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August 13, 2021

5 Ways to Get Your Child Excited about Back-to-School

The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone: adults and children! But, I believe, especially children. Whether your child is back in the classroom or returning soon, it’s an adjustment for them that may not be happily accepted. Many children thrive off peer learning so to not have their peers around was indeed an unexpected shake-up in their young world. Many children adjusted well to the shake-up, so now it’s another shake-up to return them to the same setting with different rules.

When children are excited about going to school, they are excited about learning. When they are excited about learning, there is a drastic increase in concept grasping and information retention. Let’s look at 5 ways to make sure your child gets excited about returning to school. 

Play Dates

Remember, many children thrive when being around their peers. Set up some playdates or dates with your child’s school friends. It can be a Zoom or it can be in person with masks on. The purpose is for your child to remember what it felt like being around their school friend(s) and to experience how they will have to interact with them with the masks on while socially distancing. If your child misses their friend(s), they will be excited about this playdate or date (depending on your child’s age). If you feel comfortable, you can even throw a Back-to-School afternoon party for a few of your child’s friends the weekend before the first day. 

Let’s Talk About It

Many children open up to their parents about a bothersome subject when they are at ease. Take your child to their favorite restaurant and have a discussion with them about in-person learning. Ask the tough questions. Find out what they are feeling about returning. Let them know their feelings are valid and expected. Make sure they know they are welcome to discuss these things with you as you are their protector, advocate, and helper. Tell them about your feelings about returning to work. This helps them know they are not alone. A good dose of in-depth conversation is always good for the soul. 


Even if your child is not Miss Fashionista or Mr. GQ Smooth, most children enjoy shopping for new clothes, shoes, or supplies. Pick a day and plan. Let them know this day is happening and make it fun. Talk with them about what they want to wear or have when they return to school. Ask them if there is a person they want to impress or a teacher they want to wow. Make the shopping trip and conversation school-related. 

Revive the Routine

Being stuck at home is one sure way to forget an outdoor routine from almost two years ago. Even if this outdoor routine was a daily one, it’s a routine that has not happened since 2019, 2020 in most cases. It’s like athletes reviewing the playbook they’ve read many times except this time; they’re reading it just before the season begins. Sure, the athletes know but they forgot. Same with your child.

Do a dry run (take your child to school, pick them up, or both):

If you drove your child to school pre-pandemic, drive them to school at the same time on a Saturday or Sunday. Repeat it on a weekday. I mean the entire process of driving to school, kissing them, they get out of the car and walk to the front door. Sure, it won’t open but the routine is the focus. 

If they ride the bus, drive to school using the bus’s route. Ask them about what used to happen on the bus and what they saw during the ride.

When either run has ended, treat your child to ice cream, lunch, or a movie. You want them excited, not in culture shock. 

The Element of Surprise

If neither of the above ideas suits your fancy, I have one more so let’s make it FUN! 

When your child goes to sleep, decorate their door and maybe the kitchen or the entire home. When they open their bedroom door, they should feel like they walked into their own party. It’s a “First Day of School” party! The energy from everyone in the home should be high-leveled and happy. Your child will get a good giggle/chuckle from your efforts, yet the energy of excitement will spill into them. You can even top it off by making their favorite breakfast or putting a special something in their lunch.


The pandemic ran amuck on us. We can’t let it keep us down. Sure, we have an alternate way of doing things we may not like. Let’s focus on the fact that we are still able to do anything and that we’ve come so far to be able to have alternatives. 

If school has already started for your child, you can still implement one or all of these options. Who knows? Your child may be hiding that they are nowhere near excited.  Good luck with the 2021/22 school year!

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