The smart plan would include a gradual change in bed and wake up time. Your older child may want to stay up as late as possible the last few days of summer but that will only make the first morning of school into a grumpy unhappy mess. Do your best to begin moving the bedtime up in small increments or just make the switch abruptly the week before school begins. Either method will help that first week be less of a battle of the wills. Here is another idea that will make the change a little more fun.
Plan a ‘Back To School Party’ during the last week of summer. If you want to make this a huge and extravagant event it may be a good idea to obtain your child’s new class attendance list and invite everyone in his class. This way your child will be able to meet the new kids and learn how to integrate the old with the new. But if you desire to keep it small and more manageable, just invite family and close buddies of your child.
These will need to be made easier or harder according to the ages.
Ask the guests to bring their school backpacks to the party empty. Have the kids race to see who can stuff their backpack with crumpled paper the fastest. Or who can get the most blocks and toys into their backpack.
Play ‘Pin the Book on the Bookshelf’ game. Blindfold and spin the child, then place a paper shape of a book in their hands and instruct them to tape it to the paper bookshelf on the nearby wall.
Duck, Duck, Goose continues to be a favorite with most kids regardless of age.
No gifts are needed unless you choose to have the kids bring one school supply to be distributed in a blindfolded grab bag style game.
Place the snack in a paper lunch sack and line them up on the table next to a cake decorated like a school desk or lunchbox. Provide the kids with the typical lunch box foods they love, fruit snacks, juice boxes etc. They will love it!
If you have access to a large rolling whiteboard, place it near the front door. On it carefully print the schedule for the day. If the kids are of pre-school age place small rug mats in a circle on the main room floor as they would for circle time or story time in school. If older kids are the guests of honor then line up some small tables that could look like school desks. Be sure to include some cute large nametags for each child.
A large calendar marking off the days till school begins would be a great reminder of the special coming event. School stickers and stars would of course be used liberally on nametags and calendar.
A Back To School Party will help your child begin to adjust his or her inner clock to the coming change. This could very possibly cut down on the early morning battles and nagging that those first weeks of school usually include. Good luck!