1. Closet Inventory. With so much to buy and so many sales and flashy "must-have" items, it is easy to overspend and get lost in the craze. The end of Summer is a great time to clean out the closets. Find out what fits, donate old or unwanted items and find out what yours child really needs.
2. Make a Clothing Wish-List. Every child feels like they need a new wardrobe, but the savvy mom knows adding a few key items will bring their look up to date. Sit down and have your child show you pictures of the latest trends or talk about what they want their signature style to be. Figure out what small things can update their look and what will fit into your budget.
3. Give them Control. Depending on the child's age, give them a budget. Are you willing to match their money? Or for younger children, Set a dollar amount. You can even create a pie chart to show them how the money should be broken up between shoes, necessities and bling.
4. Set the Alarm Early. Okay, getting back on a school routine on day one can be tough... so, start by waking up earlier now. Doing it gradually is okay too. That goes for bedtime's too. Get their bodies accustomed to the new routine and save yourself at least this battle.
5. Create a lunch idea box. What meals does your child really enjoy? Create a mix and match set of cards they can either pick themselves or you can randomly put together. For younger children color code the cards or put pictures on them. One card for a main (like a sandwich), one color for their fruit, one for a vegetable option, etc. This will make lunches fun and easy to plan later in the year.
6. Update Medication and Info. Make sure everything is up-to-date and meet with your child's teacher or school nurse. Some schools set up appointments if there are any medical issues, severe allergies, etc. Also find out what your school's policy is regarding medication taking and things like ibuprofin.
7. Create Expectations. With small children, creating a routine for finishing homework is the most important part. Should it be finished before dinner? Will you do it together after dinner? Let your child know and if appropriate add it to your daily routine list or chore chart. If they know this is an expectation before school starts it will be less overwhelming.
8. Get a Check-Up. If your child will be playing sports they will need a physical. This is a great time to meet with their doctor and discuss any issues. The stress of a new school year can take a toll on children, and it is nice to have their doctor see them before any problems pop up. Also ask if you suspect any allergies, food or environmental. And be sure to make sure their Eye Exam, Dental and Hearing tests are up to date.
9. Update Your Safety Kit & Contacts. Especially for young children, this is a great time to update your child's photo and see if you can have them finger printed at your local police station. Snap a pic of your child on picture day or the first day of school. Keep this in a safe place in case you need it. Also update your contact sheets as needed. Who should your child call from school if there is a problem and they can't get a hold of you? Who is okay to pick up your child from school? This is a great time of year to reorganize all that information.
10. Throw an end of Summer Bash! Whether it is just for family, or for their friends also, to bring closure to the season, let them celebrate! Grab some watermelon, create some frozen Popsicle treats and plan a party around your child's age. Mine are young, so pizza is generally liked by all their friends. Older kids could help create salads and sammies, or have Dad fire up the grill. Let the kids help with invites and decorations. Summer deserves to go out with a bang!
Try some of these tips and best of luck with the coming school year! The transition from different schools, grade levels or even just the Season can be fun with the right planning and attitude.
About Eye Didn’t Know That!
Transitions Optical created the Eye Didn’t Know That! program to help people of all ages learn more about healthy vision. The program was developed by a team that includes eyecare professionals, science and education experts, and Transitions Optical, Inc. The Eye Didn’t Know That! website offers materials for children, parents, teachers and eyecare professionals to use to teach and learn more about eyecare basics and the importance of eye health and regular comprehensive eye exams. The information includes fact sheets, games, quizzes, lesson plans and free downloadable materials. To learn more and to find out what makes your friends and family say “Eye Didn’t Know That!” visit www.eyedidntknowthat.com.
*Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Transitions Lenses blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.