Back-to-school time can be fun, but it can also be a time of anxiety for your children. Below find ideas for making the transition back into school mode. Begin the new year with these activities!
- Make a time capsule. Gather items that represent special interests, current events, lists of favorite bands, books, movies, foods, best friends. Include a journal or video diary of thoughts, wishes and goals for the new year. Put all these items into a jar or box and bury them away in the back of a storage closet or in the attic to be dug out again one, five or ten years from now. What fun it will be to see what has changed over time!
- Get that learning brain working! Sometime during that week before school starts, pick an afternoon to do a family activity that will encourage creativity, require concentration, and have everyone trying something new. It could be anything from pottery making to rock-climbing. The important thing is make it something they have never done before, be encouraging, and do it as a family.
- Throw a back-to-school party with friends and neighbors. Send out school themed invitations, decorate with school colors, make food and snacks together. Line up activities such as decorating school-year calendars, create fun bookmarks and zipper-pulls for backpacks, etc.
- Dress to impress and for extra confidence. Start the fresh, new year with an outfit picked out especially for the first day. Include spotless sneakers and a new haircut or piece of jewelry. Let your child choose his outfit the night before, whether it is a favorite souvenir t-shirt or lucky sweater, it will give him an extra confidence boost as the new school year kicks off.
- Have a rule-bending end of summer blow-out before getting back into school mode. Set aside one afternoon for paper airplane contests, make and eat ice cream sundaes BEFORE dinner, wear pajamas throughout the day, have watermelon seed spitting contest. Ideas for this fun afternoon are endless!
- Say cheese! Those first-day photo shoots are a time-honored tradition. Suggest silly faces or let the family pet sit in too. You can mark the time by having them pose by the same tree, mantel or front stoop each year. Oh, the changes you will see over time as you look back at these treasures!
- Make a growth chart on the inside of a closet or pantry door by marking their current height on the first day of school. Make sure to date the marks and note any growth spurts over time.
- Plan for "first day" comfort food and special treats. Sneak a love note and special snack into a lunchbox, make brownies to snack on when they return home after school, order a favorite pizza for dinner and finish the meal off with a cool summery dessert.
Best wishes for a fun and successful new school year!