Tips to Make Back to School Easier for the Whole Family
Summer break is almost over! Whether you are sad to see it go, or antsy for the kids to get back in school, here are some tips to help your family get a great start to the new school year!
Make supply shopping easier on yourself this year. Many big box retailers, such as Target and Wal-Mart, now offer free, expedited shipping to compete with Amazon. Instead of trekking to the store and braving the chaos, shop online this year and let the school supplies come to you!
Ease the kids (and yourself) into the school year schedule. Break the habit of late nights and sleeping in several days before school starts. Have the kids go to bed at a reasonable hour, and then let them practice waking early, getting dressed, and eating breakfast in preparation for the first day.
Get your kids’ input on what they would like to eat for lunch and breakfast. A new school year is a great time to reset the menu, and think of creative ideas for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Encourage healthy dishes that are easy and fun, such as pretzel stick “skewers” with cubed cheese and ham, or pinwheel rolls with soft tortillas. Use creative cookie cutters to transform the boring sandwich into stars, hearts, smiley faces, and other fun shapes!
Re-think your organization strategy. Create a central spot with a large dry erase calendar and bulletin board to record important dates and keep important papers. As soon as papers come home, toss the unneeded ones and place anything to save in a designated hanging folder for each child.
Do as much prep as you can in advance. Weekends are a great time to stock up on easy-to-pack items such as juice boxes and cheese sticks, distribute cookies and crackers in individual baggies, and freeze yogurt tubes or PBJs to make the mornings easier. Each evening, kids can help to make lunches, pick out their clothes, and make sure they have everything they need in their backpacks for the next day. Consider meal planning for busy weeknight dinners – make casseroles, stews, or other bulk meals on the weekend, or try a meal delivery service.
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