We did it! My son started kindergarten and my daughter started preschool about one month ago and we have all survived! Here are some tips about getting your kids ready for school every day that will hopefully help you to have smoother mornings!
1. Be rigid about bedtime even if you normally aren’t!
The first few weeks or months even are a huge adjustment for a kid. Even if your child tries to convince you that they’re not tired…PUT THEM TO BED EARLIER! If anything, it will be good for them to have some alone time after a busy day being around people.
2. Don’t plan too many other activities
Adjusting to a new school year is enough for kids, especially if they’re in kindergarten. You can always add in activities later once you feel like your child has adjusted well, and that they’re ready to add more to their schedule.
3. Don’t place certain expectations on your child or yourself,
Sending your child to school for the first time or after a summer together can be difficult for the parents and the child. Or you could be one of the parents that performs a celebration dance and says “Hallelujah!” as that school bus pulls away that first day! Everyone deals with big transitions like this differently so just give yourself and your child grace during these times of transition.
4. Set timers and alarms
Without the marvel of preset alarms and timers on my phone, my children would often be stranded at preschool or elementary school. I set timers/alarms for many things and it’s so helpful. I set them for when it’s time to get outside in the morning to catch the bus or when you need to leave to drop them off. Also, set a timer for when you need to get back outside to pick them up from the bus or when you need to leave to pick them up from school. I give a warning timer about 15 minutes before we need to get outside to wait for the bus/leave to drop them off. That really helps to make sure they have brushed their teeth, gotten their socks and shoes on, put on a coat or sweatshirt, and that we have put any refrigerated items into their lunchbox for snack or lunch.
5. Have something fun outside that you can do together while you’re waiting for the school bus.
We just got a basketball hoop and have had so much fun shooting baskets while we are waiting for the bus. You can also try kicking a soccer ball, playing catch, a game like “eye spy”, or bring out a coloring book and markers. We also like to bike and scooter around the driveway while we wait. You can ask your child what they want to do while they wait for the bus. It can be a great time to connect.
6. Pack the backpack and lunchbox the night before
I make sure to take out the dirty face masks from the day and put new face masks in his backpack. Then I put the two clean face masks in the front pocket so they’re ready and easily accessible for the next day. We also make sure his snack and lunch (if you pack a lunch) are ready to go or even in the backpack if they don’t need to be refrigerated. We also make sure to fill up his water bottle and put it in his backpack so that’s ready too. I also make sure that there aren’t dirty containers from his snack or lunch that are still in his backpack/lunchbox. Also, don’t forget to check their folders/backpacks every day to see if the teachers sent home homework or letters to the parents.
*Click HERE to see labels, face masks, water bottles, backpack, lunchbox and more from my previous post Must Have Back-To-School Essentials Guide!
7. Label everything!
There are endless options of water bottles, backpacks, shoes, lunch boxes, etc. that you can buy, but there will still inevitably be another kid in the class that has the same item. I put my son’s name and the name of his teacher on a label on the inside of his backpack. I put a label with his name on the inside of his sweatshirts, coats, snow pants, shoes, boots, mittens and hats. I don’t put labels on his other clothes because that feels extreme to me, but you can go to town and do that if you want. I really like these labels that you can buy on Amazon that can be washed in the washing machine but ultimately can be removable once your child outgrows them. Click HERE to see the labels on Amazon.
Those are my tips! I hope they help you to have successful mornings with your kids!