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It’s BACK to school for some, but maybe for you it’s OMG MY FIRST BABY STARTS KINDERGARTEN.
I’ve been there and, for me, it was pretty terrifying the first time I sent a baby into the wild world of classrooms and cafeterias. I felt so clueless. Then I sent another one off to kinder, and we made it through a 2nd first year.
Now, I feel like I know enough to give you some experienced advice.
Let your kids express their personality with their backpack. I was a little sad when I realized I couldn’t send in folders and pencils with my oldest’s favorite characters on them because the class shared supplies (which is now something I completely support and think is a brilliant idea).
You can get them a cool character backpack, though! I’ve found that kindergarteners can be pretty rough on backpacks since many end up dragging them, so it’s nice finding some that they love that also don’t cost a fortune. Leyna would have loved this Hello Kitty backpack from Kmart…
And Kendall would be all over this Nintendo backpack, which is on sale for less than $12 at Kmart right now.
Assume that your child is going to be physically active every day and dress them appropriately. I could never keep track of what days were gym days, so unless we know it’s a fancy-dress kind of day, like picture day, we aim for comfort. Luckily, athletic wear, like this Everlast shirt and athletic leggings, is a popular option now for girls…
Embrace shoes without laces. Yes, they eventually need to master this skill, but I give my kindergarteners (and their teachers) a pass. If they’re working on learning to read, they can put off learning to tie shoes for another year.
Purchase a memory box. I keep 2-3 years worth of school art, report cards, and other mementos in clear sweater boxes- one for each child. If you start out with a dedicated recepticle, you won’t find yourself overwhelmed with stacks of stuff come December. And remember, it’s supposed to last a few years, so you HAVE to be selective. This one from Kmart, $5.50, is perfect.
Stock up on school supplies for yourself. There are so many great deals on fun office and organization supplies this time of year! I’m a sucker for a fresh Sharpie, and Kmart has them on sale right now for $1 for a 2 pack.
Remember those old school marbled composition books? They aren’t just for kids! I love keeping one on my desk for conference call notes. At 50 cents each, just grab a handful and keep them on hand for whatever note-taking needs arise.
Finally, make yourself an Out-The-Door station with all the things you might need when you’re trying to get out the door to school. Put those Sharpies in there, along with some pens and some blank note cards for letters to the teacher. I’d also stash some cash and change in there, too.
This desk organizer from Kmart is only $6 and would fit all of that and more.
If you are sending a baby off to kindergarten for the first time this year, I’m sending you a giant virtual hug and a high five. If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, know that you’re not alone. You got them this far, and that is worth celebrating! You’ll both figure this school thing out soon. I promise.