We hope all of our followers out there have been having a great summer. We expect you've had plenty of time with friends and family, lots of relaxation, and an abundance of sunshine, and we hope that you get even more of those things in the next few weeks. There's still plenty of time to perfect that tan!
As we move into August, however, it's sort of inevitable that we mention those three polarizing words: Back to school. Parents love it. Kids dread it. We honestly don't know whose side we're on.
The good news is that once you're through those first few weeks of adjustment, life pretty much goes back to normal. So since we're in the business of putting smiles on faces, we thought it would be nice to brainstorm some suggestions for making the transition back into the school year as painless as possible. Check out what we came up with, and use your favorites to make the first week of school a lot more fun!
Your kids won't admit it, but they get a kick out of little surprises in their lunch boxes. Whether it's their favorite snack, a few Hershey's Kisses, or even a short note, a reminder that you're thinking about them can make a long day at school a little brighter. (Just make sure that note's not too obvious...they still want to look cool, ya know!)
OK, maybe this one's spoiling them a bit, but imagine how exciting it would be for your son or daughter to come home after a long day at school and find out that you're going to let the chores slide for a day so they can go outside and enjoy the beautiful August weather. You'll be a hero...at least for a little while.
One night during the first week of school, make some time for everyone to get together and enjoy the family's favorite board games. It's not just a way to beat the back to school blues, it's a great way to spend quality time together. It's even better if you can convince everyone to shut off their phones.
Yes, those brown paper textbook covers eventually get covered with magnificent doodles, but for the first week or two, they can be pretty drab. Make your kids excited to hit the books by throwing a decorating party. Supply markers, stickers, paints, colored construction paper, glue sticks, and old magazines to cut up and encourage your kids to create a book cover that reflects their own style. (It's best to take the covers off the books for this!)
Believe it or not, we're big fans of healthy after school snacks. Fresh fruit, celery with peanut butter, or cheese and crackers are some of our favorites. Buuuuuut just because healthy snacks are the norm doesn't mean you can't break the rules once in a while. A favorite candy bar in the middle of the week is a great surprise during the first week back.
For younger kids who might be nervous about taking the bus for the first time, keep them occupied with a homemade bus stop bingo game. Make up some bingo cards with things you're likely to see while you wait for the bus in the morning like a fire truck driving by, squirrels chasing each other, or a convertible with the top down, and see who can fill up a row first. Don't forget a little prize for the winner!
Just because school's in session doesn't mean that the beautiful summer weather is over. Enjoy a couple more days of splashes and sunshine by packing up and heading to the pool as soon as school's out for the day. This one is especially useful for tiring kids out so that they can get back to their "school night" bedtime.
After a long, lazy summer, those first few early mornings can be rough, especially for older kids. If they're too drowsy to enjoy a good meal in the morning, shake things up by serving breakfast for dinner one night. Whether you choose waffles, pancakes, or eggs and bacon, it'll be a fun mealtime flip-flop that everyone can enjoy!
Encourage your kids to spend some time imagining what they hope for during the upcoming school year. Do they want to make the basketball team? Star in the school play? Improve in a subject they struggled with last year? Help them set realistic goals and then talk about steps they can take to achieve them. It's a great way to promote positive outlooks and encourage kids to shape their own futures.
We've all had those weeks where it seems like Friday will never arrive, and the first week of school almost always feels that way. So when that first weekend finally gets here, celebrate! Have a little party for your family and maybe some of your kids' friends. Get pizza, watch movies, or do some of the other activities on this list--whatever it takes to remind them that just because summer's over, doesn't mean the fun is!
Do you have a secret for beating the "Back to School Blues?" Did you use any of these tricks and, if so, which was your favorite? Or are you one of the lucky ones whose kids actually look forward to going back to school? Share your story with us below!
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