How about a backpack stuffing party? Picture: Pixabay

Of course going back to school can be fun, you just need to know where to start, writes Marchelle Abrahams.

As the second term of the school year gets into full swing, children around the country are settling in. Or are they?

For any child starting school for the first time, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. And parents, relax, it’s perfectly normal for them to still have feelings of anxiety.

“Starting the next phase in your child’s life can be anxiety-provoking and simultaneously exciting for both you and them,” says clinical psychologist Liane Lurie.

To help alleviate their fears, we’ve come up with a few fun ideas.

Party time

There’s nothing that psychs up a little person more than a party. There are some great ideas out there to inspire them to get into the groove. suggests a backpack-stuffing party. Simply get your guests to bring an item listed on your child’s stationery list and assemble them in a line. Here comes the fun part: get your little one to fill their backpack according to each item on the list. Even if they’re set with stationary for the year, most parents know it never last the duration, so a backup always comes in handy.

READ: Back to school blues: how to help your child with shyness


Kids thrive on routine, but it’s your job as a parent to make the transition as painless as possible.

Here’s an idea: download a few printable lunchbox jokes and include in their packed lunch every day. Picture:

Help your child establish a new morning routine, even if it involves drawing up a task chart with pictures to help guide them on their new journey,” advises Lurie, who has experience working with adolescents, adults and families.

Children are expected to learn a lot in the school day, and it can be overwhelming and tiring.

Just because they are older, it doesn’t mean nap time off the table. Make time for afternoon naps and relaxation, says Lurie. Once again, if incorporated into their routine, they’ll know once they are home, it’s a chance to unwind.

Lunch box jokes

Professional photographer Kristen Duke wanted her children to remember that she loves them, even while away at school. And so, she come up with the idea of printable lunch box jokes.

“Two years ago I introduced the first set of lunch jokes, and they were so popular with readers as well as my kids, so I made many more sets,” she writes on her personal blog.

Now the mom of four has made over 100 printable jokes, and brain teasers for older children.

Download her printables here:

Lunch box treats

How many times have you painstakingly cut up pieces of fruit with careful love and attention, only to have them come back, bruised and untouched in the lunchbox?

Checkers’ Oh My Goodness range.

Big retailers have now jumped on board and come up with healthy lunchbox treats, which unbeknownst to your little ones, are filled with healthy goodness.

Checkers has their Oh My Goodness range - a selection of healthy lunchbox snacks which contain no preservatives.

Woolies has also now introduced an on-the-go snack range. They are portion-controlled and contain no added preservatives or flavouring.

Something special for teacher

Encourage your child to explore their crafty side with an easy DIY project that they can gift to the other important person in their life - their teacher.

Simply fill a glass jar with colourful toy magnets and then insert a few sprigs of wild flowers. And voila! They’ve just created a beautiful floral display which their teacher can proudly show off on their desk.

The last word…

It’s important to remember, above all, that as much as this is a time of new structure, it is also a time of exploration and growth.

“Nurture with kindness as opposed to the pressure to succeed - everything will come together,” concludes Lurie.