School starts soon, a time of mixed emotions for me. A proud father watching his child grow into a confident individual and also a sad dad wishing for time to stand still. I look for and love to create lasting moments with my children. With that said, my thoughts turned to what I can do with them before school starts. How can I make memories during these last few days of summer and prepare them for a new school year?
It is not too late for you. There is time left. Use that time to make a memory; start a new tradition or continue an old one.
There are so many lists for kids right before school, lists of supplies they need, lists of books to read, lists of things to know. Well, fathers here is your list. Twenty-one things to do with your son or daughter before school begins.
Family Outing: Take the whole family for a day filled with fun and memories. Plan a trip or stay local. Here are 6 inexpensive ideas.
Fancy Dinner: Eat in or go out, cook it yourself or buy the meal. Either way, make it a meal to remember.
Go on a date: Take your child out, just you and them, for some one-to-one bonding time. Does not matter where you go all that matters is that it is time reserved just for them.
Talk to Them: While out on a date or even while at home, talk to them about school. Let them know what to expect. Find out how they are feeling, nervous? Excited? Reassure them. Share your own school stories.
Get them on Schedule: Take part in helping them set up a new routine for school. Set-up a new bedtime or morning routine. Start early so that they are ready.
Take Them Shopping: Go with them to buy their school supplies or help them choose some new clothes, backpack or shoes.
Teach Them to Tie Their Shoes. If they are at that age, this a good time to teach them that skill. The only question is which method to choose. Here is some help.
Trim Their Nails (or Take Them for a Manicure): Do it yourself or pay for it, either way, it is something that needs to get done before school starts. If you feel adventurous you can paint them.
Teach Them Some Jokes: Here is a must. Every kid needs some good jokes to tell their new friends. Load them up with some good ones.
Help Pack Their Backpack: Make sure they have everything they need packed and ready to go.
Pray with Them: Allow your children an opportunity to voice their concerns, anxieties, and praises about school to God. Philippians 4:6
Read Them a Book: Choose a story about starting school or any favorite book of theirs. Our go-to story is the Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. Need some suggestions- here is a list of 10 books about school.
First Day of School
Pack Their Lunch: Get their input and prepare their lunch for their first day or every school day.
Write a Note: Using sticky-notes, tell them you love them and place them around the house: at the table, on the bathroom mirror, in the lunchbox. You get the idea.
Brush/Comb Their Hair: Here is an easy one. Want to go one step further; braid your daughter’s hair. I know a few fathers who are good at this.
Take a Picture or Video: Keep a lasting memory.
Take Them to School: It does not need to just be on the first day. Make a priority to take them numerous times a year.
Say You’re Proud of Them: Don’t forget to mention why you are proud.
Give Them a Hug and a Kiss: Even if they don’t want one.
Tell Them You Love Them: We can never say it enough.
That is a good start. I have a few of these things planned for my kids, but I know I can always do more. What are you going to do before school starts?