As the summer is winding down, you might find your kids getting a little bit sad. School starting is always a bittersweet time for students; they get to go back to school and see their friends they haven't seen all summer, but they will miss the long days, hot weather, and outdoor activities while they're sitting in their desks all day. As a parent, there are some things you can do to get your kids excited about the back to school season and help ease the transition from summer to fall.
Take Them Shopping
One of the best parts about going back to school is all the great sales the stores have during the months of August and September. Instead of going shopping all by yourself, consider inviting your kids along. Let them pick out some of their supplies and a new outfit or two - and maybe a small toy or gift - and then tell them they can't have any of it until school starts.
That way, it's like letting your kids pick out a birthday present; if they can't have it until school starts, they'll be excited about counting down the days till the first day of school. It's also a great idea to let your kids show their personality through their school supplies. Folders featuring Justin Bieber and pencil cases sporting Hannah Montana can help kids get fired up about showing their new stuff to their friends.
Plan a Labor Day Weekend Trip
Students usually get Monday of Labor Day off, which is usually just a few weeks after school starts. If that is the case, plan a Labor Day trip to some place your kids will love. Amusement parks, water parks, zoos, and sporting events are all great options for events to take in on your mini-trip. These are all places that typically close or change hours after Labor Day, so getting ready to do this one last time can be thrilling for your kids.
Like shopping and withholding items until the first day of school, if you get your kids excited about an event or trip a few weeks into school, they can start counting down the days and anticipating the fun they will have. It can also be used as a reward for a smooth few weeks of school. Tell your kids they can't go on the trip unless they come right home, do their homework, get up and out the door on time every day, etc. This can be a really powerful motivator.
Check Out the Book Lists
Teachers sometimes post their first units or themes for the year on the school webpage before school starts. If not, you can email teachers and ask what they're going to study during the first weeks of school. Then, you can take your kids to the library or bookstore and check out some books on the topics. Get your kids ready to hit the ground running with their studies. Knowing they're ahead of the game can be just the push they need to get on the bus that first day of school.
Let Them Have One Last Hurrah
Whether it's a sleepover or a whole day at the pool with friends, it can be sad to think of all the things they will miss for the next ten months while school is in session. If you let them have one last, big hurrah, that might be able to hold them over for a while during the first few months of school. Go ahead, plan that party or day at the park, and let your kids tire themselves out. They'll be sure to look back on the summer with fond memories.