We are in the dog days of summer and although it might seem too soon to talk about it the kids will be back to school soon! My kids start back in less than a month. I have found that if I spend a little time now making a checklist of our back to school needs I can work through it a little at a time instead of going mad that last week before school starts to get everything done in time.
Here is what is on my list:
1. Clothes Inventory
I like to spend some time going through each child’s clothing to see what they already have and what they are going to need to go back to school. I like to do this 1 or 2 kids at a time on their laundry day. I have them work with me to pull out anything that they have outgrown or that has holes in it. Then we make a list of what they still need. Once we have the list we shop our bins of hand me downs and if we don’t have everything then we add it to the shopping list.
2. Buy the Needed Clothes
As much as possible we shop thrift stores followed by Target, Old Navy and Ross. Clothes shopping is my least favorite activity. But it has to be done. I only take 1-2 kids at a time to make it less overwhelming.
3. Lunch Boxes
It only takes a few minutes to gather up the lunch boxes and containers from prior years but it helps so much when the kids are ready to go back to school to make sure they have what they need! The last couple of years we have gotten lunch boxes from Costco that have lasted really well. They come with ice packs and containers.
What says back to school better than a new backpack? I am always hopeful that at least some of the backpacks are still usable the next year but it seems like most of them have a broken zipper or seam by the end of the year. We did get a High Sierra backpack from Costco last year for one of our daughters and it stood up well and she can still use it this year! We are definitely going to buy more of them for this year.
Do your kids always grow over the summer too? Now is a great time to find sales on shoes and make sure everyone has shoes that fit well to go back to school!
6. School Supplies
Now here is my love language! Give me $100 to spend on notebooks, pens, pencils and all the school supplies and I am a happy girl! I like to stock up on things I know they will use throughout the year because it costs so much more later in the year but sometimes I stock up too much on a particular thing. So before I go shopping it’s helpful for me to double check the supplies we already have on hand. I know many schools don’t give you lists until right before school starts but it helps if you get the basic needs and only have to shop for the couple of extra things at the last minute. Everything gets picked over if you wait until the last minute and it is so much more stressful!
7. Restore Good Bedtime Routines
Over the summer we are a little more lax on bedtimes and our normal routines. I find it helpful if a couple weeks before school starts we slowly move back to earlier bedtimes and wake up times so it doesn’t come as quite a shock when school starts. One of my favorite tools for helping with this is our Echo Dots. We set daily reminders to help us start our bedtime routines, brush our teeth long enough, turn out the lights and alarms to wake everyone up in the morning.
8. Plan a Fun Activity
We love to plan a fun activity to signal the end of summer. It could be a trip to the ice cream shop, a camping trip, or a water park. Having markers to signal the change of a season really helps with transitions and is a great way to make memories that will last a lifetime.
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