One way we amp up the excitement over school starting back up is to choose some great school-themed books from the library and our own book shelves. I also swear by this activity for first time preschoolers! I really and truly feel like it helped ease my kids' fears about the whole "preschool thing" and to see what goes on at school, which is a foreign concept to them at that point.
Here are a few favorites that we have in our home library:
The Berenstain Bears Go to School- Stan and Jan Berenstain
This was a childhood favorite of mine, and my girls love it too. The entire series is filled with colorful, detailed illustrations and sweet stories, but this one focuses on Sister Bear's experience going to kindergarten. It's also great for preschoolers, as many of the activities in the story are things that happen in preschool.
Dog Goes to Nursery School- a Little Golden Book by Lucille Hammond
Another one I remember in our home from my childhood. I read this religiously to Natalie before she started the Young Three's preschool class. It did a great job of addressing common anxieties.
Fancy Nancy: JoJo's First Day Jitters- Jane O'Connor
I like this one because Nancy, the big sister, helps by encouraging her sister about starting school. A great example for older siblings.
The Berenstain Bears Go Back to School- Mike and Jan Berenstain
It doesn't quite have the charm of the older Berenstain Bear book, but this one is set to rhyme. Geared towards slightly older kids who are heading back as opposed to first-timers.
The Night Before Kindergarten- Natasha Wing
We love most of the "Night Before" books, and this one is no exception.
The Night Before First Grade- Natasha Wing
Very much like the one above. Was nice for Natalie, who was transitioning from half day kindergarten to full day first grade.
Great books we've checked out from our local library:
D.W.'s Guide to Preschool- Marc Brown
By the beloved author of the Arthur series, this one is told with D.W.'s matter-of-fact narration. A great look at the ins and outs of a day at preschool.
Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! - Nancy Carlson
I liked this one because it was realistic. Henry is super excited about kindergarten, until he gets there. Shows his progression through the first day and how much fun school can be.
First Day Jitters- Julie Dannenberg
This one has a great twist at the end. Made us laugh out loud!
Things I Learned in Second Grade- Amy Schwartz
This one is great because it shows how much a child can grow, learn, and develop in a year. The kids like the funny parts.
Amanda Pig, Schoolgirl- Jean Van Leeuwen
A sweet story that teaches kids to be on the lookout for other boys and girls who might be nervous about the first day!
Do you have any favorite books, traditions, or activities that help ease the back to school jitters? I'd love to hear!