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11 Ways to Make Your Toddler Feel Part of Back-to-School
When your baby is really small, they may not even notice that, come September, the house clears out during the day while older siblings go to school.
But as they get older, toddlers start to recognize that everyone is off to school. And they aren’t invited.
It can be hard to be the little one left home during the school year! Here are 11 ways to help your toddler feel part of the action and excitement:
Start a neighborhood co-op
At this age, low-key is the way to go. Try an hour or 90 minutes, with mostly play time and one or two structured activities.
Pack them a lunch
As long as you’re making lunches for the big kids, you might as well make one for your toddler. It’ll make them feel part of things and save you from having to pull out all the lunch stuff again at noon!
Get them a backpack
Although my little one has no need for a backpack yet, she LOVES stuffing hers full of random toys and carting it around the house or in the car.
Let them help you make after-school snacks
Let them help measure, mix and stir afternoon snacks. When the kids get home, they can help eat too!
Snap a back-to-school photo
Even if they aren’t going back to school, most toddlers love to ham it up for the camera.
Get them some school supplies
Don’t let just the big kids have new school supplies. A box of crayons, a couple of pencils, and a glue stick go a long way!
Walk together to the bus
This is a great way to burn off some afternoon wiggles and to make your child part of welcoming home the older siblings.
Lay out their clothing the night before
Just like you do for big kids, lay out an outfit before they go to bed. As they get older, they’ll love to start trying to dress themselves (and is anything cuter than a backward pair of shorts?)
Nothing is more school-y than books. Set aside a few minutes each day to read aloud to your little one.
Get a coloring book for "homework"
While the older ones do homework, little ones can use a coloring book or very basic workbook to feel part of the action
Go to storytime
Storytime at the library is like mini-school for little ones! Making it part of the routine helps them feel like they’re on an academic schedule too.