At the beginning of a new school year, some children just aren't excited to start the back–to–school process. Whether they're sad about leaving their parents or just simply don't like school, the back–to–school blues starts in full swing. As an educator, you can use these five tips to help the children in your classroom with their back–to–school blues.
1. Read a Book Relating to Back-to-School Blues on the First Day
Reading relatable first day of school books can help children to see that school isn't so bad. When they see that the book character enjoys school, they might start to enjoy it too. One book we suggest reading on the first day is The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, which tells the story of Chester Raccoon and how he does not want to go to school. Chester's mom gives him the reassurance of her love, he is comforted, and goes to school.
A second book we recommend is Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London. This book is about Froggy's nervousness on the first day of school. In the end, even though it's hard for Froggy to sit still, he still has a great time.
2. Plan Back-to-School Activities
Planning back-to-school activities is crucial to getting children excited about the new school year. Below are two exciting activities to do with the children in your classroom.
Kissing Hand Book Activity
To go along with reading The Kissing Hand, you can do this fun activity with the children in your care.
- Black paint
- Paint brushes
- White construction paper
- Red construction paper
- Glue sticks
- Paint one hand for each child with black paint.
- Have the children press their painted hand down on the white paper.
- Allow the paint to dry.
- Cut out hearts from the red paper.
- Have the children glue a red paper heart in the middle of their black painted hand on the white paper.
- Hang the kissing hands up in your classroom!
Family Tree Project
Encourage the children in your classroom to make a family tree and share it with the class. Having the children talk about their family is a comforting tool to get them warmed up to the new classroom environment.
- Constructions paper
- Family photos
- Glue sticks
- Encourage the children to make a tree out of construction paper.
- When the tree is complete, have the children cut out pictures of each family member.
- Have the children glue the family photos to the tree.
- Encourage the children to share their family tree with the class.
3. Give Anxious Children Responsibilities
If you notice that there are children in your new class that seem to be overly anxious, delegate responsibilities to them. Having a special responsibility, such as erasing the white board or passing out papers, can make anxious children feel like they have value and purpose. Children like approval from their teacher, so receiving that approval can calm their nerves.
4. Play Entertaining Icebreakers
Planning icebreakers for the first day of school can help the children in your classroom get to know each other. Once the children begin to feel more comfortable around each other, they will feel less anxious overall. One icebreaker we suggest doing with your class this year is Picking Sticks. Have each child choose a colored stick at random and match it to color coded get–to–know–me prompts. When answering the prompt, children should start by introducing themselves so that the class can get to know them better. You can also do this activity with M&M's®! Additionally, get conversations started in your classroom with our Conversation Cubes. The children in your class will love getting to know one another on the first day with these fun activities.
5. Make the First Day Fun!
Make sure to fill the first day of school with plenty of fun activities to keep the children busy and engaged. Movement is always a great way to help keep children's minds off of things. Explore yoga in your classroom with a complete yoga set. For a simpler yoga lesson, try our yoga cards. Keep the children in your classroom moving to get rid of the back-to-school blues.