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Back to School: What About the Toddler?

When your baby is small, they won't even notice that, come August, the house clears out while older siblings head off to school.

But as they get older, toddlers start to recognize that the big kids are off to school and they aren't invited. It's hard to be the little one left home during the school year!

Here are eight ways to help your toddler feel like they're part of the back-to-school excitement.

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1. Pack them a lunch

If you're already making lunches for the big kids, you might as well make one for your little one. They'll feel part of the action, plus it saves you from having to pull out all the lunch stuff again.

2. Get them a backpack

My little one has no real need for a backpack yet, but she LOVES stuffing hers full of toys and carting it around.

3. Use a coloring book for "homework"

As if being left at home isn't bad enough, then the older siblings come home and do homework. Let them join the fun by getting them a coloring book or very basic workbook.

4. Snap a back-to-school photo

Even if they aren't going back to school, most toddlers love to ham it up for the camera. And who wants to be left out of a photo shoot?

5. Go to library storytime

It's like like mini-school for little ones (and free!). Making it part of the routine helps them feel like they have classes, too.

6. Pick out some school supplies

A box of crayons, safety scissors and a glue stick go a long way!

7. Lay out outfits the night before

Just like you would for older siblings, lay out clothing before they go to bed. As they get older, they can start trying to dress themselves (and is anything cuter than a backward shirt or shoes on the wrong feet?)

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8. Read books

Nothing is more school-like than books. Set aside a few minutes each day to read aloud to your little one (if you need suggestions, here are 100 really great picture books).

Image via Janssen Bradshaw

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