The end of summer is approaching, which means back to school time for the kids, however this year things will be a little different.

We’ve prepared some tips that will help your children get ready for a school year with new rules in place to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

1. Reinforce the everyday precautions

Your children may have already gotten used to practicing these, but it helps to reinforce the idea that these rules should still be applied while at school:

  • Social Distancing
  • Wearing a Mask (Grade 4+)
  • Regular hand washing
  • Use of sanitizer
  • Cover your nose or mouth if you are sneezing or coughing
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Let an adult know if you are feeling unwell.

2. Get back into your routine

We’ve all been at home more than customary, which could mean your children were allowed more screen time than usual and perhaps fell out of their routines. It may be time to consider explaining that there will be new priorities, such as homework, packing lunches, and bedtime routines. TIP – Write out a schedule so your kids can have a visual of what their new day-to-day life will resemble once the school year starts

3. Talk to your children about their worries

It’s totally normal for kids to be anxious about COVID-19 and what returning to school could mean. Talk to them about their fears and consider teaching them coping mechanisms they could benefit from, like deep breaths when they are feeling overwhelmed.

4. Discuss how school will be different

It’s a good idea to inform children who have previously been in school about the upcoming changes. Separated desks, dividers, wearing masks, distancing at recess, etc. It’s best to prepare them ahead of time for these changes so it doesn’t come as a shock to them when they arrive on the first day.

5. For those in Kindergarten, practice eating a school lunch with them

This could be one of the first times they independently eat a packed lunch, doing a trial run will take some strain off the teacher and make sure your little one is prepared. Make sure they’re able to open everything you send, like poking a straw into a juice box, or opening up snacks. Talk to them about eating out of their containers and avoiding eating off their desk.Also, teach them what is garbage, and what isn’t, to avoid lost containers and water bottles.

6. Help your child get accustomed to wearing a mask

Your child may have worn a mask into a store for a shorter period of time, but children in grade 4 and up will be wearing a mask while in the classroom which is much longer than they are accustomed to. Allow your child to pick out a few fun masks that they would be more inclined to wear. Consider a mask lanyard DIY project which prevents the mask from dropping on the floor or getting lost. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will be encouraged but not required to wear masks in indoor spaces.1 [1]

7. Prepare them for separation anxiety

With a lot of parents working from home during COVID-19, it’s safe to assume many have spent more time than usual with their children. Prepare them for being apart. Some ideas include a note in their lunchbox or packing a family photo in their desk.

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