Ask any kid what their favorite time of year is, and the answer is most likely going to be summer. And honestly, what's not to love? With no school, there are family vacations to look forward to and tons of activities like swimming, picnics, and going to playgrounds and parks every day. But because summer is the season of fun, some rules and routines tend to fall by the wayside. And that can make the back-to-school transition a little tough. Kids are used to hours of unstructured play time every day, but then they have to pivot back to being quiet and attentive during the school day. So we paired up with the educational experts at KiwiCo for some ideas on things you can do to get kids ready (and excited) to go back to school.
The vast majority of American students will be attending school in person this fall, which will be a tough transition for many. After remote or hybrid school for more than a year, getting into a simple, easy routine will be key for both parents and kids.
As summer winds down, it's natural to want to keep the good times rolling as long as possible. But in the end, it will be worse for parents and kids if you wait until the last minute to enforce rules like bedtime and getting ready in the morning.
For example, decide on kids' school bedtime a few weeks before school actually starts, and then work toward it. If the time is 8 p.m., maybe start their bedtime routine at that time three weeks ahead of time. As they get used to the timing, move the start time forward by 10 minutes or so every week, so that once the school year starts, they will actually be ready for lights out around 8 p.m.
How many times this summer did your kids ask to do something or go somewhere and you responded with "Not today, but we'll go soon"? It probably happens multiple times a day. Honestly, they probably don't remember all the things you promised, but they might remember some.
A few weeks before school starts, sit your kids down and ask them what they would really like to do before summer is over. Let each one pick two or three (reasonable) activities and make it a priority to do them before school starts. That will help kids feel like their summer was complete, and they'll have fresh memories of the fun stuff they did over the break to tell their friends.
Maybe your kid tore through the summer reading list … or maybe they played a lot of video games. (No judgment!) Either way, they probably haven't spent a lot of time this summer thinking about school and learning.
KiwiCo is a great way to bridge the gap and get young minds back into learning mode. The monthly subscription box is designed by educators and engineers to encourage kids to flex their creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Each crate is centered on a single idea, think how flight works or the human body, and comes fully stocked with all of the supplies kids need to build a project. Supplemental reading materials, activities, and games are also included.
There are seven crate lines to choose. They are divided by age and interests, so small children can focus on learning animal names, colors, and shapes, and elementary schoolers and tweens can choose art and design, geography, or science themes. Click here to save 30% off the first month when you sign up for a subscription.
This seems like a no-brainer, but kids like being involved. Instead of trying to get through those lengthy back-to-school lists as fast as possible, slow down and let your kids help pick out their own supplies. Being more engaged in the preparations will help them be more excited about actually going back to school.
School days will be different than summer days and there isn't really a way around that. Explain to your kids how and why their school days will be different and help get them ready for those changes. If you want them to do their homework before dinner, ask them to start coming inside early now and do a quiet, thoughtful activity at that time. They can read a comic book or work on a puzzle, anything that gets them in the right mindset.
This post was sponsored by KiwiCo.