How to beat back to school bedlam

We are well into the first month of 2017 and many parents will be dealing with the excitement (and stress) of the new school year. Whether your child is adjusting to a new teacher, a new school or a new routine, there’s no doubt you have a lot more than usual on your plate. There are nerves to soothe, lunches and bags to pack, books to cover, labels to iron in and schedules to figure out.

Here are some great ways to ease your little one – and the rest of your family – into the school routine.

  • Stress-free mornings
    Getting yourself ready for work and your kids ready for school on time often seems like it should be an Olympic sport. Go a little easier on yourself this year and get your kids to help more. A great way to encourage little ones to brush teeth and dress themselves is to use a reward chart. Give them a star for completing their morning routine on time – and when they have earned a batch of stars, treat them to something special like a trip to the aquarium or a movie date with mom or dad.
  • Keep lunchboxes healthy and simple
    Now is not the time to start experimenting with new snack recipes. The last thing you want is for your little one to come home with an empty tummy and a full lunchbox. Start the school year simply with a selection of lunchbox basics that are nutritious, quick to prepare, budget-friendly and guaranteed to go down that little hatch. Be sure to include some fresh fruit or veggies and some protein and you can pat yourself on the back.
  • Plan your weeks
    Co-ordinating a family schedule can feel like a full-time job. Using a weekly activity planner to plot all school, extra-mural and social commitments gives everyone in the family a chance to be more organised. Older kids can check to planner daily to see whether they should pack their swimming togs or sports kit; and younger children can use the planner to learn about the days of the week, time and the importance of being organised. Tower kids has a great weekly planner that provides plenty of space for plotting activities. It’s magnetic, so it can be stuck to the fridge, but also comes with double-sided tape should you wish to display it somewhere else.
  • Hassle-free laundry
    Back to school season means a whole lot more washing and ironing for most families. Whether you’re keeping uniforms and sports kits clean or making sure that your little one has clean clothes (and spares) for day-care, don’t do more hard work than is necessary. Firstly, it is absolutely fine to leave already-washed clothes in the machine for up to 12 hours before they get that mouldy smell – which means you can go to work or sleep with the machine on. Secondly, if you dislike ironing as much as the rest of us, take care to hang out your clothes as neatly as possible. Shake and smooth out the creases and peg them at the waistband or seam (never by the shoulders). You’ll be amazed by how little ironing you can get away with!
  • Organise some fun ‘homework’
    Young children learn a wide range of valuable skills through play, so why not set aside a few hours each week to enjoy some crafty fun with your little one? Tower kids has a superb range of multisensory activities that help to support the development of fine motor, creative and numerical skills (depending on the activity). These specifically target and develop hand and finger muscles through the repetitive use of various types of important finger grasps and hand postures. These fine motor skills are required for school-related tasks, such as writing or cutting. Your child will also love spending some quality one-on-one time with you after a busy day at school.

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