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Just like that, it’s already August and school supplies are on the shelves! While some kiddos are excited at the thought of being back in the classroom, others start to feel anxiety and worry. Here are a few ways to help your kids get ready for the upcoming school year:

Build a Worry Wall: Help your kids express their anxieties by creating a “worry wall.” Give them a stack of sticky notes, have them write one worry per note, and stick them up on the wall. Remind them that once their worries have been put up on the wall, they don’t have to think about them anymore. On the flip side, create an “positivity wall”: write a positive note for each worry note.

Practice the routine: A week or two before the school year starts, begin settling down a bit earlier at night. This will help kids get used to what the school nights will look like (yes, that means powering down electronics earlier, too). They might complain at first, but it’ll benefit them in the long run.

Visit the school: Most schools offer an open house or meet the teacher event where families can explore the classroom and get to know their teacher. This can help ease worry about not knowing where to go on the first day and who is in their class with them.

Read up on the rules: What happens if they are late for class? Are electronic devices allowed? What is the dress code for school? Be attentive at parent meetings and understand the culture of the school so that you can have a solid grip on what’s expected of your child. Knowing the rules and standards for school will help you and your kiddo prepare for the year. Make sure you read our back-to-school safety tips to ensure your child has the safest year ever.

Plan a playdate: If you or your kids are having anxieties about the school year starting, sometimes it helps to reach out to other families with kids the same age. Plus, if the kids are friends, playing together before school starts might get them excited to start school together.

Have a great school year!!