Also, she pointed out that preparing for a new school year entails more than just buying the right gear. She offered seven tips to help parents ease the transition from summer to school:
- Sneak a peek. Read an appropriate storybook for clues of what to expect.
- Make pals. Set up a play date with a future classmate prior to the big day. Recognizing a familiar face eases jitters.
- Pack a memento. A family photo or favorite toy can stay in a cubby or backpack to help relieve homesickness. Your elementary student may love school, but the first day still brings some nervous feelings and pangs of homesickness.
- Check it out. Tour the school prior to the first day to squelch fears of getting lost.
- Think comfort. Pack favorite familiar foods for lunch to give a sense of security.
- Get the 411. Teach kids their phone number and address. Knowing the facts empowers children and keeps them safe. Also, knowing that parents have alerted teachers to health issues like allergies makes kids feel safe.
- Take a break. Avoid planning extracurricular activities for the first month of school. New experiences take lots of energy, and students need free time to unwind.
Also, according to Freddi Greenberg, here are ideas for backpacks, lunchboxes, and organizers:
Red and gray camouflage print, $15, Old Navy, www.oldnavy.com
Pink messenger bag, $24.50, Gap, 1-800-GAPSTYLE (1-800-427-78953), www.gap.com
Dora the Explorer lavender backpack, $19.99, May Co. stores
Orange and gray pack on wheels, $59, Gap, 1-800-GAPSTYLE (1-800-427-78953), www.gap.com
Green camouflage, $12.50, Gap, 1-800-GAPSTYLE (1-800-427-78953), www.gap.com
Red soft box, $10, LL Bean, 1-800-221-4221, www.llbean.com
Orange pack with lunchbox, $16, Children's Place, 1-877-PLACEUSA (1-877-75223-872), www.childrensplace.com
Looseleaf binder, Lands End, $19.50, 1-800-356-4444, www.landsend.com
Paul Frank folders, $21, From Marsha D.D. NYC, 212-831-2422, www.paulfrankisyourfriend.com
Floral book-style file organizer, $14.50, Gap, 1-800-GAPSTYLE (1-800-427-78953), www.gap.com
Harry Potter organizer plus trivia $24.99 www.tigertoys.com
Vapor laptop plus handheld organizer, $79.99, V-Tech, www.vtechkids.com
Pencil box/calculator, $5, Old Navy, www.oldnavy.com
Clip-on light flasher, LL Bean, $7.50, 1-800-221-4221, www.llbean.com
Hit Clips musical key chain, $7.99 www.tigertoys.com
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