The Ultimate Back to School Guide: What to Say, How to Play & What to Read
And another school year begins! There are many meaningful ways to support children through times of change. However, as a team of educators and parents, we're especially passionate about three types of support: what we're saying, how we’re playing, and what we’re reading. We just launched our newest family resource, The Back to School Ultimate Guide: What to Say, How to Play & What to Read. Whether your child recently started school or is preparing for school to begin, this digital guide offers the whole family a fresh start. It was written by Lauren Vien, our Education Director and author of the Guide to Positive Language Strategies. You’ll find tips and tricks that she used as a classroom teacher + effective, everyday strategies she uses as a parent. Here’s a sneak peek at our Back to School Ultimate Guide:
WHAT TO SAY
You’ll find Positive Language strategies to help prepare your child for a new school year and support your child as he or she adjusts to new school routines. Here’s one simple, yet powerful, suggestion from the guide:
Children are constantly looking to us for information, especially when it comes to new people and places. Can I trust these new teachers? Will I have fun at my new school? Even if you have a less-than-stellar first impression, be sure to speak positively about your child’s school and teachers. Point out the activities or personality traits that will resonate with your child:
“I noticed that your new classroom has a sand table. I wonder what sand tools your teacher will have?”
“Your new teacher knows how to play the guitar, just like Uncle Dan. What songs do you think she’ll play?”
HOW TO PLAY
You’ll learn our favorite ways to playfully connect with children before school and how to ease the transition from school to home every afternoon. Here’s one of our favorite ways to support children after school:
Say “yes” to sensory play.
Sensory play helps children calm and regulate their bodies after a stimulating school day. Try setting up one of these super simple sensory experiences before your child returns home from school:
1. Cover a baking tray in shaving cream. Your child can write letters, explore with kitchen tools, or simply feel and explore.
2. Offer your child playdough + twigs, seashells, or pebbles.
3. Set up glue + materials of different textures (scratchy sponges, smooth ribbons) for a sensory collage experience
WHAT TO READ
We’ve included the ultimate curated back-to-school book list in our Back to School Ultimate Guide. These children’s books offer relatable characters, unique perspectives, and lots of conversation starters! You’ll find books for toddlers and preschoolers, kindergarteners and beyond. Here’s a book we return to year after year:
New beginnings and big feelings often go hand-in-hand. As your child adjusts to school, The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerffeld is a meaningful read for the whole family. When your child seems overwhelmed with school-related emotions or exhaustion, try talking less and listening more. Simply observe your child and let them know you’re physically present if they need you.
Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy back-to-school season!
For personalized support, please reach out to schedule a private phone consultation with Lauren. You can choose from a list of frequently requested topics or she'll create a custom session just for you!
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