Back to School Tips

  • Create a positive and exciting atmosphere for going back to school. Take time to talk and listen about school and their day. Important parts for them might be recess, lunch, friends, and activities such as the library, sports, or art.

  • Set routines ahead of time. Linda suggests 2 weeks in advance to start working on gradual changes to the morning routine. No later than 7 days before school starts, we need to get the sleep routine back on schedule. Sleep is important to their success in school.

  • Other activities for the 2 weeks before school include:
    • Set up some playdates with a few friends at the park
    • Shop with your child(ren) for school supplies and let them pick out some of the supplies themselves.
    • If screen time has gotten a little out of control over the summer, start limiting it.
    • Do some table games and activities to increase tolerance for sitting.
    • Read books and magazines with your child(ren).
    • Visit the school and play on the playground (if allowed).
    • Create a lunch list or ideas of familiar items to pack for lunch and snacks.

  • If transition is difficult for your child, put together a “Parting Plan”
    • Practice saying “goodbye” ahead of time.
    • Develop a secret sign to say “goodbye”.
    • Possibly plan to place a small comfort item in their backpack.

  • Topics for review ahead of the start of school might include:
    • Safety review – traffic, crossing streets, and caring for personal items
    • Friendship and Respectful Behavior – cooperation, patience, and kindness
    • Expectations and goals – doing our best, giving new things a try, and learning to ask for help or support

This information was provided by Linda Burgen, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, who is Capper Foundation's Behavior Support Services Director. If you would like more information about our Behavior Support Services, contact us at 785.272.4060 or email us at