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Kindergarten PREP

Last year my oldest started Kindergarten. It was a big change and I think I wasn’t really ready with what to expect. I’m betting that others out there might experience the same and wanted to try and help with this big change for you, your little one, and your family.

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The Hours

It doesn’t matter how early or late your school starts it is going to be a struggle getting out the door. Remember newborn days when it took forever to get out of the house and the baby would have a blowout right before you opened the door to leave? Well, this time it is remembering to bring X, don’t forget Y for whatever the special event or activity that is going on. At this point, you are just trying to keep track of what day the kids get out at 1:10 versus the other days when it is 2:43 or some other random time. Keeping track of the ever-changing times will make you miss the days you rushed home at the same time every day to get your little ones from the nanny or preschool.

Then, just when you think you have the new schedule down there will be ‘crazy hair day’ or some other fun event you forgot about and your child is all upset.

My tip would be to do as much as you can the night before. That includes filling water bottles and chilling them in the fridge.

Below are some links for all types of back to school parents.

The Bag

I was really happy I ended up getting my son the big backpack. They don’t have books to bring home, but they do have the monthly parties and school events that will make a larger bag super helpful to carry all their stuff.

In my kid’s bag, I also include a large ziplock bag with an extra set of clothes. He never ended up using them the whole year but you just never know if they have an accident, get dirty, or the day turns out to be really hot.

I also include a few other odds and ends in his bag;

  • Some small tissue
  • A tag with my son’s name and his parent’s phone numbers
  • Small hand sanitizer
  • Travel-sized hand wipes
  • Extra water bottle for class (with his name on it)

 

Food Time

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So I am all about the cute and fun bento box lunches, but I wasn’t prepared for doing class snack. You think “no biggie”, but when you look at it you signed up for a week of snacks and there are 24 students and they eat a snack two times a day so that is like 240 items. I wanted to give then variety but also wanted to it to be easy for the teacher to serve.

Here are a few options if you also have a class snack responsibility:

  • String Cheese Sticks
  • Yogurt Sticks
  • GoldFish crackers
  • Apple Slices
  • Muffins
  • Oranges
  • Pretzels

I often went to Costco and got the family pack of pre-packaged snacks when I needed inspiration. Also if you are looking for vegetarian bento box lunches I often share mine in my IG Stories for and on my Instagram Two Working Moms page.

Lunch Box

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Every school does it differently but after volunteering at lunch I saw how much these lunch boxes got tossed around. One reason why I have been very happy with the metal style lunch boxes we are using. They held up all year long and other than some external scratches they look good (the all-metal ones with no paint look best).

I love making bento box lunches. In a way, it is a fun creative outlet for me and my kids love them too. I make them while my hubby cooks dinner so I incorporate a lot of what we already have. The truth is, the lunch comes home hardly touched on most days and my son says he runs out of time. I think it is still a balancing act of socializing and eating at this age.

New Friends

No matter if you are going to a private school or the Kindergarten class down the street from home your kid will meet new friends. Some kids might be nervous, others are super excited and ready to talk. Whatever the feelings I thought it was helpful to talk to your little one about the diversity of kids. Great time to talk about kids who might have a disability, different kinds of families, and to try and be kind.

My son is very outgoing so I talked to him about being a helper and trying help other kids who might be nervous on their first day.

There are a lot of great books out there to help your little one prep for the first day at a new school. Maybe you can make the night before school extra special with a fun bath and a new book.

Lots of Good Stuff 

Kindergarten is a big milestone and it’s not all bad. In fact, I can’t wait for my youngest to go and have a more organized schedule for our family. We love the neighborhood school and it has some amazing teachers and staff. We have also met some really nice families and made new friends that live close to us. It has been a fun year building out our community and seeing how much my son has grown. He loves art now, learned to rollerblade in PE, gained confidence, made new friends, and learned how to read.

Here are some additional links to help with back to school:

How to Tackle Tough Drop Offs – NY Times

Healthy School Lunches & Snacks – Parents.com 

10 Questions to Ask Your Kids About Their Day – Scholastics

8 Tips for Managing Your Kids Back to School Stress – Real Simple

5 Back to School Tips for Working Parents – Entrepreneur

Hope this post helps and you all have a great start to the new school year.  * L