Is it September already? This time of year is bittersweet for both parents and kids. Summer is almost over, and it’s time to trade sand toys and swimsuits for school supplies and new shoes. But the fun doesn’t have to end! Here are some great ways to make easing into the school year a little easier: 1. Throw a “School Year’s Eve” party. Decorate the house, prepare healthy snacks together and make some resolutions for the year ahead. 2. Arrange a visit from the “Back-To-School Fairy.” Who doesn’t love waking up to a surprise at their bedroom door? Leave a small gift and an encouraging message. It’s sure to get the day started on a high note. 3. Capture the moment! There is only one First Day of School for the year. Don’t forget to snap a few pictures before the school bus arrives. Get the younger ones involved by decorating a sign they can hold showing their grade level. The older kids may be less enthusiastic to pose, but years from now you’ll both cherish the pictures. 4. Leave some love. Let them know you’re thinking about them and hide a little note in their lunch bag or backpack. Tweens may pretend they’re embarrassed, but they’ll secretly love to hear your words of encouragement during the day. 5. Share a special snack. Create a special school-themed snack to surprise them at the end of the day. Try some of these: Textbook sandwiches A squirmy, wormy apple String cheese pencils 6. Plan a fantastic finish! The first week of school can be taxing on kids and parents. Schedule some family time to unwind together – have a pizza party, make a movie date, let loose with a game of laser tag at iPlay America or battle it out over a few rounds of bowling. We hope these ideas will help you kick off the school season in a great way. Starting September 2, iPlay America will keep the celebration going by opening at 3pm with two after-school specials, each for $19.95 each, Monday through Friday from 3-7 p.m. Options include the Triple Play Pass, which includes unlimited rides, a $10 game card and 100 arcade tickets, and the new Double Play Pass, which includes unlimited video games and unlimited laser tag. Treat the kids (or yourself) for a break from the back-to-school grind! Wishing you a wonderful end to your summer and a fantastic return to the school year!