MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With the State Fair starting Thursday, we all know that means summer is almost over and it’s nearly time to go back to school.

But you can make the transition easier if you plan ahead. Local parenting and child development expert Denise Daniels has some ways parents can make back to school easier for kids. Daniels said that parents can help ease anxiety and fears by preparing kids for what their year will be like.

That can be done by familiarizing them with the school and teachers. But her No. 1 tip is communication.

“What they have to do is talk to them about, are they looking forward to it, are they nervous? It’s certainly OK to say all the kids are nervous, even the teachers are nervous,” Daniels said. “But remember all the fun they had last year? If they have anxiety that continues, be sure and be talking to the teachers at the school to find out if there’s another reason your child is having a hard time.”

Other things you can do is have your students practice studying by reading 10 minutes per day. Adjusting their sleep schedule now can also help get them ready for the school year. Daniels said that can be hard and parents tend to forget it.

Set the alarm a little earlier in the morning, and get to bed a little earlier each day. That helps from a biological standpoint and also makes sure your child won’t be sleepy the first few days back.

And finally, review safety measures like where the bus stop is and have them ride the route if they bike to school.

Also, make the first day of school a celebratory event and create a tradition. For example, get ice cream or have pizza.

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