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The 5 Senses: Help Your Kids Ease Back Into School Time

By Naomi Cook

Do you remember that commercial for Staples where the Dad is skipping around, gleefully tossing school supplies into a shopping cart, with his sullen kids moving sluggishly behind him, while “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” is playing?  That was aired in mid-July!  Meanwhile, the school year for your children may have ended just a month before!

So what can you do to get your children excited and motivated for the school year that is now upon us?  The simple answer is to keep it fresh and fun!  Here are some elements to focus on now to help get your kids excited about starting the school year…as excited as they can be, that is!


  • Color and Pattern – Incorporate your child’s favorite colors and patterns into their binders and accessories.  There are many more fun options these days, versus when I was in school, when primary colors were the primary options!  Or buy the basics, which can be cheaper, and dress them up with colored and patterned duct tape.  If you have more than one child, this will help define which items belong to each of them.
  • Lighting – Make sure that the lighting is bright wherever your child sets up to do their homework.  Also, make sure that their surroundings are as clutter free as possible, to avoid distractions.  Consider keeping a closed bin nearby; to temporarily house those items that may be in the way.

Hearing:  Music can be a motivator depending on the type.  While metal hair bands may not help much aside from giving you a headache (!), some soft ballads and instrumental pieces can be soothing after a stressful day at school, or work for that matter!

Taste:  Work on creating some healthy and delicious lunches and snack ideas that are easy to pull together for that inevitable rushed morning.  Look on Pinterest for ideas and spend some afternoons with your child now, playing chef.  If a child is involved, they may be more willing to try something new.

Smell:   Scents can evoke such feelings as productivity and stress relief.  Try candles, or essential oils, in any of the following scents to help you and your kids face an evening of homework after a long day at school.

  • Lemon promotes concentration and calmness and helps when feeling angry, anxious and run down.
  • Lavender controls emotional stress and can sooth headaches as well as migraines and feelings of nervous tension and depression.
  • Jasmine calms nerves and produces feelings of confidence, optimism and energy.
  • Rosemary improves memory retention and fights exhaustion, headaches and mental fatigue.
  • Cinnamon improves concentration and focus and helps fight metal fatigue as well.
  • Peppermint is one of my favorites, especially when writing articles like this!  It helps to boost energy, invigorate the mind, promote concentration and stimulate clear thinking.

Touch:  As part of their back to school clothes shopping, have your kids pick out comfy clothes especially for the afternoon and evening hours.  There is no need for them to be restricted by a uniform or tighter fitting pants and jeans.  A soft throw would be a nice addition too on chillier nights.

By incorporating these 5 senses now, before school starts, hopefully you will be on track to an organized and fun new school year!

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