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It’s that time of year again. The pool floats are deflating in the garage, barbeque invitations are dwindling, and suddenly crunchy leaves start appearing under bare feet. Fall means back to school, back to real life, and back to routine. If your kids are like most, they’re probably less than enthused about heading back to school. Help your kids look forward to going back to school with these back-to-school tips.

1. Purchase Back-to-School Supplies

If you let kids pick all their own supplies, the bill might run a little high for your liking. Let kids choose a couple school supplies for themselves though. Sure, spiffy pencils and folders might not make up for leaving the pool but kids will look forward to using their special picks once they get in the classroom. Try to gear them towards things they’ll use over and over, like notebooks, folders or pens. Don't let them use their picks until back-to-school day 1!

2. Have a Summer Field Trip

Grab on to those last warm, free days with your kids by having a last fling of summer. Plan a full day to do their favorite summer activities; going to the pool, having a bonfire, eating homemade popsicles or traveling to the nearest zoo. It may be bittersweet, but it will give them something to look forward to before the big day.

3. Visit The School

A lot of first-day dread is based on back-to-school anxiety. See if your child’s school is open a couple days ahead of time and take a walk through to calm any nerves. Practice walking to their classroom or just take a visit to the playground. It might make them less nervous to re-familiarize themselves with a school setting. Who knows, it might even get them excited!

4. Schedule Check-Ups

If there’s one thing kids dislike more than hanging up their summer shoes it’s going to the doctor. However, USA.gov recommends bringing kids to a physician to get them up to date on their immunizations. Also consider going to get eye exams so your little ones will be able to see the blackboard!

5. Prepare Deluxe School Lunches

School lunches aren’t any kids favorite food and readjusting to squishing into tables might be tough for little ones. Surprise your kids with a couple days of a school lunch upgrade. Pack their favorites, even if it means getting creative. Mac and Cheese can be made the night before and then put in a thermos, same with tomato soup! They’ll get used to the usual sooner or later, but make the first day a little more bearable by surprising them at lunch.

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