Getting Kids Ready for Back to School

Getting Kids Ready for Back to School

As the start of the school years looms ever closer, some kids may start feeling a little bit nervous. Change can be scary! And trying to find a balance between fitting in and being yourself is always tough.

If you’ve already bought all the school supplies your kids need for this year, and maybe even prepared an outfit for the first day back, you may be sighing in relief (and perhaps even celebrating!). But what can you do to get your kids as excited as you are?

Sticking together.

For younger kids especially, going back to school after spending all summer with their family can feel a bit like being abandoned. By showing your kids that you’ll still be spending lots of time together after school, you can help them overcome the fear of being forgotten. And as the adult, you have to stick to it! Even though you’re tired from work, make sure to spend quality time with your kids several times a week. Reading a book together is a good start!

Reading together.

While storytime is likely already a part of your routine, choosing back to school books of all sorts fosters excitement for the joys of school! There are many options, but we of course recommend our latest poetry collection, My Lunchbox Is Hopping & Other School Poems. Written by Kalli Dakos and illustrated by Erin Mercer, this collection delves into a variety of school experiences, from messy desks to silly teachers to hiding in the bathroom.

Addressing big feelings.

Another perk of reading back to school books is giving kids the opportunity to express some difficult feelings they may have when faced with the new term. Giant-Sized Butterflies on My First Day of School by Justin Roberts and illustrated by Paola Escobar, for example, helps students deal with and even appreciate the butterflies in their stomachs, while Shy Robin and the First Day of School by Jaime Kim explores shyness and friendship.

Creating a community.

Children’s books also help kids understand that they are all unique—everyone brings something different to the table, be it their culture, their experiences, their personality, or their abilities. Books like Our Class Is a Country by Andria W. Rosenbaum and illustrated by Dream Chen and Our Class Is a Family by Shannon Olsen and illustrated by Sandie Sonke encourage a sense of community and mutual respect for every student. Kids who are nervous about being different will feel more welcome after reading this sort of book!

In the end, what’s most important is supporting your kids and being receptive to their joys and fears, even if they don’t tell you outright. Reading school-themed books together is a great way to connect, explore emotions, and celebrate diversity! We’ll finish this post with a poem:

I called my teacher
What a silly thing
I said!
I called my teacher
I have fluff
inside my head!
I called my teacher
Now my face
is apple red!

-Kalli Dakos


See more back to school poems here. And check out this comprehensive phonics collection to teach kids to read!