1. Set up play dates and parties Once the class list comes out, hop on the phone and start scheduling playtime with old and new kids to remind your youngster about the friends he has missed over vacation period. Then, at the end of the first week of school, get your school-aged child enthusiastic about the new year -- and his new classmates -- by planning a back to school party.
2. Do a test run to the school Walk or ride your bikes to school every morning a couple of weeks before back to school time to get your kiddo comfortable -- and hopefully less resistant -- to the morning routine. Chances are, your child's new teacher will be getting the classrooms ready for the new year, giving you a chance to make an early introduction.
3. Bring kids along for back to school shopping Back to school tips for getting kids excited to head back to school involve the excitement of shopping for new things for the new year, from picking out a new backpack to stocking up on a cool wardrobe.
4. Personalize back to school gear Backpacks, lunchboxes, pencil boxes and even grade-specific t-shirts can help get your kiddos motivated to begin the new school year. Opt for your child's initials if you're apprehensive about putting his full name for strangers to see.
5. Engage in some back to school reading Shift summer reading gears and read books that address back to school time fears or focus on back to school tips for kids on making new friends.
6. Stock up on back to school snacks Like a carrot in front of a horse, stockpiling your pantry with back to school snacks may have your kids chomping at the bit for the school lunch bell to ring.
Enroll kids in extracurricular activities Not only will it give your youngster the opportunity to make new friends, but encouraging her to enroll in school sports or clubs will get her in on the action. "Encouraging kids to get involved in extracurricular activities and after school programs can help foster school spirit, especially at the beginning of the school year when back-to-school apprehension can run high," says Dr. Fran Walfish, child and family psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent.
Despite these seven ways to get your child excited to go back to school, tips and cues that your youngster may still be a bit apprehensive about heading to the school yard are important to acknowledge.
EXPERT TIP: Dr. Walfish offers this tip for parents: "Be painfully honest with yourselves and know your individual child. If you have a shy child with limited social skills, you may be setting her up for rejection and unnecessary stress."
Although you may be eager to get your child excited to go back to school, "some kids do better warming up to the new school year, then branching out at their own pace," advises Dr. Walfish, so your child sees school in a positive light, despite any fears or anxiety about the new school year.