Back to School: Tips For Preparing Your Elementary School Child with Local Resources

Boys in SchoolSummer is rushing to an end and parents everywhere are on the hunt for new school supplies, clothes, and backpacks. It’s easy to forget for a moment that it might be a scary or nerve-wracking time for your kids as well. We’ve provided tips to prepare your child for elementary school. Make sure to check out the local stores listed at the end for your purchasing needs.

For most elementary school children, returning to school is fun. They get to see their friends again and show off all their new stuff. But they might also be a little nervous. Perhaps your child didn’t get the teacher they were hoping for or won’t be in the same class as his or her best friend.  Maybe you’ve moved recently and your child is starting at a new school.

Here are some fun and inexpensive tips for starting the school year off with a smile:

Fun Folders – If your school allows it, let your child pick out some fun folders to use. There’s such a wide variety nowadays, from favorite cartoon and movie characters to favorite musicians.

Stickers – If you are unable to find suitable folders, get packs of stickers. They can be used to decorate folders as well as pencil cases.

Zipper pulls – Fun little add-ons to a backpack can make it personalized and cheerful. You have to know your child though. If you think these might serve as a distraction, perhaps skip them.

Friendship bracelets – Visit your local craft store for embroidery floss and have your child make some friendship bracelets to hand out on the first day. Here is a link to instructions for different styles of bracelet.

Gift for teacher – It sounds silly and perhaps a bit old-fashioned, but children, especially younger ones, truly enjoy pleasing their teacher with a surprise like an apple or orange. Teachers enjoy it as well!

Special lunch – Pack an extra special lunch for the first day chock full of your child’s favorite treats (excluding candy, of course). Cut his or her sandwich into a heart shape or make a homemade treat, like Rice Krispies treats, rather than the store bought version. Homemade always tastes a bit yummier, perhaps because of all the love that goes into them!

Hide a note – One of the easiest ways to send off your child with a smile is to hide a special note you know he or she will find. The lunchbox is a great place, as well as a pencil case. Just write a line or two telling your child you are so proud of her or that you love him so much. If you have a pre-reader or maybe a child who isn’t a strong reader yet, try drawing a funny picture or huge heart. He or she will know that you are thinking of them!

The first day back to school is exciting and fun, but could also come with a touch of anxiety.  The tips above, whether you use just one or all of them, will help your child face Day One with a smile. Check out our earlier article on special Back to School Breakfasts that you can whip up to make the day super special!

Local Resources for Supplies

AC Moore Arts & Crafts
Where: Locations in Levittown, Carle Place, Hauppauge, and Holbrook
Contact Info: Multiple locations, please visit website for details

Ace Handicraft
 314 Hempstead Tpke., West Hempstead, NY
Contact Info:


Blick Art Materials
 168 B Glen Cove Road, Carle Place, NY
Contact Info:


Island School and Art Supply
 Locations in Medford, Oakdale, St. James and Seaford, NY
Contact Info:
 Please see website for individual locations’ addresses


Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
Where: Locations in Westbury, West Babylon, Holbrook, and Centereach
Contact Info: Multiple locations, please visit website for addresses


Lakeshore Learning Materials
Where: 2079 Hillside Ave, New Hyde Park
Contact Info: (516) 616-9360


Michaels Craft Store
Where: Locations in Levittown, Westbury, Massapequa, Huntington Station, Oceanside, Manhasset, Commack, and Bay Shore
Contact Info: Multiple locations, please visit website for addresses


Utrecht Art Supplies
 211 Glen Cove Road, Carle Place, NY
Contact Info: 

By Allison Profeta

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Tips for Mothers Returning to Work

Tips and Recipes for Back to School Breakfasts

Tips from Local Parents on Packing a Healthy School Lunch

Back to School: Tips for Prepping Your Child for Elementary School


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