Anyone who says the holiday season is the busiest time of year doesn’t have kids going back to school. From supplies to clothes to nut free lunches, things can get crazy around this time of the year! I remember my daughter’s first back to school season; I was drained, exhausted and ill prepared. I didn’t label everything; I didn’t find all the supplies because I started my shopping late. I could write a book about it. Luckily, over the years, I developed a system that works most of the time! Of course, each year something new comes up, but it is more manageable! Today, I am sharing my tips and tricks for this hectic time, a yummy iÖGO nanö nutritious snack that kids will go wild over, and a Twitter contest to ease your budget. Want to survive back to school madness? Read on!
Tips to alleviate back to school madness
- Plan, Plan, Plan: From when you will buy the supplies, to where, to what they will wear on the first day, plan everything you can. Then write it down and cross everything off as you finish. I feel giddy when I cross something off my to-do list.
- Take inventory of what you have: You don’t want to buy items and clothes that you already have. It will save you time and money.
- Shop early: Avoid the crowds, the supplies shortage and the madness that comes with by shopping early. I usually buy the supplies the first week of August. It is my sweet spot! Most of the stores carry the latest inventory and people are still on vacation. It takes me less than an hour to shop for them! Isn’t that amazing?
- Shop online to avoid the crowds: If you cannot shop early or if you miss something, try shopping online as much as you can. I usually buy pants, shirts and labels online. I know my kids’ sizes and it is pretty convenient. Some stores offer free shipping during this time of the year.
- Stock up on delicious snacks: All this running around can be exhausting for both parents and kids. To keep them going, give them a convenient snack. My daughter loves yogurt. She can eat up to four per day! One of her favourite brands is iÖGO nanö. We buy the drinkable ones on a regular basis. They also come in pouches, tubes and cups. They are easy to find in most supermarkets. It is ultra-convenient and perfect for busy families: either as a morning or afternoon snack, for the lunch box, and for those days on the go. When we ran out of them and went grocery shopping, we were surprised by the new product packaging and the flavours they added. From apple – blueberry, to apple and cherry and peach, etc, it was hard to make a decision. My daughter finally chose a drinkable vanilla yogurt and apple & strawberry pouch. She loves strawberry and was drawn immediately to the pouches. At first, I thought the pouches would be hard for her to open but they were not. She just twisted the cap and it was done. She drank two in a row. She said: it is the most delicious yogurt I have ever had. The package holds four pouches. You can even freeze them, throw them in a lunch box and it will thaw by lunch. This way you won’t need an ice pack and it will save some space in the lunch box. She also tried the vanilla drinkable yogurt. She was used to the raspberry flavour and enjoyed the new one. I always loved these small bottles with spill proof caps. They are perfect for my 8-year-old as she would never finish a larger bottle. And I would hate to waste food. I love that iÖGO has no artificial flavours and no gelatin either! Plus, they have a new line of tasty and nutritious veggie flavours such as peach-carrot and blueberry-beet.
- Don’t give IN into your child’s wants. That’s the hardest part. Kids are excited to go back to school and they want to show off their new items: be it the coolest backpack or the most stylish new outfit. I try as much as I can to please my kids but within a limit. I don’t run around to five stores to get them the best item. I make sure to do my homework at home before and then either order online or go straight to that store.
- Spread out the shopping: One year, I decided to shop for everything in one day: clothes, school supplies, shoes. What a terrible mistake. The kids ended up having a meltdown and I almost did too. Since then, I shop over few days or 2 weeks.
- Let the kids help you: They are going back to school, not YOU, so let them help. It will keep them busy too. They can organize their bag, label their items, pick up lunch ideas, etc.
- Relax: one of the factors that makes this season crazy is that all the parents shop at the same time! The stores are busier, your friends are stressed, your kids are excited. Everyone is super on edge. I was like that for my first back to school and then I chilled out. I take things one day at a time and don’t overthink.
- Get back to a regular sleeping routine: For you and the kids. By mid-August, chances are, the sleeping schedule is pretty messed up. Two weeks before the school starts, we try to revert to a normal schedule. We go to sleep 15 minutes earlier each day so by the time school starts, we are all set.
Get Ready for Back to School with an Exciting Twitter Contest!
Very shortly, you’ll have an amazing opportunity to enter for a chance to win 1 of 2 Back-to-School Prize Packs ($250 VISA + iÖGO vouchers). The #ReadySetNanö Contest starts on September 6th! When it does, just tweet a photo of your family’s first day of school to be eligible to win that amazing prize!
Check out all the delicious iÖGO nanö yogurts and cross “after school snack ideas” off your to-do list now!
Although this post has been generously sponsored by iÖGO, the opinions and language are my own.