1 - A back to school tutorial.
Starting school can be a little nerve wracking for kids. What are they going to do all day? What are they supposed to know? And what do they do if they need to pee? LeapFrog to the rescue on this one. They've created a delightful little DVD all about starting school. In Let's Go To School Tad and Lilly get to know all the characters that populate a child's first day of school; taking all the scary out of the big event. On the way they practice counting and the alphabet as well as a few other key pre-school notions.
Even younger siblings will get a kick out of this video, and maybe a few early pointers!
2 - Good hand sanitizer.
This is the season of the swine flu. And even if it weren't? It would be the season of some other dread contagious something or other. Hand sanitizer is key for a kid's health and a mom's sanity. Only, I don't know about you, but I'm not a huge fan of the alcohol based stuff.
This year I'm packing some Aloe Up. Alcohol free. Foam. Clean smelling. Not sticky. And pretty darn effective. Not the easiest stuff to find, but you can buy it online here. And if you have any questions about it, follow them on Twitter!
3 - Magnetic letters for your fridge!
If your preschooler is anything like mine, everything is about words these days. Words and letters! We have these fabulous letters on our fridge and both girls love to play with them to create words. (They don't all make sense, but at least they know their alphabet!)
You're in luck, because these letters are on their once annual buy-one-get-one-free sale. Click here for the lower case letters and here for the upper case letters. Don't wait, the sale ends at the end of the week!
4 - Healthy eats!
Growing kids need good wholesome food. Even more so when they've been working hard at school. Warner Bros. and Safeway have teamed up to create a great line of food to help you feed your children well. The more than 60 items (that cross 18 categories!) were formulated to standards based on the most recent dietary recommendations and regulations from several federal and state agencies.
The Eating Right Kids line covers pretty much everything from fun shaped pasta (bugs!) to chicken nuggets, juice, snack bars, carrots and ranch, fruit in a cup, and even chocolate pudding. They'll help you make wholesome meals at home and pack great snacks and lunches for school.
Look for the cheery green logo and fun Warner Bros. characters on the packages while you shop at your local Safeway.
5 - Great organization for the whole family.
Are you always scrambling to remember what you have planned on any given day? Does your spouse's eyes roll in response to the 15th reminder about back-to-school night? Do you wish you had one central place to keep your shopping lists, menu plans, family photos, calendar, reminders, and every other little thing that you need to keep your family on track?
Meet Cozi. It's free. It's awesome. It's easy to set up. It even comes with a killer screen-saver for your computer. But most importantly, it'll change your life this year. Trust me. Check it out. Sign up. And enjoy the freedom that organization brings.
It might take more than videos, clean hands, letters, great food, and good organization to survive the school year, but it's as good a start as any. What are your back to (pre)school must haves?