Parenting

6 helpful products to ease first day of school nerves

These items may help put them at ease.

Little boy and dad holding hands and walking to school Credit: Getty Images / VioletaStoimenova

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There’s nothing quite like the first day of school. Packing up a book bag filled to the brim with brand new supplies, picking out a new outfit and maybe a pair of new shoes. A fresh haircut to impress a new teacher and a classroom full of new faces. But for some kids, all of those new things can feel a bit too overwhelming and before you know it, the first day jitters have set in and all of those fun new things suddenly seem unfamiliar and scary.

If you have a child who is feeling nervous about the first day, consider investing in one—or more—of these six items that can help ease their back-to-school anxiety. The perfect addition to any school supply list, they work to assure that your little one is feeling brave on their very first day.

1. A bracelet that keeps you connected

Bracelet
Credit: Carrie Clover

A matching bracelet keeps you close even when you're not with them.

It’s not always a smooth transition when it’s time for a kiddo to let go of their parent’s hand and begin their first day, which is where the Back-To-School Mommy and Me Bracelet Set steps up to fill the void. Arriving on a lace detailed card that reads in part, “Here are 2 bracelets one BIG and one small. I'll wear the big one and I'll think of you. The small one is yours, so you will think of me too,” the bracelet set serves as a visible reminder of the connection between a parent and child. Featuring a simple heart charm on a colorfast rolo floss chain, the set comes in a navy color for the parent and pink for the child. Adjusting to size with a sliding knot, it’s a simple design that is perfect for little wrists, and nervous hearts.

Get the Mommy and Me Bracelet Set on Amazon for $20

2. A book that beats around the bush and still hits the mark

Lena's Shoes
Credit: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

A charming book about first-day-of-school jitters.

Lena has a problem: Her shoes are nervous to go to their very first day of kindergarten. And that is a very big problem because Lena herself is excited to go, but her shoes, not so much. Written by Keith Calabrese and Pura Belpré Award-winner Juana Medina, Lena's Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma is the tale of Lena and the conflicting feelings she is having about her first day of school. Excited, but also secretly nervous, Lena’s open dialogue is accompanied by bold illustrations that offer kids the opportunity to process the big feelings little people have, in an indirect and non-confrontational manner. Aimed at kids ages 4 to 8 and available in hardcover or on Kindle, Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous is a great tool for kids who might be a bit more nervous than they’d like to admit.

Get Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma on Amazon for $11.39

3. A card that sends lunchtime hugs

Lunch notes
Credit: Emily Cromwell Design

Tuck a cute and colorful note in their lunch box.

There’s nothing better than a hard-earned meal after a long morning of work. But lunchtime can be a scary endeavor for kids who are still finding a buddy to sit with, which is why a simple reminder that a child isn’t truly alone and a little boost for their self-esteem can help carry them through the rest of the day. Lunchbox Notes For Kids is the perfect solution and sure to be the sweetest addition to any lunch box. Arriving in a cute little box containing 60 individual cards, they feature adorable illustrations and a variety of inspirational and motivational messages including “be brave, you got this” and “smile I love you!” Made of heavyweight cardstock that is 3.5 x 3.5 inches with a glossy finish on the illustration side, each card also offers room on the back for a handwritten note. They're also made entirely in the U.S. by a small family business.

Get Lunchbox Notes For Kids on Amazon for $10.95

4. A stuffed animal that eats your fears (literally)

worry doll
Credit: Haywire Group

A cute and cuddly way to make worries go away.

A heart full of worries makes for a nervous little kiddo and sometimes the best way to get rid of those worries is to hand them off to someone else. Or in this case, feed them to a Worry Eater. Worry Eaters are soft, squeezable, stuffed friends that can literally gobble up a child’s first day jitters. Just feed a note or whisper a secret into a Worry Eater’s mouth and then zip it up tight, because they promise to keep whatever is bothering a tiny student safe until it doesn’t seem so scary anymore. Available in a small or large size, Worry Eaters come in a multitude of wide-eyed styles, and have already claimed eight prestigious awards.

Get a large Worry Eater on Amazon starting at $17.80

5. A planner that lets kids take control

Erin Condren planner
Credit: Erin Condren

Let kids take charge of their year with a planner made just for them.

Sometimes the scariest part of any situation is feeling like you don’t have any control over it, which is why Erin Condren’s Kid’s Planner is such an awesome product. Designed with kids in mind, the planner encourages kids to take control of their daily life. Containing monthly calendar pages with stickers to mark dates they are looking forward to, the planner encourages them to write down their thoughts on various aspects of their month, log habits, and track savings, while using inspirational pages to get kids thinking about the ways they plan to be kind, proud, or unique for the upcoming month. With games also splashed throughout, the planner is 5x7 inches, 114 pages long, made of heavyweight paper, and exactly what kids need to feel centered in their daily schedule.

Get The Erin Condren Kid’s Planner for $28

6. A book that helps returning students feel at ease

First Day of School
Credit: HarperCollins

Older kids who are nervous will respond to this book.

It’s not just kindergarten and first grade that feel scary to some kids. Beginning any new year may cause feelings of anxiety, as kids wonder what might be different this year, from last. First Day Of School by Anna Rockwell explores that, with the kids from the fictional Mrs. Madoff’s class. Will everyone look different than they did last year? What if they aren’t all in the same class together again? Will they know how to find their seat? The kids in Mrs. Madoff’s class aren’t completely sure, but in the end come to realize that new beginnings can be nice, even if things aren’t exactly the same. And for a nervous child, that reassurance can go a long way! Written for children ages 4 to 8, Lizzy Rockwell’s illustrations bring the book’s 40 pages to life.

Get First Day Of School at Target for $16.99

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