Whether your little one is off to preschool for the first time, starting kindergarten (like mine … yikes!) or you’ve hit the “big leagues” of high school; making the first day of any school year special helps start your child off of the right foot and it creates memories for both of you. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make back to school special – I promise!
- We’ve all seen the posts on Facebook of people sharing the “First day of ___ grade” photos. Although they may feel cliche to you – do it! Add some pizzazz with customized signs showing what they “like” that year or their goals. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to do this. You can easily look on Etsy (love Etsy) and you will find a HUGE number of people who can create them for you with a short turn around time. Simply print it … and poof … a photo that also shares facts of that year. An added bonus is that you can keep the printout in the memory bin that almost all of us have.
- Make their favorite breakfast on the first day of school. I’ve talked about how sitting down for a family meal is important and you can make this one extra special. It’s a perfect time to talk to them about what they are most excited about and to share any fears they might have.
- If you have a really little one, being away from you for a whole day can seem like an eternity! Place a note inside their lunch. It’s a way to show that you are thinking of them. If they are unable to read yet – they can probably recognize their name and mom & dad. Write those and draw some hearts or a fun picture. They will love it. (Hint: They make pre-printed ones too!)
- Do a craft for them to share what their first day experiences. They could draw/paint a picture showing their teacher, classroom, friends, activities that day, etc… Have them make a Playdough figure of their friend or teacher. Think of something fun and easy for them to be able to share their day with you. Take the time to listen as you will learn so much about how they feel about school if you do!
- Having something to remember “what they were like when …” is something every parent enjoys. Plus we can show them when they’re older! Have them complete a Book About Me. They draw a picture of themselves, describe their family, their favorites and even their phone number at that time. They are learning and having fun at the same time.
If it’s their very first day of school, this experience can be scary & exciting at the same time for them, and emotional for parents. If it is “back to school” for their next grade – getting back into that routine can be hectic and tough. With all of that in mind I have one last recommendation for you … set the clock just 5 minutes earlier. Take that time to cuddle in bed together, spend more time having breakfast, just sit and talk for a bit. Taking the time to do this in the morning can start the day off more calmly and will make them more apt to get ready for school when you need them to. Plus it lets us start our day without the frantic whirlwind that I know I’ve been guilty of at times! Here’s to an amazing school year!