Hang a back-to-school countdown calendar
The kids will still be in the swing of countdowns after the last chocolate’s been devoured from the Christmas advent calendar, so ride the wave of momentum. Countdowns are a fun way for kids to prepare mentally for the big transition into the next year level.
For children who are particularly anxious about returning to school, add fun or creative elements, such as stickers, stars, stamps and colouring in. Check out the great range of Officeworks calendars, study planners and desk calendars.
Give the kids control
Show the kids the benefits to advancing a year level — they score greater control (and responsibility, but don’t mention that just yet!). Let the kids create their own to-do list that includes buying essential school supplies, so they feel more in control and prepared for school.
Let them have a think about categories, such as lunchtime, stationery, books, sport, music or art and then help them expand the lists. For example, under books they might need lined notepads, folders, dividers, laminate or loose-leaf paper.
Get creative with your school supplies
Stationery can be lots of fun. In 2020, students can do long division in flamingo-covered notepads with metallic gold pens, record science experiments in safari-themed books and folders (or tablets and iPads), keep their art-works in acid-free folios, customise their books and sticky notes text books in just about any colour of the rainbow — including fluorescence.
Let the kids express their personality
School uniforms are the antithesis to self-expression, but there are other ways to let your kid’s personalities shine. Let your child express themselves through pieces such as drink bottles, lunch bags, and the very cool stationery offerings.
A pink glitter lunch case is bound to be a playground conversation starter! Or think subtle but fun, like a safari, fox or owl theme that can carry through from lunch box and drink bottle, to stationery.
For kids who’d prefer not to stand out, there’s bound to be a great selection of plain and block coloured insulated, compartmentalised and simple lunch bags and bottles to suit any personality.
Play brain games
Six weeks of school holiday relaxation can turn anyone’s brain to mush, but you can sharpen those brain muscles up with a few exercises. Experts recommend sticking to brain training that involves real-world activities, but make it fun. Exercises to strengthen brain function should offer novelty and challenge. And the more senses that are involved, the better! Fun brain games to try:
- Try doing an activity with the opposite hand, such as brushing your teeth or signing your name
- Learn something new. Give the kids a small notepad and pen and head to the garden. Have them describe and record something they’d like to know more about. For example, ‘bees collecting pollen from the flowers’. Then search the iPad or tablet to find the botanical information, name and facts about their subject.
- Drab weather outside? Grab a notepad and pen and play hangman, SOS or noughts and crosses.
- Test your recall. Make a list together. It could be grocery items, things to do, the fruit in the bowl, anything, and memorize it. Test each other’s memory and how many items you can recall.
Pop a special treat in your child’s lunchbox for the first week of school
Cookies are always a winner, but if you’d rather go easy on the sugar and higher on the health, get the kids in the kitchen and bake up some delicious strawberry muffins, gluten-free apple crisp or chocolate peppermint cups. Write a shopping list with your children and hit the aisles for back-to-school foodie fun supplies that will have them salivating with excitement.
Make mornings fun
Start a new tradition of taking a funny photo with your child in the morning before first day of school. Use photo props to lighten the mood and add a few laughs. An Instax Instant Camera will deliver the funny photo in a flash for instant gratification.
For all your back-to-school supplies head to Officeworks. Their Parents’ Price Promise means that if you find a lower price on an identical stocked item on an official school list they’ll beat it by 20 percent*.