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Back to school tips for children and parents


29 August 2023

It’s almost the start of a new academic year, which brings new opportunities, challenges, anticipation, and fears for both children and parents alike.

Whether your child is starting or returning to nursery, or making the leap into primary school, we know how difficult it can be to get back into the swing of things – but we’ve got you covered with our top tips to help with the tricky transition that can happen when going from summer to school. Let’s dive in!

Top tips to help ease the transition:

Establish a bedtime routine

After a summer of late nights and lie-ins, getting back into a school bedtime routine is no easy task, and certainly won’t happen overnight. To ease the struggle, start to establish an early-night routine a couple of weeks before the start of term.

Make it relaxing by adding in a bath or shower and reading some bedtime stories, as well as getting them used to waking up at a set time each morning. This will help get them accustomed to the school day routine well in advance, and avoid the early morning tantrums on the 4th September!

Ease the first-day pressure

If your child seems particularly nervous about starting at a new school or going to nursery, whether it’s for fear of meeting new people or simply leaving the comfort of their home, it can be helpful to visit the setting before their first day.

Practice the journey there, whether it’s walking, driving, or via public transport. Familiarise your child with the area and the school itself, maybe even having a quick walk around. You could talk to them about all the friends they’re going to make, what activities they might do, and what worries they might have.

At Kids Planet Day Nurseries, we invite all parents to book a show round of any of our nurseries across the UK. We think it’s important for both parents and children to get a feel for the setting and meet the team to put any anxious minds at rest.

children playing at nursery

Start building healthy habits

Starting the new school year off on the right foot is essential for a successful year. Creating healthy habits early on gives your child the best chance of doing well and coping with the pressures of school, from the food they eat to the activities they participate in.

Providing healthy food options for breakfast and lunch will give your child more energy and help with concentration throughout the day. Some nurseries or schools might provide breakfast or healthy snacks, so be sure to enquire, as well as research what lunch options are provided to ensure your child will be satisfied. Find out more about the importance of healthy eating for children and how to get your children to try new food.

All Kids Planet nurseries place a huge focus on healthy eating, and are equipped with on-site qualified chefs to ensure all children have access to fresh, nutritiously balanced meals.

Whilst we’re building healthy habits, it’s also a good idea to help them discover what physical activities they might enjoy too, so they can get involved with any extracurricular activities and sports at school or nursery. At Kids Planet, we partner with Vocational Skills Solutions Ltd (VSS) to employ dedicated Sports Coaches to teach physical development and activities, and encourage outdoor play as much as possible.

Encourage independence

Allowing your child to be as involved as possible in their back-to-school routine can help ease a lot of stress and worry before their first day. You can do this by going shopping for their uniform and supplies together, allowing them to pick out their pencil case, lunch box, backpack, and notebooks, all while getting them excited about going to school.

Depending on their age, you can get them involved with taking responsibility, such as cleaning up after themselves, getting themselves dressed, and making lunches. A few daily tasks can encourage confidence and independence, ready for school.

Here at Kids Planet, we aim to support children in becoming independent individuals, to ensure they are ready for school. We deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and help prepare your child for school. Read more about EYFS here.

child playing independently at nursery

Talk about safety

Sending your children off to school and out of your sights can be daunting and scary for any parent. Ensuring your children are as street-wise as possible and aware of safety rules can help ease that panic, so it’s vital to review any potential threats they may face.

Take your children outside and make them aware of the rules of the road, teach them about stranger danger, and ensure they know their commute to school if walking or taking the bus.

Communicate openly and honestly with them

Communication is key and can be a huge help in identifying your child’s worries, in turn helping you both deal with the anxiety of returning to school. Giving your child the freedom to express any concerns they have, such as their peers, teachers, and homework, opens up a dialogue and in return allows you to share your own excitement for their growth and learning.

Work through challenging potential scenarios, such as lunchtime seating and making friends, and guide them through strategies and rehearsals to ease their nerves. Doing all you can to help your child will benefit you both, making the send-off smoother knowing they’re prepared for anything and everything.

mother and daughter discussing going back to school

Helping your child settle in on their first day

Enrolling your child into nursery or sending them off to primary school for their first day can be a stressful experience for any parent; not knowing how they’ll react to meeting new strangers, in an unfamiliar environment, without you by their side. So, doing all you can to prepare will minimise a lot of stress for all parties involved: you, your child, and the staff.

Firstly, be prepared for tears. It’s likely your child might not understand why you are leaving them, nor when you’ll be back, so do your best to comfort them upon dropping them off and reassure them that it’s only for a little while. It will take time for your child to understand this new routine, but be patient.

Secondly, communicate all your concerns with the nursery/school staff, and ask questions to ease your nerves. Your child will notice if you seem anxious and likely take on these emotions themselves, so keep calm, wear a smile, and offer plenty of reassurance for your little one.

Lastly, have faith in your chosen nursery/school. Staff are trained to deal with the difficult transition, so they know what to expect and how to handle the heavy emotions of the first day. Take what advice you can from them and trust your child’s care in their hands.

As a parent, your support and guidance plays a crucial role in making the back-to-school transition smooth for your child. Adopt a positive attitude, open communication, and a structured routine to help your child embrace the new school year.

Here at Kids Planet, we aim to make the transition process as pain-free as possible, offering support for both you and your child throughout the year in all of our nursery settings. We also have a guide for preparing your child for nursery that may be helpful!

Find your nearest Kids Planet nursery and get in touch for more information and to arrange a visit.


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