6 Must-Know Tips to Start the School Year Strong


As summer winds down, preparation for school ramps up. Here are a few simple things you can do at home to help your kids start the school year on the right foot — confident and prepared for success.

Chit Chat

We all know open lines of communication are best. This is not a “one and done” conversation. Let kids talk about what makes them nervous or what they’re excited about. If it’s the first time kids are going to school, ease their fears by talking about what they’ll experience — the kids they’ll meet and the things they’ll learn. Take time to answer their questions, like who they can ask if they need something and where you will meet at pick up time.

For first timers, take a look at the School Set. This can be a great backdrop for talking about what to expect at school.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Help children get ready for the new routine by setting a regular, early bedtime — and on the flipside, rise and shine! Get their motors started in the morning to get them accustomed to the earlier wake up call for school. Make breakfast, get dressed, and start the day to help fuel their mind and body.

Time trackers can help with winding down at bedtime. Set the timer — green light and they’re free to play, yellow means it’s time to clean up and get ready for bed. Red and the day is done, time for lights out.

Preview the School

Take a trip to the school ahead of time to let kids get the “lay of the land,” and reduce any first day jitters they may be feeling. Let kids locate the door they’ll go in, walk to where their classrooms will be, and find where the bathroom is. If your kids will change classes, follow the route through their schedule. This will ease anxiety and increase comfort level for the first day.

Easing Meltdowns

Starting a new routine can jar kids to the core. Developmentally, they may not have the tools or words to understand and process their feelings on their own. You may find they’re cranky or throw tantrums when they get home from school. This is very normal and as kids adjust to the new routine, meltdowns lessen. In the meantime, find things that children can do to self soothe. This can be different for everyone. Drawing or dancing to music can help or a quick shower to wash away the stress from the day. If things don’t ease into a new norm, talk with their teachers; they may have ideas that have worked for other kids.

Take a look at our Gears Sets. The simple construction and methodical spinning action can help kids relax and regain control.

Partners in Planning

Many things are decided for kids — when they have to leave in the morning, what teacher they’ll have, what lessons they’ll learn. Let kids have a say in what they eat and what they wear. If they don’t have a uniform, let them pick out their clothes. Give them choices for breakfast and let them help pack their lunches.

Make it a Habit

Start a regular habit when they get home from school. Have a place for their backpacks. Make them empty out their lunchboxes. And provide a place at home for them to put papers, like homework, notes from the teacher, and permission slips you need to sign.

A couple of handy organizational products for you to use at home are the Large Storage Pocket Chart that looks like a jeans pocket on the back of your kids’ kitchen chairs. Or, if you’d prefer keeping papers handy on the fridge, the Super Strong Magnet Clips can hold up to 50 sheets of paper!

These simple tips can help you start the school year off strong and confident.

About Learning Resources

By unleashing their imaginations, children learn problem solving and practice real–life skills, helping them grow up to be creative thinkers. At Learning Resources® our mission is to provide high-quality and innovative products that provide fun and engaging learning opportunities for children as they explore, discover their world and develop their creative side. Our award–winning educational toys, learning toys, discovery toys, and teaching tools are designed by educators and have been beloved by teachers, parents and children for over 30 years.

Give the little learners in your life more than a toy. Learning Resources toys are designed to foster the development of key skills for children of all ages. Our extensive selection of learning toys & games is perfect for promoting hand–eye coordination, early numeracy skills, letter recognition, critical thinking and imaginative play.

Learning Resources is an international company headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL.