Julia here. I can't believe it's August already. We have been traveling for a few weeks in Europe and time flew by. We explored unique sights, culture, had lots of fun and amazing food. Anyway, now it's a great time to jump back into your routine, getting the kids prepared for school, teaching them more responsibility and involve them in chores. We know how tough it can be to get your kids in the mindset of learning. That’s why we’re here to help :)
1. Morning Routine with healthy home made breakfast
Get your back to school routine in place as soon as possible! The quicker you begin your routine, the easier the first day of school is going to be. Start with the most difficult task of waking your child up each morning, and preparing them a balanced breakfast that will help jumpstart their day! Some simple healthy recipes can be a yummy fruit smoothie (click here for smoothie ideas and recipes), overnight oats in the slow cooker, blended fruit bowls, chia pudding or a veggie scramble! And if your kids are older, involve them too. Making food together gets them learning new things, appreciating all you do for them, and gives you an opportunity to spend some quality time together!
2. Get Organized in a fun and new way
Have you heard of Cozi or Ourhome? Those are free and must-have app organizers for families with busy schedules. Whether your child is an multi-sport athlete or club member, having them as your online coordinator helps diminish any miscommunications. These apps help align schedules, save to-do lists, plan for dinners and notify everyone in the family during your busy day. Plus kids can collect points and earn rewards! It’s a super easy and amazing way to get your school year started off strong and help you in your personal life. Picture an online personal assistant, who you don’t have to pay! Sit down with your kids, set goals, define priorities and put actual tasks in their calendars.
And if you have little ones, create daily routine schedules for them! Discuss with your child what they believe needs to happen before starting the new day, and then create fun and interactive to-do boards that they can use to help them remember the before-school essentials!
3. Structure the day, set clear expectations and limit online time
Of course when the kids are off it's so easy to spend time in front of the screen. Luckily there are new tools available that help you manage and control your kids' digital devices. Circle, for example, is a great one. This innovative gadget (available at Amazon) allows you to connect and manage every device that is connected to your home Wi-Fi. When you purchase Circle, download the app and control the limit of Wi-Fi usage per day, by time constraints or a bedtime setting. You can analyze usage, create filters and block to certain websites and social media sites. In a world with such excessive amounts of technology and screens in children’s faces, Circle is one of the best ways to get your child off the screens, prepping for their new year and enjoying what is left of summer!
4. Make meals ahead and educate your kids
Each week, get into meal preparation and have your child help! Use our cute veggie cutters to cut vegetables into fun shapes and use small bags to portion off your child’s favorite snacks. Use the drawers in your fridge for certain categories (sandwich/wraps, veggies, fruits, snacks, drinks). Make sandwiches ahead - like the night before and use different healthy ingredients such as avocado paste with turkey, ham with salad, cut veggies, sliced fruits and of course your child’s favorite snacks! Pay attention to labels, note sugar and salt amount, watch for corn starch and other unhealthy and unnecessary ingredients. Educate your kids about nutrition and use apps such as Fooducate. This app tells your average ingredients, compares to other alternative food (more healthy) and let's you scan items in the grocery store, providing instant recommendations. My kids loved to walk around, scan food items and tell me what's good or bad about the item ;).
5. Create an awesome Work Space
Create a designated homework station. No matter the age of your child, having a work space with all the tools they may need encourages them to finish their summer assignments early and be ready for school. Have your child get involved to pick out colors for bins and tins, their favorite pencils and erasers, and anything else they may find motivating to work! IKEA just released their 2018 catalog and you can find cool modern and inexpensive furniture and accessories!
6. Shop online and get great deals
Do your back-to-school shopping online! Skip the lines and chaos, you can find exactly what you need online this year! Amazon, Target and Walmart have some of the best bangs for your buck, and are actually cheaper than in-store! Get your supplies list from school and search the web! Not only can this save you money and time, but it is one of those stresses about the new year that can be reduced! Visit Zeitgeist Gifts to see our full range of adorably unique lunch boxes, pencil cases, rulers and other fun accessories to get your child the best before starting off the new year! Our water-resistant, theft-proof backpacks with integrated USB charging will make your kid the coolest in town!
7. Pre-pick your kids' school outfits
After you’ve done all your clothes and supply shopping, get your kids back into the swing of things by having them help with their first week of school outfits! Lay out their clothes for one full week to avoid the everyday stress of picking an outfit.
8. Be safe!
Once school starts and the days begin getting shorter, check out our magnetic wearable lights that your child can use when walking home or to the bus stop! Also available for those who ride a bike plus some cool reflective stickers. Child safety is the number one priority for parents, so make sure your child has the proper equipment to stay safe!
Don’t forget to enjoy the rest of your summer vacation, while the weather is perfect for barbecues, cookouts and get togethers in your home. But keep in mind that the earlier you prep for back to school season, the less stressed you will be in September. Use our ideas as a unique way to plan and execute back to school preparation for the new school year!