Your child starting school is a momentous occasion in your life and your kid's. It can be emotional to send them out into the world, and as the day gets closer, you'll probably panic that you haven't squeezed in quite enough one-on-one time with your little student before they start the first of many years of schooling. If that sounds like you, this list of things to do with your kid before they start school, will make both of you feel a little bit better prepared to embrace the season ahead.
Whether your little one is starting preschool or beginning kindergarten, you want to soak up the last few days of them before they grow up in front of your eyes, and you can do that in many ways from taking an adventure to a state park to making an adorable scrapbook of your summer together. There's a lot you can do ahead of the first day of school to capitalize on the quality time you have together. In fact, it might be just the right time to start a hobby or tradition that you can enjoy together every summer for years to come.
If your little one is about to start their academic journey, here are some fun and memorable activities you can do with your child before the fall.
1. Pajama Day
You have a whole lot of weekdays ahead of you before school's out for the summer. Take advantage of having your little one home and have a pajama day, complete with donuts on the couch and their favorite movie. This is a great tradition to start that you can repeat every year before your kids start school.
2. Backpack Shopping
The first time you shop for those school supplies before your child starts school is probably going to be the most enjoyable of all. After the first year, you're probably going to join the rest of the veteran parents in cursing the empty shelves at Target the night before your kid starts school. But that first year? Take your kid with you to pick out a backpack as a little date. Stop for a milkshake on the way and make an event out of the task.
3. Create A Special Homework Space
Depending on how rigorous your little one's kindergarten experience will be, you might want to carve out a little homework space for your kid. Creating a special space for your kid to read or even look at flash cards can start preparing her for future grades as well. And involving your kid in making the space comfortable and cozy can help her feel more invested in the spot.
4. Find Nature To Explore
Whether you simply go for a nature walk in your back yard or you load up the family for a trip to a state park, finding nature to explore might be easier before school schedules and responsibilities take hold.
5. Check Out The Local Children's Museum
Most children's museums are absolutely perfect for preschool age kiddos. Plan a day when you can spend as long as your kid wants wandering and playing grocery store to the construction zone without being rushed. Cap it off with a special simple lunch together for an easy quality time day together.
6. Visit Some Water
Depending where you are, hopefully you'll have a body of water close by, whether it's a pool, a water park, a lake or an ocean. If you haven't been able to spend as much time splashing around all summer, make it an end of summer tradition.
7. Finish A Scrapbook
If your child is about to start kindergarten, chances are you have a stack of their preschool artwork and work sheets cluttering up a closet somewhere. Make a date with your preschool graduate to go through that stack and choose favorites to put in a scrapbook. You could also have your little one help you go through photos and choose his favorites for a photo book of the year.
8. Take A Photo Walk
Most of us spend a lot of time with our phones close at hand, but that means we take a lot of photos and our kids take an interest in photos earlier than ever before. Give your kid a lesson in old-school photography by picking up a few disposable cameras and take your child on a photo walk. You don't have to go anywhere fancy, but a local park or garden provides lots of opportunities to take photos of leaves, flowers or even bugs. And the entire experience should be fairly relaxing and offer a soothing hobby you might even enjoy together.
9. Read A Chapter Book Together
I have the fondest memories of sitting on the couch with my siblings while my mom read Little House on the Prairie to us all. Choose a book or series and spend some extra screen-free time during the summer before your kiddo starts kindergarten reading aloud.
10. Have A Backyard Camping Trip
Preschool kids aren't necessarily the best campers, but if you pitch a tent in the back yard, you'll be close enough to home that you can zip inside at 2 a.m. if they get a little scared of a noise or can't get comfortable in their sleeping bag. Roast marshmallows for s'mores if you can, and tell stories by the flashlight before bed for a memorable end of summer event.
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