Back-to-School Basics

Kid walking on stacks of books

Like it or not, the first few leaves are turning yellow and the sun is setting earlier each night, which means it’s time to start thinking about back to school.

There’s a lot of advice out there for parents of school-aged kids as fall approaches, but easing anxieties and smoothing the transition can be as simple as these fun-filled strategies:

Girl Under Tree

1. Make a countdown calendar. Be it flip-style or a simple chart sketched on scrap paper, the kids can cross off the days with markers or stickers and get a hands-on way to count down to school.

   Father and son surfers       

2. Capture your summer memories. Remind your kids of their holiday highlights with a photo album or a slideshow over popcorn and ice cream. The bonus: they’ll have a few memories top-of-mind to share with the class on the first day of school.

Cupcake

3. Cook up a celebration. Kids love a party, so make a special breakfast on the morning of their first day back, and if you’re ambitious, hang a few streamers and a banner. Chocolate chip pancakes or fruit smoothies—even toaster waffles if you’re short on time—will fill them up and lighten their spirits for the day ahead.

Note

4. Write a note. Risk embarrassing your kids a little by sending a note in their lunch kits reminding them you miss them already, and look forward to hearing all about their big day. Even if they’re too young to read, a smiley face and a few x’s and o’s will send a heartfelt message they’ll love.