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  • NikP

Back to school prep...yes, already ;)

Updated: Jul 23, 2023

Group of young kids walking with backpacks in front of school.

Summer goes, really fast. Take a look at our All Year Kids early back to school prep list. You can use it now to make things easier come end of August and early September.

  • Find a school supplies checklist for all ages. Use a pre-created checklist to get you thinking about the various supplies that may be required for your kids this coming school year. No need to follow these lists 100% (I definitely do not), but they are great for getting started on thinking about what you may need to get organized or buy. Here’s two that I like: Walmart and Oxford Learning.

  • Clean last year's items. Lunch bags, backpacks and shoes get super dirty. Devote some time to do a thorough cleaning ahead of the first day back. I use a mini vacuum for back packs and shoes; even better, check the labels to see if you can toss everything directly in the washing machine or spray down outside with those hose and leave to dry in the sun.

  • Sort, wash, or donate last year’s clothes. Kids grow quickly and clothes also get worn out. Spend some time sorting through last year's clothes; wash what you will keep and donate what you can part with. For clothes that are too worn out to donate, most cotton shirts make for great indoor or outdoor rags.

  • Buy school gear early. From lunch bags, water bottles, backpacks and more, buy what your kids need early. You'll have the best selection and won't miss out on the in-demand designs they want. My #1 favourite kids water bottles are Thermos Funtainer. They are reasonably priced and my son has used these daily for more than three years - they hold up amazingly! And no leaks...ever. Plus, both bottle and lid is dishwasher safe. Check out the huge selection of designs and licensed characters like Paw Patrol, Spiderman, Little Mermaid, and more :)

  • Secure name labels. For young kids, personalized name labels on everything are a must! Label companies usually make combo packs designed for back to school with a variety of sizes. Find lots of choice in patterns, colours, sizes on Amazon or Mabel's Labels. Once you have the labels, get to sticking on all that school gear :) Kids can help too! In a pinch, I also use painter's tape and a Sharpie!

  • Get a calendar. I love using a calendar with my son who thrives when he knows what is coming up each week and month. You can start by marking the first day of school, holidays, appointments, Professional Development days, school-wide observances or celebrations, and more. Last year, my son loved drawing a pizza slice on his school pizza lunch days 😊 Stickers on specific days also make it fun for young kids. Find a huge selection of calendars for kids on Amazon - choose from paper, white board, magnetic, wood, and more.

  • Make your daily before-out-the-door checklist. Use the summer to create a daily checklist that you and your kids can use as a last check before heading out the door in the morning once back at school. Things to include: water bottle, lunch, homework, indoor shoes, seasonal items like rain boots or umbrella, and more. Involve your kids as well: have them think about everything they need and make their list. A parent version for you is helpful too.

  • Start bedtime and wake ups earlier. As summer winds down, start moving bedtime earlier in 15-minute increments until you get to the ideal bedtime for the start of school. Same goes for wake up. This is especially important for young kids. If kids resist the earlier bedtime, consider using the extra time as quiet wind down before starting their usual bedtime routine. Good luck 😊

Here's to enjoying the rest of the summer and a successful start to the school year!


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