Where did July go? Better yet, where did January go? How are we already talking about back to school must dos, when we are barely scratching summer’s surface? Apparently, in spite of the validity of this question, it’s all the world, their kids, and their kids’ dogs are talking about these days. What to wear? What to do? What to buy?
Somehow I’m well on my way to dodging the bullet and beating the rush as I was given a wonderful opportunity earlier this summer to attend Blogger Bash where digital influencers were introduced to some of the most amazing kid product brands out there. This gave me a healthy head start in planning out my back to school must dos. I was so ready to get things going, I strapped my too-old-for-a-stroller-almost-kindergartener and vigorously made my way through the exciting streets of Manhattan.
It was pretty intense entering the enormous yacht on pier 81, being greeted by so many incredible up-and-coming products that any kiddo would be lucky enough to get their hands on. Some were familiar, some were completely foreign – but quality was the common theme among all of the products I came across at this amazing event.
Some were just plain adorable and warranted an immediate 2 chubby thumbs up by Little Mama.
And some were an absolute necessity. Because we all know at the end of the day, we want to feed our kids’ minds and souls as much as their bodies.
But more than just finding the right products was seeing what really stood out to us as far as what we need to do to prepare ourselves for the BIG K! Little Mama is only weeks from starting her first day of Kindergarten, and this definitely goes down as a milestone for our family. Not surprisingly, I am slightly losing sleep over the whole thing. But that doesn’t stop me from being hyper vigilant with what needs to be done as we get this Little Mama ready for big girl school. My lists are pinned to the cork board, and ready to be checked off one by one. But let’s narrow it down to our five fave must-dos when it comes to Little Mama‘s back to school life-altering event, happening in mere weeks.
Here are the 5 back to school must dos…
1:: BACK TO SCHOOL MUST DOS – Get Their Eyes Checked
It was literally an eye opening experience going through the set up at the Think About Your Eyes booth. They led me through a virtual reality vision challenge, promoting visual health, particularly in children attending school. For a solid 5 minutes I experienced being a child with vision problems. I felt the lack of control and the confusion first hand, which in fact, made me think of myself as a child. Having visual issues myself, I am so grateful to my parents who recognized my challenges at an early age, and immediately arranged for an eye examination. What this revealed to my parents, was that my vision correlated almost entirely with my struggle to keep up with the classroom pace. For a 7 year old, it was mind blowing how much my vision (and vision related challenges) had affected my learning.
Even more mind blowing, is seeing the statistics they presented to me. 60% of parents don’t feel an eye exam is an essential part of a child’s healthy checkup schedule. I’m here to tell you – it was the very thing I needed to learn optimally. And this moment definitely reminded me that getting Little Mama‘s vision checked regularly, is top of my list. CHECK!
2:: BACK TO SCHOOL MUST DOS – Get Their Lunch Pack Sorted Out
You know me, I like things to be practical, I love things to be functional, and I actually need things to be cute. Lunch packs are no exception. Now that Little Mama has officially graduated from quick snacks at preschool (where an apple, cheese, and some carrots will suffice), to now entering the one hour lunch zone – how her meals and snacks are packed, is of great importance to me. I actually stay up at night thinking about what I can do to ensure my picky eater of a monkey is finally convinced that eating is actually an amazing experience.
But more than how her meals are packed, I want to find something that lasts and actually becomes part of her routine. The Bentology bento lunch boxes are exactly what big mama ordered. And I was thrilled to get a good feel of them at the Bentology booth. What stood out the most for me was the easy access translucent containers, the high quality insulated sleeve, and the slim design. The goal is to provide Little Mama the inability to forget to eat, and to make the idea of eating lunch as fun as recess. And good gravy, how adorable are they?
Another snack container that caught my eye was Precidio Design‘s Snack in the Box Eco-Friendly Container and Drink in the Box Container collection. After trying so many water bottles and snack containers, I was absolutely drawn to this product’s durability, functionality, and overall aesthetic. I love how choosing to pack your food and drink with top quality materials and clever design, can absolutely promote and support a healthy lifestyle. I mean, who wouldn’t want to drink their required water intake out of one of these beauties?
