If my Facebook feed is any evidence, folks are actually headed back to school! Yep… it’s that time of year! As a mom to younger kids, I’m singing a silent little aria for the first day of school, but getting everyone ready is no small task. I try to get their fall clothes out of storage, make sure everything has a name label, and focus on necessary paperwork. I also take advantage of back to school sales and pick up some of my faves to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year! Here are some of my back-to-school must-haves and some things just for fun!
1. Chalkboard. You know those adorable pictures that everyone posts of their children holding some beautifully hand lettered plaque declaring their grade and the year? How cute would this rustic one be in your commemorative photo this year?
No matter how excited your children might be for school to start, there are bound to be some nerves and worries. Both of these books are wonderful ways to address any anxiety or fear!
3. Pencil Case. None of my kids have to bring supplies like pens or pencils to school BUT they all love the grown up idea of having their own little bag of classroom supplies. I love the bright color of this rugged pencil case.
4. Sidewalk Chalk. If your child has gotten a little lax with handwriting practice over the summer, then simple playground chalk is a fun way to get them back in gear. The sensory feedback of a gritty asphalt or concrete surface is perfect for you writers. Not to mention just taking advantage of the last few weeks when just sitting outside and drawing is an option!
5. Vest. Fall weather in Connecticut can be chilly waiting for the bus but pretty comfortable by recess later on. Having the flexibility of a layered vest is perfect for this time of year. And… how cute is it?!
6. Girls Sandals. Eleanor prefers sandals over sneakers most of the time, but she needs to be able to run and climb and play every day at school… these Mary Janes by Morgan & Milo are my favorite! And silver? Do they come in a woman’s 8 1/2?
7. Letter Construction Activity Set. For younger children, these are a simple and fun way to review some of the letter and phonemic skills they might have lost over the summer! Aren’t they so pretty, also? These are a nice hands-on game for your preschooler.
8. Backpacks. I mean, what symbolizes back to school more than a spiffy new backpack?! Every year I wonder whether it’s necessary to get a new backpack and then I look at the dirty and frayed thing that’s been hucked in the corner since June and… yes. We need new ones. This is the one Eleanor had last year (different color scheme), but it’s affordable, customizable and comes in lots of fun color options! It’s also the right size for a younger student… big enough to hold snowsuits and boots and lunch boxes but not so big to topple her over when full!
9. Reusable Food Pouch (8 Pack). These things are LIFEsavers. Instead of taking out a second mortgage on those apple sauce pouches or yogurt smoothies that my kids LOVE… I can now give them what they want in these reusable pouches. They’re also great for babies/ baby food! The end of the pouch is like a ziplock bag so you just pour in whatever you want, pop it into a lunch box and… you’re done.
10. Thermos. I’m trying to diversify my lunch packing skills… and this is one of my favorites for when I send in hot food. It’s easy for the kids to open, pretty, and fits into their lunch boxes. It also comes in lots of different color choices.
11. Reusable Snack Bag. As easy as it is to grab the ‘snack pack’ size crackers from the market, it’s more expensive and isn’t great for the ol’ environment. These reusable bags are washable, cute and… mean I can pack all sorts of things into the kids’ lunches.
12. Sandwich Box. For the days when I don’t have something hot to pop into lunches, I’ll slap together a sandwich. We’re allowed to send food with nuts to my daughter’s school so… peanut butter and jelly is fair game!
13. Coolers. Our state mandates that lunch boxes have ice packs in them. These are big enough to cool, but flat and fit perfectly into a lunch box. We’ve got loooooots of them!
14. Labels. Lots and lots of” em. I’ve used these on our sippy cups and lunch bags for a while and they stay in place!
15. Lunch Box. Got lunch? This is the lunchbox I have for Eleanor and Oliver… it comes in lots of patterns and fits lots of food. A winning combination in the lunchbox game.
16. Water Bottle. Last but not least… these reusable cups are our family favorites. They don’t leak, come in lots of colors and are easy to use! Keeping track of the straw is the only dilemma, but that’s a problem with all of these kids’ things that come with a large hunts.
That’s it! Back to school readiness is just a click or twelve away. Good luck with reentry, everyone!
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