Sabrye (my oldest daughter) starts Kindergarten this year. Landrye (my youngest daughter) has enjoyed having “Sissy” home this summer to play with her. I know it will be a tough adjustment for her when Sabrye starts Kindergarten.
When your grade school kids head off to the school bus, these tips for how to help younger siblings adjust to back to school will come in handy. Whether they are toddlers or preschool aged children, their siblings going back to school can really be tough on them. Having that big brother or sister around to play with and look up to can make it tough for them to cope once school starts. These tips will help keep your little ones happy and occupied this school year.
1. Get them involved in drop off and pick up.
Being able to help with things like gathering lunch boxes, book bags or breakfast for an older sibling can help them to feel like they are a part of the process. While older siblings are in school, you can have them help you prepare a special after school treat to take with you when you pick them up from school, or to have ready when they get off the bus. There are many ways you can get your younger kids involved in helping their older siblings and you at the start and end of a school day. This will give them something to look forward to, and help teach them responsibility.
2. Give them their own school assignments.
One of the best ways to help younger siblings adjust to back to school is by giving them their own “school work” to do. Even toddlers can spend some time with you reading books, practicing colors and shapes, or simply coloring. These things will give them something to show to older siblings when they arrive home later in the day. It can be fun for younger siblings to share what they have accomplished with their older siblings. If possible you can even begin preschool aged kids with folders, notebooks and practice sheets to prepare them for kindergarten. You can even set them up with their own classroom and daily schedule.
3. Make special play time dates for evenings or weekends.
Sometimes they are simply missing that one on one play time with their older sibling. Setting up special times for them to play together after school can help tremendously. You might even spring for a new game or play set that both children would enjoy. This helps them to catch up on that fun sibling time together that the younger sibling has been missing out on.
4. Buy them their own back to school supplies.
We already mentioned getting them started on their own back to school assignments, but don’t forget to buy them some special folders, pencils, crayons and maybe even a lunch box. Just because they are at home with you doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate their own little supplies. Office Supplies are even appreciated by adults, so I’m sure your younger sibling would thank you for giving them a few new pencils and felt tip pens to add to their growing collection of stationary. You can even let them pick out a couple of items when you’re doing your Back to School shopping. Packing their own lunch and eating at a special place in the house each day can be a great way to make them feel like a big kid.
Remember that the best way to help younger siblings adjust to back to school is to talk them through things and help them to understand as best they can on their level. Younger kids will be upset more in the beginning, but will bounce back fast once they get into a routine. Older preschool aged kids may just need a bit more to do each day that will make them feel like a big kid too.