It is hard to believe that the summer is just about over for us. In three days we will have a 5 year old (cue the tears) and then in 6 more days school begins.
I feel this year I am a little more calm about school starting, going into Sr. Kindergarten is a big deal, we are seasoned pros (not even close). But I am happy to have a little girl who is excited and counting down the days until school begins, thus giving me a bigger peace of mind. Also, I am not sure I can come up “more fun things to do” a constant question I lived with all summer!
When planning back to school shopping, it can seem overwhelming at first. You need the new back pack, lunch bag, water bottle. The list goes on and on. The key for me, was to buy quality items, that would last for multiple years. Sure, she doesn’t get the excitement of picking out a new bag every year, but she again doesn’t know any different at this point, so she’s no worse off.
Years ago, when our oldest was getting set for day-care, she had asked for a backpack for her birthday, and this pottery barn bag has lasted 4 years already. Here is hoping we get an other year out of it. And bonus, Pottery Barn Kids has some sales on back packs right now! WIN!
An other favourite item is the Balanced Day Lunch Bag. Our schools have changed how breaks are laid out, and instead of two 15 min breaks in the morning and afternoon and a 1 hour lunch, the kids get two 45 min lunch breaks. This lunch bag is perfectly accommodating for that, it has two separate sections, and are labeled one and two. Our daughter knows that she can eat all the food in 1 at first break and all the food in 2 on second break. She gets balanced meals in both. And I have peace of mind that she is getting enough to fuel her day during both breaks.
If you asked our daughter what her “must have” item for back to school lunches she would say a carrot and dip container. When we visited our favourite “litter less lunch” store, Fenigo, it was the only thing she had her eye on for back to school, of course I got it, and quickly it became our favourite container for her lunches. Dips in the top, carrots (or any veg) in the bottom. Win Win.
Reusable containers for packing lunches is also a top recommendation. You can put all the food in one box and call it a day, no need to wrap and store everything in plastic. Saves you from having to buy boxes of lunch baggies, and saves the environment from unnecessary waste. Bento Boxes are great, but if their price tag scares you, you can find other similar products at Ikea.
Keeping your kiddos lunch cool is also a good idea, especially if you have meat or dairy of any kind. Non-toxic, is key to our icepacks, and having a cute design brings a little extra smile to my girls face. We like these ones from SoYoung.
And last but certainly not least, the water bottle!! We have a love for reusable water bottles in our house, and have an ever growing collection. Our water bottles come in all shapes, and makes. I am a little picky with water, and am trying not to pass that onto my girls, however, they are beginning to figure out what water bottles they prefer from taste. A reusable plastic bottle works, but if you let the water sit to long, the water can take on that taste ( not everyone notices, but I can, and its not the best taste).
For the kids, I really like using these Life Factory water bottles, they have a flip up straw cap, so the lid never has to be taken off for drinking. The silicone is great at protecting the glass, and we have dropped ours a few times, and have not had any issues.
I also LOVE stainless steel bottles, S’Well is a popular brand, that has such cute designs, but if the price tag is not for you, I recommend hitting up your local HomeSense and grabbing one of their similar products. They work just as well, for a fraction of the price. These bottles are a game changer, and our daughter has even asked for one for her birthday!
Wherever you are, however you are getting ready for back to school, I hope you enjoy the last moments of the summer season. While the hustle and bustle of back to school can be overwhelming, and the needs list can go on and on, take it in stride, enjoy it, the season won’t last long.