We have all heard the mantra that “all good things must come to an end,” and yet, for many kids, the first day of school might as well be the first day of prison, for all the tears and complaining that ensue. Even if your child actually likes school, he might somehow forget he likes it when the end of summer rolls around and it is time to return to the classroom.
However, we would like to help make the transition back to school and into new grades and classrooms a bit more manageable and fun with some easy ideas of things to do with your child or children before that first day arrives!
1. Document your summer
Summer ending should not be a sad occasion, but a joyous one! Celebrate everything you did that summer by documenting it with your child. Create a scrapbook, a storybook, or some kind of journal by which to remember your summer (OR make the end of summer an annual time where you document your past year). This way, the focus is on all of the fun and happy times you had together on family vacation or playing in the backyard at home - not on the “bad times” looming ahead.
2. Throw a back-to-school party
End the summer with a bang and invite your child’s friends over for a back-to-school party! No, you don’t have to order a blow-up water slide or a food truck to make this party a success. You can make your child and his friends more excited about school by showing them how fun it can be, such as turning your home into the school itself! And how do you do that? All it takes is some creativity, whether that be transforming your kitchen and dining room into the cafeteria (serve cafeteria favorite foods on trays!) or turning rooms in your house into “classrooms,” “the library,” and “the gym.” There are endless possibilities to make this party a fun (and funny!) day for your child and his friends to get back into the “school spirit.”
3. Buy fun pens
Even if your school has a very strict school supplies list, there are usually a few loopholes you can work around in order to make school shopping with your child more enjoyable. Include him in the shopping trip and let him pick something out, even if it is something simple like a fun pen or pencil instead of the standard, boring brown one. Fun folders and notebooks are always a win, and I especially always loved getting to go home and pack everything up in my backpack as a child. In fact, listen to music, make snacks, and turn the packing-your-backpack part of school prep into a blast for everyone!
5. Get excited for school reading
And in case you cannot tell, we are really big proponents of reading here at The Front Porch People. Thus, we are also going to give you some ideas to get your child excited about all the new books he will get to read at school this year. Have fun with your child’s past or current favorite reads by doing something special in according to that book’s theme, whether that be by eating Green Eggs and Ham for dinner, planning a tea party in the spirit of Alice in Wonderland, or planning a treasure hunt in the spirit of Treasure Island. Perhaps once your child has been reminded of the great books he has read in school before, he will be more accepting and excited about the idea of going back to school!
Good luck with the end of your summer and the start of your new school year! We hope we have inspired you to have a bit of fun before the “dreaded” first day back!