The beginning of the school year doesn't need to cause anxiety, to kids and many parents alike.
The fear of the unknown brings the sweats in all of us, I know because every first day of school I find myself pushing down my own jitters, while re-assuring my children that its gonna be great.
You can sugar-coat the pill however with preparation and good-old-fashion distraction.
Preparation helps kids visualise the big day.
Talking with kids about topics such as who will be in the class, or where the class is located the school grounds, if the teacher is new and where is she coming from, etc, can help kids create their own map of where they stand throughout their first day, and therefore managing expectations. When it was time for my children start the first grade, their kindergarten teacher ceremoniously walked the class to the local school for a meet-and-greet with their first grade teacher, the previous spring. By experiencing the new environment and what the class-setting will look like, the kids know what to expect and fear of the unknown is minimised. How amazing is that? The joys of living in Switzerland.
Distraction on the other hand is a life-saver for moments where reason eludes the young and excited minds, and fear unfortunately tries to take over.
When all else fails, its helpful to have stock of things that can distract children from their stress-causing focus, like the novelty of a personalised stationary set, a new eraser, or markers that are also necessary in the school bag. We created the list where kids and teens will find their unique classroom materials while being stocked up for the year to come. They are all available online for ordering in Switzerland!
Switzerland is ideal to introduce your children to activities in nature.
The mountains are stimulating and challenging all year round, and it is never too late to start exploring them.
The natural beauty and accessibility of the Swiss Alps make it easier to convince reluctant pre-teens and teens to join you for family time, even if you need to lure them with the instagram-friendly imagery. Melinda Taylor Schoutens mother of two, an educator and co-author of the book series, Fresh Air Kids Switzerland, has personally witnessed the power of nature immersion on her own children and shares what triggered her to follow this path while she speaks about the specific benefits of being outdoors. Read about her family's journey here.
For those that want to make a weekend trip of it, there are various mountain huts around the Swiss Alps already tested by Fresh Air Kids, that cater to the intrepid souls that are brave enough to trail the entire family along.
As the weather can be tricky, be sure to prepare the whole family with the right clothes and shoes. We created a list of the different types of hiking boots that cater to each terrain, so that your outdoor experience can be as fun as possible.
The school year is about to start very soon, and in some Cantons it already has, so here are some educational and fun ideas on how to enjoy the last free summer days with kids, around Zurich
0 – 6 Years old
4+ Years old
5+ Years old
Pre-teens & Teens
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