Back-to-School Tips to Start the School Year Off Right

From easing first-day-jitters to making sure the kids get on the school routine to morning shortcuts and more, we’ve asked our network of 20 million parents what they do to make the transition into the new school year a success. With school around the corner, you’ll want to keep scrolling to get prepped for the coming year.

Be Prepared


"I keep a "mobile unit" in the back of my car. Essentially, it's filled with literally ANYTHING we could possibly need so we can dash out in a moment's notice. If we are running late for school, I can grab from these bins in the parking lot. Items in the back include everything from an extra pair of shoes, a change of clothes, a thin jacket or sweatshirt, snacks, etc (for each kid). There are even extra bags so if they forget their backpack I can stuff a tote bag with the change of clothes they are required to bring, some shoes, etc."  –Meghan M.

"I try to take each of my three kids shopping for school supplies on their own (even though I'd rather just bulk order everything from Amazon). They wear uniforms to school so this is their one opportunity to show a little personal style."  –Kate L.

"Shop online to avoid crowds. Kids can pick fun stuff that stores might not carry (cool designs for pencils, folders, notebooks, etc.). Plan out the first week of lunches/snacks. Check Pinterest for simple kid lunch ideas and easy dinner recipes. About 3 weeks before 1st day back, have the kids' body clocks re-charge by having them get to bed earlier - yes, even if they know that other kids are outside at 8:30-9." –Margaret B.

"We just started working on a bridge book between grades ... Not difficult and kind of fun activities, but it gets them going again on writing, math and science concepts they learned during the year and maybe a little that is new and coming up this year." –Emma T.

Easing Back Into a Routine

Avalonrose via Pixabay

"I bought each kid an alarm clock so they can set it and learn time management and be responsible for waking themselves up. Start the morning routine a week before school, so their body clock acclimates to getting up early. It also helps a ton to pick out outfits the night before- especially for tween girls!"  –Beth S.

"I start the early bedtime routine like a week ahead of time. We also try to have a super fun week before school starts, to 'get summer out of our system.'" –Gabby C.

"[We use a visual countdown clock.] You set it, and it helps kids see the passing of time, as well when they are running out of it. (easier to grasp than "you have 5 more minutes, and also, I guess helps with some autonomy—it's your time, budget wisely.) It's also a little like a game—beat the clock. You get to choose a picture to reveal, and glitter explosions happen when time is up." –Mimi O.

"Studies show younger children do better with [an] early start. It will be [an] adjustment but start 5 days ahead, getting ready for bed and doing bedtime routine." –Rhodora S.

Easing the Jitters

Austin Pacheco via Unsplash

"New clothes help first day jitters, coffee and wine help with the rest. Pro Tip: empty the backpack EVERY day!! –Laura P.

"To quell our son's anxiety about back to school in general and a new school specifically, we planned a trip that goes up until a couple days before school starts. We'll do our BTS shopping before we go. When he started Kindergarten, we met the teacher a couple days before, and she gave him this little bag that had glitter stars and other such things. She said, "I know you will be a star at the school, so put this under your pillow the night before your first day and all your wishes will come true." –Amber G.

Celebrating the First Day


"On the first day of school, I always pack a fun shareable dessert in my kids’ lunchboxes. Something I wouldn’t normally pack like a tube of mini M&Ms, a small package of cookies or a box of Red Vines. The dessert acts like an “icebreaker” of sorts … my kids can share it with old friends and new friends, and it makes their new lunch routine a lot easier. –Kristina M.

Start a fun back to school tradition, like the First Day Fairy. –Red Tricycle

––Karly Wood

23 Awesome Backpacks That’ll Last the School Year

25 Easy First Day of School Picture Ideas

21 Back-to-School Traditions to Try This Year


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