It’s about that time…time to buy some new pencils, get a haircut, and head back to school! This can be an overwhelming time of year for parents and kids alike but we have some tips for you, no matter which age group your kiddo falls into.

Preparing Your Preschooler to Go Back to School

Hip, hip, hooray your tot is heading to Pre-K! (It’s totally okay to take a moment to be shocked that your baby is old enough for preschool!) Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that your not-so-little baby is heading off to school, consider some of these tips to help him with the transition…we’ll bring the tissues!

Get Them Involved

Get your little one involved in the back-to-school process. If you need to buy him a new backpack or lunchbox, let him come along and pick it out. Or you can choose two options that you approve of and have your child choose between those. That way you don’t get stuck carrying around a backpack they don’t like!

Practice Asking Questions

Your tot probably loves to talk, chat and laugh but they may clam up when it comes to asking their teacher for something. Practice common questions with them like “can I go to the bathroom?” or “can I have a turn?”. This way, they’ll be more prepared when it comes time to speak up.

Talk About What to Expect

Regardless of whether or not this is your toddler’s first year in school, it’s important to talk about what to expect. Start doing this about a month before they go back. Let them know who their teacher is, what games they might play, and what naptime is going to be like.

Set Your Routine

A week before the school year starts, make sure your child is going to bed and waking up at the time they’ll be expected to for preschool. Parents can be a little more lax about bedtime during the summer but it’s a good idea to get back into the routine of school before it actually starts.

Decide on Lunches

Figuring out what your preschooler wants for lunch can really throw a wrench in your morning schedule—so if you decide ahead of time, it’ll make things go much smoother. Think about giving your child a few options for lunches. Let them choose their favorites and use those for the month. The next month, you can let them choose again…or you can stick with their favorites!

Talk About Making New Friends

Preschoolers tend to be more aware of social situations than toddlers in daycare—so they may be feeling a little worried about getting to school and meeting new kids. Talk to your preschooler about how to introduce themselves, how to ask someone to play, and how to include new friends in activities.

Preparing Your Kindergartner to Go to Elementary School

Your big kid is really ready to go elementary school for the year! Here are a few tips and tricks to get you both ready.

Create a Homework Corner

The “homework corner” can be a specific chair at the kitchen table, a special stool, or a small desk in their room. Either way, make sure there is a designated homework spot. You can even put a basket next to it with all the supplies your kid might need like scissors, pencils, and erasers.

Figure Out After-School Plans

If there’s a gap between when your kid gets out of school and when you leave work, chat with them about what they’re going to be doing during that time. Maybe they’re going to an after-school activity or a caregiver’s house. Make sure they’re aware of what’s coming and when they can expect to see you.

Choose Outfit the Night Before

It can be difficult for kids to decide what to wear in the morning…and sometimes it takes way too much time. Circumvent this problem by telling your child they have to decide what they’re going to wear the night before. Let them practice the week before school starts.

How do you get back into the swing of things for the school year ahead? Let us know in the comments!

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