It’s almost the end of summer and kids are getting ready for back to school. This can be an overwhelming period for many parents, and I’m saying so from experience. It is not easy to combine kids’ worries with the stress of every day’s activities, but hey, that’s why we are parents. I consider it more as fun than as a job to get my kids ready for back to school because I know how much this really matters to them.
I came up with a list of tasks to help prepare my kids for back to school, and I have found this to be really helpful. I suggest every parent should make their own list. 
1. Ensure you have a good transportation system in place for your kids. 
Kids go to school in one way or the other so ensure to provide a safe medium of transportation for them. If you drive your kids to school, then ensure everything is safe with your car, but if your kids walk or ride bikes to school, then you must ensure they follow a safe path with minimal traffic. 
2. Get the best Gear! Take your time to choose the best back packs for your kids; most parents do not pay attention to details such as kids backpacks, but kids could sustain muscle strains if you choose the wrong backpacks for them. I suggest a backpack with two stripes that can be balanced uniformly on the kids back. Also a nice and fun pencil case can help your kids organize their writing utensils and arts and crafts supplies.
3. Put together an “Emergency Kit”. For your younger ones pack a big Ziploc bag with their name on it with an extra pair of socks, underwear, t-shirt, Kleenex.  For your teen pack a deodorant, chap-stick, tampons, etc. It will give them a peace of mind.
4. Ensure that your kids undergo a proper medical check up before getting back to school, check for any due immunizations and get them done.
5. This tip applies to every situation and not only during back to school time. Feed your kids with fruits and vegetables and encourage them to exercise regularly. They say Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. To make this easier, plan your meals for a whole week with a meal planner.
6. On the first day of school let your little one choose the clothes they like the most, so that they feel comfortable. For the rest of the week, let kids choose what to wear ahead of time and put it in separate drawers. Just remember to check the weather. This will help in those most indecisive moments. To make it easier you can also label their drawers with chalkboard labels.
7. A daily routine is very important. So post it somewhere in their room (could be an illustrated checklist or a custom made schedule clock) so that they have easy access to it. Also don’t forget to put them to bed on time. Young kids need 10-12 hours of sleep every night to feel energized the next day.
8. Design a command center and a dedicated homework area. Make study time simple and clean by decluttering your arts and crafts cupboard. Keep only essential supplies. Also to keep your homework, projects and extra activities organized, set up a command center that will help you with that. 
9. Create a lunch box cupboard that will make it easier for you and your kids to get those lunches organized. Store plastic stack-able plastic containers, thermoses, lunch boxes, water bottles and pantry snack in a cupboard that is easily accessible to young ones for quick morning packing.
10. Create a fun and easy to use cubby to store your kids backpacks and shoes. This could be in the mudroom or by the front door. IT will hide the mess and keep your kids organized.
The tips outlined above have proven to work for many parents, and I encourage more parents to add these to their list of tasks when preparing their kids for back to school.

What is your number one tip for smooth start to the school year? 



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