Do you remember the feeling of a crisp new notebook? How about the smell of a brand new box of crayons? Can you hear the honking school bus as you hurried out the door? Some of my most vivid memories from my childhood were from the beginning of a new school year. Excitement and anxiety all mixed into one crazy grade school emotion. Of course I never thought about all the preparation that goes into getting a little one out the door at the same time everyday with all the necessary things to get her from her first class to end of her bus ride – which brings me to today.
My little boy is just 1, but I’ve come to the realization that I will someday blink an eye and he’ll be off to first grade. That got me wondering just how all these moms keep their kids from running out the door in their pajamas with 3 twinkies and a bag of goldfish for lunch. I had to find all the sanity saving, tried-and-true tricks from the moms out there… and so I took to Facebook.
Here are 7 back-to-school hacks from Cincinnati Parents:
On Lunch Making …
- 1. Designate a shelf in the pantry and a drawer in the fridge for “school lunch” items. Premake and package sandwiches and snacks at the beginning of the week and keep them all in that drawer. If your kids are old enough, let them pack their lunches using the foods in those designated areas of the kitchen. Everyone gets what they want for lunch and you get to check one thing off your list. Woo hoo!
- 2. Freeze a juice box or drink and let it double as an ice pack. The food will stay cold and the drink will be thawed but ice cold by lunch time.
- 3. Don’t forget to slip a little note into their lunch box to ease the anxiety for new school-goers … or embarrass your older ones.
On Avoiding a Shopping Trip Meltdown …
- 4. If you have a little one who just can’t make it through a trip to the mall for new shoes but needs them for school – trace their foot and go it alone.
On Keeping Your Little One Organized …
- 5. Make a “Post Office” folder at the beginning of the year and let your child pretend to be a mail person. Anything that needs to go to mom and dad go immediately into that folder for your child to deliver. Then you get to check your “mailbox” at the end of each day.
On Morning Routine Mayhem …
- 6. Clear out your coat closet and make it a school closet. Have a hook on the door for their back pack and a couple bins on the floor for shoes, gloves, hats, etc. Plan out and hang up their clothes ahead of time and keep a week’s worth of outfits all in one spot.
- 7. Use an egg timer for getting ready. Set it to go off about 10-15 minutes before you need to leave so everyone knows it’s time to start making their way out the door.
Emily grew up just north of Cincinnati in Hamilton, OH and now lives in Western Hills with her husband Jim, their son James and their lunatic yellow lab, Rosey. Emily graduated from Xavier University (Go Muskies!), and is now a stay at home mom after working in marketing and promotions for local radio and TV stations.
Emily spends most of her free time visiting the manatees (James’ favorite) at the Cincinnati Zoo, shopping at local antique shops, or singing Beatles songs with James who typically just stares at her like she’s crazy. Emily hopes one day he’ll join in but for now she enjoys his giggles. She also enjoys photography and has quickly turned into a Pure Barre addict while trying to melt away the daily milkshakes she consumed while pregnant. So far it’s going well, but Skyline frequently gets in the way.
Emily loves to write and is looking forward to connecting with other Moms in Cincinnati while writing for Cincinnati Parent.