on a Wednesday is for cereal. Have some fun on the first week of school and plan an alphabet breakfast for each day of the week. Let your child suggest some ideas and even let them help with preparing the ingredients. It will be so much more fun to wake up on a school morning and say, “Today is a letter ‘E’ day for eggs on toast!”
6. Scrapbook your memories
Scrapping your child’s school year is a great way to create memories of a major part of your child’s life. Throughout the year, find opportunities to take photos and record memorable events and milestones. Let your child be a part of starting the new scrapbook for the year. Go shopping together to pick out stickers, pens and decals, and take photos of them in their school uniform on their first day or waiting for the bus for the very first time. Record what their favourite things are and what they want to be when they grow up – it’s always fun to watch how these things change over the years.
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