A new academic year is about to begin, and you would be busy preparing for it. How about engaging your little one actively in the preparations? Here are six ways to do so.
By V Saravana Kumar
From buying new lunch boxes to wrapping the books and notebooks with brown sheets, there’s a lot of work to do before your child can get back to school after vacations. Although making all these arrangements look like trivial tasks, you need to put in quite an effort to get them done. Why not get your child involved in the process, so that you get someone to help you out? More than that, it would also make her feel responsible. Let’s have a look at six ways in which this can be done:
1. Preparing a list: Involve your child in making a list of items to be purchased and tasks to be completed by way of planning. Ask her what she would require for the forthcoming academic year. This will enthuse her a lot, and make her an active part of the back-to-school preparation.
2. Going shopping: What else would excite children more than going on a shopping spree! Take your little one with you, when you purchase his school needs. Pens, pencils, crayons, pencil boxes, erasers, sharpeners, lunch box, snack box, water bottle – the list might look almost endless. Let your child choose what he loves – like that teddy bear-shaped lunch box or the pencil box studded with images of cricket players. This would make him feel important, and the happiness you would see on his face would be priceless.
3. Preparing uniforms and shoes: It’s time to get those uniforms and shoes ready, and your child can play a big role here. Give her the responsibility of checking if the old uniforms and shoes fit properly. You can get the uniforms ironed and she can stack them neatly in the wardrobe. She can also clean and polish her shoes, and arrange them in the shoe rack. If her old uniforms or shoes don’t fit, you can take her out to purchase new ones.
4. Covering books and notebooks: One of the common rituals associated with back-to-school preparation is covering books and notebooks with brown paper. Our parents did it for us when we were in school, and now we must do it for our children. Covering with brown paper is an art and you should teach it to your child. Demonstrate how it is done perfectly, and encourage him to do it all by himself. However, your supervision is necessary since the activity involves using scissors and staplers. Once he has finished covering all the books and notebooks, he can also paste labels of his choice on the covers.
5. Arranging the school bag and study desk: Sit down with your child and guide her on how to arrange the books and notebooks properly in her school bag. Teach her to make optimal use of the different compartments and pockets of the bag to arrange her pencil and crayon boxes, and anything else she would need. You can also make her clean up her study desk which might have become messy and cluttered, courtesy the holiday excitement.
6. Planning lunches and snacks: Any mother would say that the most difficult part of getting children ready for school is planning for their lunch and snacks. The question of what to pack for the next day looms large in the minds of all mothers. Ask your child to prepare a chart of food items that he would like to have for lunch on each day of a week. This would help you plan in advance and get things done on time.
Your child is growing up and it’s time you entrusted him with the responsibility of taking care of age-appropriate tasks. Engaging him in these back-to-school preparation activities would be a good starting point. This is, in fact, a small step towards preparing him for the bigger responsibilities of life, and giving him the confidence to shoulder them effortlessly and effectively.
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V Saravana Kumar