Well, this is going to be one of the weirdest and most stressful back to school season's yet. As a parent, our job is often to smooth out the rough spots. Now is the time to make back to school feel as normal as possible to set our kids up for academic and emotional success in a VERY unusual school year. We're teaming up with Mabel's Labels to come up with a back to school checklist for you to help guide you through these next stressful weeks.

How to Make Back to School Feel Normal

How to Make Back to School Feel Normal Checklist

No matter how you are starting the school year, you are still mom, and that means you've got to stay on top of running your family. Here's a helpful list of mom-reminders (dads, feel free to jump on these too).

  1. Start on doctor's appointments. Most doctors are taking patients again. Set up your check-ups with the pediatrician and the dentist. Don't forget the flu shot. Momtrends Tip: We might all be thinking about COVID, but the regular old flu is coming too.
  2. Set up a family calendar. We use a combo of a weekly whiteboard and google calendars to manage everyone's schedule. Momtrends Tip: Don't forget to schedule in date nights just for the grown-ups. 
  3. Instill a Bedtime Routine. I know our family makes the most of the long days of summer. Right about now we start getting to bed a tad bit earlier each night to prep for school. Momtrends Tip: Check out this article about sleep routines.
  4. Sort and Organize Closets. Each summer I'm amazed that my girls seem to grow a few inches. All the jeans seem too short and those rain boots are too small. Since we are investing in new clothes, we want to hang on to them, First, go through the closet and assess what needs to be donated and what you need to restock. Momtrends Tip: After you've completed your back to school shopping haul, be sure to label everything with Mabel's Labels Tag Mates (70 labels for $21).  Tag Mates™ are laundry-safe, peel-and-stick clothing labels that require no ironing or sewing. Personalize the color, icon and font.
  5. Stock up on School Supplies. No matter which of the three options you pick --hybrid, in-person and virtual-- you'll still need supplies.  And this year more than any other year, you want to make sure your child has clearly labeled supplies. Momtrends Tip: Even small stuff like pens and glue sticks can be labeled with Mabel's Label's Small Rectangle Labels (80 labels for $18.99, pick from hundreds of personalization options).
  6. Create Wellness Caddies. New this year will be the wellness caddy. You need these at home or in your child's cubby or locker. Include hand sanitizer (screen wipes for teens), tissues, masks, wipes. Momtrends Tip: Have your kids help pick out masks. They are more likely to wear fun colors and prints like colorful Mabel's Labels kids face masks.
How to Make Back to School Feel Normal

Things to Keep on Hand for the 2020 School Year

And finally, as you prep for this unusual school year, here are a few more things to consider before we head into fall.

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  • Extra art supplies--there will be set backs and school closures. Be ready with projects ready to go. Consider subscription boxes for things like robotics, art supplies or building. A "rainy day" stash will come in handy.
  • Personal Hydration & Snacking Systems--Kids will need plenty of water bottles and snack containers--water fountains and vending machines are a thing of the past. Now it's all about personal containers. Stock up on good water bottles for your kids and label them with Mabel's Labels.
  • Homework stations-- make sure everyone in the house has a designated work area. If the work area does double-duty as a table, be sure each child has a caddy to clean up and organize his/her work.
  • Inspiration--there will be tough days. Keep a smile on the faces of your children with a little treat here and there. I love the Mabel's Washaway Lunch Box Notes (set of 24 for $17), a personalized peel-and-stick label you can adhere to the outside of your kid’s lunch container every morning so you can write them a daily message. 
How to Make Back to School Feel Normal

How the Lunch Box Notes Work

Mabel's Labels Washaway Lunch Box Notes are a personalized peel-and-stick label you can adhere to the outside of your kid’s lunch container every morning so you can write them a daily message. Since we are back to packing lunches, this is a fun way to put a positive spin on the situation.

When the label is ready to get washed, it will disintegrate quickly in water, either in the dishwasher or sink– no soaking or scrubbing required. 

With the right attitude, and the right supplies, we're going to get through this together. 

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given some samples.

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