Whether your child is a daycare veteran with a summer off before preschool, or a rookie in the world of childcare, a little back-to-school jitters are normal. Our five tips will get your child in prime back-to-school shape!

1. Get into the rhythm.

Whether your kids have been entirely off school for the summer, or have simply been enjoying a smattering of vacations and long weekends over the last few months, they may not be in the back-to-school state of mind. Gear them up by setting a routine now that will have them waking up at the same time each morning, and getting dressed and eating breakfast right away. He may not have anywhere to go once he’s ready for the day, but you can plan some tasks for him to start on in the morning, or set up a play date. The important thing is to break them of the habits they might have fallen into during a lazy summer.

Back to School2. Foster Independence.

If this is your child’s first time going to daycare or preschool, she is going to need to learn to be more independent than ever before. She’ll be taking her shoes on and off, putting her backpack and lunchbox in her cubby, and interacting with other kids without her mom or dad right over her shoulder. Teach her to pack her school things in her bag, let her help you prepare her lunch and snacks, and talk with her about what she’ll be handling on her own when she goes to school. You might also want to arrange for a few play dates so that she gets used to interacting with other kids in groups. This is especially important for kids who have been used to a nanny or a stay-at-home parent up until now.

3. Take the tour.

Many preschools and daycares will allow you to take a tour of the facilities, meet the teachers, and learn a bit about the kids’ schedules throughout the day. Take your child with you so that he can see where he’ll take off his coat and leave his bag. Allow him to spend some time listening to the teachers and exploring the environment. He’ll feel a bit of ownership over the experience if he’s allowed to familiarize himself with his new environment before the first day begins!

4. Embrace learning.First day of school

Is your child feeling anxious about school? Talk with him about the new things she’ll be learning this fall. If your preschool’s teachers have given you any information on lessons and projects, talk about those with your child. If there is a science or nature unit coming up, remind your child about fun learning experiences she has had on vacations or outings to the aquarium or local science center. Remind her that daycare or preschool will be filled with fun, learning experiences just like the ones she’s had with her family in the past.

5. Go shopping!

Did the new suit you bought last year make you feel more comfortable on your last job interview? Think about how a new pair of sneakers, a couple of new tees, or a new lunchbox might make your child feel. Sometimes, a little back to school shopping will build confidence and foster excitement.

Get your children ready for the change in seasons and the new routines that change brings and they will be more than ready for their new day-to-day activities!