Heading back to school? These five tips will make that first day (and week) as easy as pie!
Thank you to Gymboree for sponsoring this post.
This is my 15th year of teaching. Yup 15 years of first days. And luckily, I've seen a lot of GREAT first days, and some not so great ones. The first day of school can be exciting, scary, and inspiring all at once. It's a HUGE step for kids and parents…..and I think we all have the same goal. For it to be fun! These simple tips will make the first day of school fun and easy for everyone…….
Back to School: 5 Tips for Making the First Day Easy
Take First Day Pictures In Advance: Trust me, you'll thank me later. Do NOT wait until the morning of the first day of school to try to take those adorable styled pictures. Yes, you can snap a few photos with your cell phone and the first day of school sign…..but no more than that. It's already a busy and stressful morning. If you want to take special pictures of your child at school, head over a FEW days early and shoot at the entrance. It's not crowded, and you're not in a rush. You'll all be happier. Plus, it's the PERFECT opportunity for the TEST RUN.
Do A Practice Run: New is often scary to young kids. And guess what? After an entire summer vacation, that old familiar school? Feels new. Even for younger siblings who have been on a campus a million times, it still feels NEW to be entering school alone. The best way to combat that first day of school nervousness? Do a practice run. The WHOLE thing. If you walk to school, put the backpacks on….and walk the route. Talk about what you see on the way, how fun it will be to see who else walks to school on the same route. If you drive, talk about where you'll park or where the drop off line is. Just like we do fire drills and earthquake drills…..you need to do a school morning drill. I promise, you'll be glad you did. And if you know that your child tends to have trouble with transitions or gets nervous easily, do MORE drills. For at least a week.
Use a Watch: One of the biggest questions kids ask on the first day of school….When if my mom coming back? An easy way to help them understand and feel more comfortable? Get a watch. Practice counting down the time to things over the summer (it can be analog or digital) and teach them what time you'll pick them up. Having a specific time to look forward to makes a huge difference!
Discuss Concerns In Advance: Communication is key. Talk in advance about any concerns your child has. They may want to know where they'll eat, where they'll go if they get hurt, how they can contact you, or even where they'll use the restroom (this tends to be a big one). The more you know, the more you can discuss and prepare for.
Special First Day Clothes: A ton of you asked online if you should let your children pick out their own outfits. OF COURSE! This is a big day for them, and they should LOVE what they're wearing. One of my favorite places to shop WITH Lydia for school clothes that are adorable and won't break the bank? Gymboree. They carry up to a size 14, and have a killer selection of adorable school clothes. Lydia's first day of school pictures here? Head to toe Gymboree, including those ADORABLE boots that I sort of want in my own size. As the school year kicks off around the country, be sure to check out #madeyousmile….it's the perfect place to see how kids everywhere are styling their Gymboree outfits for school and fun!