6 Tips for Back to School Prep

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Summer is over. Time to officially remember what day of the week it is. (Said every mom ever).

It’s that time of the summer when store aisles are stocked to the brim with No. 2 pencils, lined notebooks, and hand sanitizer. While I remember a time when shopping for multi-colored folders and an excessive number of Post-its used to be exciting when we were 8, back to school shopping now as a parent doesn’t evoke quite the same feelings of thrill. It’s often hectic, riddled with ultra-specific supplies, and expensive. But ironically, the end of sweet summer and back to school season also brings on one of the most bittersweet feelings in my motherhood – knowing just how much you’re going to miss a moment, while you’re still living it. I’ve been feeling that a lot lately.

As we’re currently in back to school mode, I’m sharing the top 6 things my family does to prepare for a smooth transition and successful school year.

Head Back to School with These 6 Tips

One // Earlier bedtime routine

Admittedly, this is probably the most challenging one for many parents. Summer brings on travel, houseguests, and summer adventures which all contribute to later bedtimes (by at least an extra hour or two for us). But growing kids need sleep, and most experts agree that an early bedtime between 7:00 pm and 8:00pm works best for babies and young kids through school age. In the weeks leading up to the start of school, I try to get back to an earlier routine – which is sometimes harder than it sounds when you have three!

Two // Independent reading

Why wait for the start of school or for them to get settled into classroom routines and procedures? Start now! We’ve been reading all summer long – my 8-year-old loves reading independently (he’s big into chapter books and has a fifth-grade reading level and comprehension), while my kindergartener loves hearing stories read to him. He just started learning to read sight word books in preschool earlier this year, and I am encouraging him to do more independent “reading” at home. This is as simple as him just sitting quietly for a few minutes a day and flipping through a book, looking at the pictures, or storytelling/narrating what he sees on the pages. I think this exercise serves to get your child into a habit of reading in the future.

Three // Lunch menu and snack prep

I find all my fav back to school lunch and snack ideas on Instagram and Pinterest. Bookmark away! I really love these 75 school lunchbox ideas, these 8 easy kid-friendly bento box ideas, and 50 nut-free snacks for school.

Four // Back to school clothes shopping

Don’t shop too far in advance in the summer. It can feel like it makes more sense to shop early to beat the rush, but then you may miss out on the best deals which usually come mid-fall. If you shop now, try to buy summer apparel which will be discounted as retailers make room for fall stuff. Don’t buy fall apparel in August or early September, as this is when they hit the shelves and are priced at their highest. Also, shop at retailers like Primark where you can get fun styles for less – my boys are wearing head to toe Primark here!

Five // Small welcome teacher gift

I love dropping by the Target Dollar Spot for fun teacher gifts that cost between $1 and $3. We recently found the cutest teacher-inspired ceramic planters that I didn’t even know I *needed*. For just $3 each, I bought each of my boys (and their teachers) a planter that’s covered in a marble composition notebook print and another planter with a bright red apple. Picked up a few small succulents to put in them from Lowe’s and voila – teacher’s pet, anyone?

Six // Pack backpacks with school supplies

Fill it with all the fruits of your labor that you had to scour store aisles for, including “6 Expo low odor black bullet dry erase markers” and “Crayola Wash Fine Tip Classic Markers” and “2 Kleenex tissue 85 ct. flat” like wtffffffff!

Wearing all  Primark .

Wearing all Primark.

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We had so much fun shooting this back to school shopping Instagram campaign for Primark US. I knew right away I wanted a feel-good, retro-vibe for this campaign, and the ivy-covered walls and Hogwartian halls of Princeton University would be the perfect backdrop! My boys had so much fun scooting around campus scouting out shoot locations with me. The energy of being back on campus, in the thick of back to school season, reminds me of my school days when times were carefree and we were brimming with the exuberance of youth. I’m proud to have partnered with Primark for the third time – we truly love this brand and its diverse range of affordable styles for kids! Scroll down to see all the final campaign images or head over to my Instagram!

What do you include in your back to school prep? Have you got any ideas to add to these? Don’t forget to comment to share yours.

Wearing all Primark for a Primark back to school ‘19 Instagram campaign.