Preparing Your Child for Back to School

Although it feels like summer will never end, each year it inevitably does. School supply ads come in the paper and play on the radio, orientation may happen for a new grade or school, and summer activities draw to a close. While this can be an exciting time for parents, for children it can be a less than joyful time of the year. This is nothing new — in 1996, Staples took full advantage of that with an ad portraying a father dancing through the “Back to School” aisles with “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” playing in the background, while his children stare on with deadpan expressions. But does it always have to be that way? No chance! Here are three simple ways to make back to school a fun time for everyone in the family!

1) Make school supplies that are uniquely them

Instead of sending them back with everything generic, find ways to make their school supplies uniquely them! You could get a lighter colored backpack and let them color on it, make some personalized bookmarks, and duct tape their notebooks! Here are some great DIY personalization ideas for preteens and teens.  To include younger and older students, there are some awesome Washi tape school DIYs over here. Less mess, less stress, and everyone can do it! Just let each child pick out 1-3 rolls of tape, and watch them get excited about using their newly personalized bookmarks, notebooks, binders, and more!

2) Schedule exciting things to do in the fall

Make sure they have things outside of school to be excited about for fall! Making leaf piles, carving pumpkins, and more, whatever your family will really love! Get each of your kids in on it, and try to make sure each one gets to come up with or choose a favorite activity — when it actually happens, they will be extra excited to know they got to be a part of the deciding process. Here is a great list of 50 fun fall activities!

3) Make sure there is still family time

It’s easy to get sucked into the school year, filled with extracurriculars, homework, and new friends, but make sure your kids all know they still have your attention and get family time. Try to set aside a specific time each week when your children know they have your full attention. When I was little, my mom would make cookies each Friday to celebrate another week of school, and my sister and I would get to talk about what we had learned that week. A neighbor knew that every Thursday night was family night, and they would watch a favorite movie or TV show together. Another friend had Sunday evening dinner with their family every single week. What matters is not the day, time, or activity, but getting that quality time together. Family nights come with several benefits, including developing positive behaviors and strengthening family bonds.

This year, as summer draws to a close, make sure your kids are prepared and excited for the school year ahead! Back to school doesn’t have to be a drag, it can be something for everyone in the family to get excited about.

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