Back-to-school prep is a stressful for everyone, every year. But planning and starting to get yourself and your children ready a few weeks in advance, will only help on the first day of school. That is especially the case for young children who are probably really nervous heading to daycare, pre-school and elementary school. Today, we shared a few tips for prepping little ones for back to school on NBC Connecticut’s daily lifestyle show, CT Live! Check out the clip, here and see our tips, below!

Sign your children up for after school activities that they are interested in and excited about! This way, even if they aren’t excited about the first day of school, they will have something else to look forward to! Check our After School Activities Resource Page and Sports Resource Page for some great options! Plus, keep an eye out for the 2019-2020 Back-to-School Activities Guide launching on August 15!

Set up playdates at the playground so your child can meet new classmates ahead of time! That way, on the first day of school they walk into the classroom and see a few familiar faces.

Do a “test drive” so younger kids can see the routine they’ll follow each morning and the route they’ll take to school (even if they’ll be on a bus). 

Have your child participate (within reason) in back-to-school shopping! Picking out a backpack, lunchbox, etc. will help them to get excited. To really personalize things, turn to a locally owned company to personalize your items for you! Monogram Mary has great sets of backpacks and lunchboxes that can be monogrammed and personalized with the theme of your child’s choice! It’s always fun to get something special for your child and support a locally owned company in the process.

Make sure young children are well rested by getting into a back-to-school sleep routine. To help, switch to the school night bed time a couple of weeks in advance. To help young children understand when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up, try a sleep/wake clock with a light that stays red when it’s time to sleep and turns green when it’s time to wake up. Also, set a digital curfew, a time every night when the children turn off all electronic devices for the night. The earlier the better, but you want to make sure to be realistic!

Keep your own anxiety about back-to-school in check. Remember, kids pick up on our emotions. So plan ahead to keep yourself calm. If the schedule is stressing you out, get a white board or chalk board to hang in the kitchen and planner to write schedules and to-do’s. Is watching your baby going to the next grade level a source of anxiety? Turn to your support system for a chat… talking about your emotions will help because let’s face it, you aren’t the only one who’s worried!

Read books about the first day of school! Books like Pout, Pout Fish Back to School, Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School and Curious George’s First Day of School are great options to explain to little ones what to expect.

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