3:: BACK TO SCHOOL MUST DOS – Don’t Dread the Threads
I would be remiss to not include apparel as a priority in our list of back to school must dos. However, I must admit, I am not a big fan of the wardrobe seasonal haul. I know – surprising, right? If you haven’t already noticed, Little Mama and I like to go against the grain. We’re no stranger to trend, and trend behaviors – particularly the big rush for back to school apparel. But we do things a little differently. We like to avoid the crowds and take a step back in the fashion department when it comes to matters of learning. Don’t get me wrong – we love our bold cardis, high socks, and rubber soled maryjanes. But somehow choosing between a roller bag versus a canvas back pack, scoping out the perfect coiled notebook and required mediums to match, or finding the right helmet to wear on the bike ride to school – takes the front seat before worrying about yet another staple white tee and a matching head band. I don’t know if it’s the smells or the textures of new school supplies, but whatever it is, it surprisingly becomes top priority while inspiring a more efficient way of getting new clothes for the new year.
With that said, KIDPIK immediately caught my eye. Lately, Little Mama has been completely taking over the reins when it comes to selecting her outfit-for-the-day. WIN for mommy! See, as much as I loved styling my daughter (though, as a stylist, it’s actually easier to style kids other than your own…), it was always my goal for her to harness her own sense of style. But sometimes the options are seemingly endless and neither of us have the time, creativity, or energy to come up with any fashion ideas.
What a cool concept! They deliver personalized fashionable outfits directly to your door! Their objective is to let their stylists do the work in removing the time and guesswork from a child’s shopping experience. And the best part, she’ll never really know what will greet her when she opens up that box. Besides, who doesn’t love receiving fun packages in the mail?
4:: BACK TO SCHOOL MUST DOS – Give Them A Taste of The Curriculum
We are always trying to get ahead of the game when it comes to learning. But it is never easy to convince a preschooler-almost-kindergartener to sit down and recite words and add numbers all day. I can’t even do that without sneaking in a yawn or two. I mean, it is summer after all. We should all be playing!
So when we bumped into School Zone who introduced The Little Scholar Mini to us – we found a learning tool that would address both areas, providing a healthy balance of learning and play. It’s a tablet created by early childhood educators – and largely based on the core curriculum from preschool through grade 1. My favourite part is that it’s ready to play with or without wi-fi. The struggle is real when it comes to finding the perfect opportunity to be connected online. Having the capability of working offline just opens up new options for us. Instead of Little Mama finding sneaky ways to get her paws on my smartphone, she will have a wonderful learning tool that she can call her own.
5:: BACK TO SCHOOL MUST DOS – Pick up Their Fave and Functional Pencil Cases
Office Depot/Office Max featured some of their new back to school gear which immediately grabbed my attention. The bright colors and designs, paying close attention to the fun and unique details of each item really made me appreciate how far we’ve come since my school days. Durability has vastly improved, but just as intriguing, are the bright bold colors and unique styles. Love how our kiddo’s individual tastes come out as they carefully (and painstakingly) select which cases, books, and accessories they want for the school year.
My eyes are set on any of the pencil pouches, particularly the Slim Divoga Pencil Pouch from the Whimsical Wonder Collection in blush pink.
Bonus :: BACK TO SCHOOL MUST DOS – Ward Off the Funky Kid Smells
I know I said five faves, but I can’t forget a little treat for mom! Hands up if you agree that kids have the amazing ability to come home from school appearing and sometimes smelling like they just spent the whole day rolling in a bed of rotten bananas, grass, and sweat. When I got a whiff of the Fresh Wave Odor removing laundry booster, I was immediately sold. Even more exciting, is that it is made of only natural ingredients with no use of harsh chemicals. Win for Little Mama, and DEFINITELY a win for Mommy!
There were a ton of wonderful products for kids and the whole family which I will be sharing in a later post. For now, I hope my top 5 things to add to the list of back to school must dos will help make the transition from sun fun, to school cool as seamless as possible.
And since you’ll be getting an early start with checking things off your back to school must do list as summer comes to a close, don’t forget to visit our fabulous co-host of #5faves at The Koala Mom for her list of favourite road trip memories! We would love to hear some of YOUR five favorite things too. Link up below!
Start checking off your to-dos and get started now!
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