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Mom secrets for the first day of school

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Start the year off right

The first day of school is a time for new beginnings and a fresh start. Unfortunately, most kids just see it as the end of fun. Use these tips to help your child see the bright side of going back to school and make it something to which they look forward to instead of dread.

1. Shop together.

Everybody likes new stuff. Bring your kids along when you shop for back-to-school clothes and supplies, and let them help you pick out their new items. Let them show their own style and individuality. If they like their new supplies, they'll be more excited about getting back to school and putting them to use.

Stylish school supplies for teens >>

2. Choose special clothes.

Let your child pick out a new outfit for the first day of school, complete with shoes and accessories. Set this outfit aside and don't let her wear it until the special day arrives. She'll be excited to get up and get dressed, and happy to get to school and show off her new look.

Accessory trends for middle schoolers >>

3. Have a countdown.

Start it when you have anywhere from one month to a few weeks left before the big day, and use a calendar or make your own countdown paper chain. For younger children, this helps build excitement leading up to the day.

4. Party the summer away.

Plan for fun the day before school starts. Take your kids someplace they like to go, then go out for a big dinner or fix their favorites at home. Emphasize that you're not saying goodbye to summer, but instead celebrating the start of the school year. Talk about the day to come, and have each child describe what she is most excited for in the upcoming school year.

5. Do up a big breakfast.

Make your child's favorite breakfast on the first day of school. If you have more than one child, make something special for each one. No one expects you to be a short-order cook all year long, but make an exception on day one. Get creative and make smiley faces or other designs with their food. This way, they'll start the school year off with a full belly and smiles on their faces.

5 Tips to help moms get breakfast on the table >>

6. Celebrate.

When the last bell rings, throw a party. Have a favorite snack waiting at home, or plan a special dinner as a family. Give every child a chance to talk about his day, and ask questions to show how interested you are.

Quick tip: Don't wait until the night before school starts to get your kids back on schedule. Start easing into new sleep and wake times a couple weeks before the big day.

More back-to-school tips

5 Ways to get back to school supplies for free
Mom-tested school lunch supplies & containers
6 Tips for getting your household ready for back to school

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