7 Things to do Before the First Day of School

7 Things to do Before the First Day of School

Tips to help you get you ready for the school year & first day of school ideas!

I'm sure you heard a few groans as you flipped the calendar to August.

School will be starting soon for so many of us and I'll be honest with you, I'm not that excited.

I love the unscheduled days of summer, letting the kids sleep in and not having to say "Do you have your homework? Did you grab your lunch?" every morning :)

But I know the kids are looking forward to seeing their friends again and finding out who their teachers will be this year.  And it's always good to get back into the school routine come Fall.

So here are a few tips on how to make the back to school transition a little easier (and fun) for everyone!

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The Secret to a More Relaxing Summer

I've got a secret to share with you today!

I'm not really that organized during the summer :)

Ok, that's not really it -- the secret is in how I APPEAR to be organized on those crazy summer days. 

If you've been following The $0 Summer: 105 Ways to Make Memories with the Kids series, you know our goal is to help you focus on more fun and less chaos.  (If you haven't been following along, we'd love for you to join us!)

We had one of THOSE summers a while back -- you know the ones -- every time we would head to the park or the pool or out to an event, something would get left behind.

Like the water bottles or the kids' socks (which you ALWAYS need at play places) or the towel so my kids wouldn't shiver when they got out of the pool. 

Or worse yet, I would forget the snacks!

Ugh!

So I got myself together and put a little system into place -- a very easy system that made my family very happy because we always had what we needed when we needed it (yea!)

Want to know my secret?  And bonus:  it comes with a FREE printable to make your summer less chaotic too :)

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The Ultimate Back to School Checklist {with free printable!}

The Ultimate Back to School Checklist {with free printable!}

A FREE back to school checklist for parents to help cover all the obvious and obscure things that need to be done before your kids head back to class!

There are always SO MANY things to get done before school begins, aren't there?!

Shopping for school supplies just seems second nature to us but all those other little things --

like do I have the latest school phone numbers on my phone? 

Which app is the school using to track grades this year? 

Not to mention the whole "you can't wear flip flops all year so which shoes still fit" discussion.

So today we have not one but TWO awesome free printable checklists to help you get organized and start the school year off right along with organizing tips & affiliate links to some of our favorite items!

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The Ultimate Cabin Trip Packing List: 50 Things to Bring

The Ultimate Cabin Trip Packing List: 50 Things to Bring

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FreeToBe #CollectiveBias

 

If you're like our family, this free printable cabin packing list is the perfect way to get you organized & out the door!

As I've mentioned before, I don't do tents (not a fan of bears & snakes) :)  But when I married my husband, I was well aware that he came from a camping-type family.  The whole tents-in-the-woods boys-peeing-behind-the-tree type of thing.

I prefer a door on my bathroom and a bedroom where I know I won't be visited by wild animals in the middle of the night!

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27 Travel Hacks & Road Trip Tips

27 Travel Hacks & Road Trip Tips

These awesome travel hacks and road trip tips are sure to make your next car trip easier & more enjoyable!

Summer's here and that means road trips!  Woohoo!

When I was a kid, my parents would to take us to cool places every summer and I loved getting away from the 'ordinary days' of home life.  Travel allows for adventure, inspires us to explore new places and is a huge learning opportunity for your kids!

Seeing new places, reconnecting with the kids, trying to keep everyone happy in a small (sometimes too hot and crowded) area ;)

Just kidding ... you know I LIVE for road trips!

But man, it takes a small army to get a family ready to hit the road -- all that packing, organizing, finding rest stops along the way. 

So we want to help make life a little smoothier with these travel ideas you'll love!

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Best App for Organizing Your Kids' Activities & Team Sports

Thank you TeamSnap for sponsoring this post & offering a FREE Trial to all of our readers!!

 

I am all about finding ways to make life easier when it comes to organzing the kids' activities and sports schedules!

This is one area that we can all agree has changed BIG TIME since we were kids -- there are so many more opportunities for our kids to get involved with sports teams, scouting, drama, science clubs and the list goes on. 

Of course, we all want our kids to have these fun experiences as teamwork teaches them a lot of great life skills but that does mean that Mom and Dad need to find a way to manage the carpool, coaching commitments, snack sign-ups and game schedules (which can sometimes get overwhelming).

But not any more!  Wait until you see this amazing free app that allows you to organize your child's sports teams, scouting groups and even family vacations!

 

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How to Start & Organize a Nature Collection

If you've been around these parts, you'll know that we have a fondness for nature activities ;) 

Most rooms in our house host some type of nature collection -- shells, rocks, tree seeds, leaves in the Fall, etc.

And many of these were started on the fly -- a trip to the beach, a vacation in the mountains -- kids are just drawn to natural items.

Collecting is such a great STEM activity & teaches kids so much about categorizing, sorting and observing -- I try to allow as much of it as possible.  But as the items accumulate, sooner or later you have to give it a little 'structure'.

Since "small is the new black" for kids, it's always fun to find a creative way for them to carry around their collection (they love to show it to friends and family ;) 

So today's activity is a frugal upcycle that will help to organize that nature collection!

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10 Best Kids Activities & Family Organizational Tips

One of my favorite posts to curate each year is the list of our BEST kids activities and organizational tips that were most loved & read by our readers!

I love knowing that what we do at Edventures with Kids inspires families to reduce chaos, learn together and explore new places.

In case you missed one or two of these great kids activities & organizing ideas during the past year or if you've recently found us and want to dive in to some new edventures, see what's been popular with our readers as we head into a new year!

 

best kids activities and organization tips for families

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20 Healthy Breakfast Ideas {w/free meal planning printable!}

These healthy breakfast ideas will be a big hit (and help) during the school year!  Plus the free printable meal planner is perfect for keeping you organized in the mornings.

Today we are going to make mornings & breakfast easier, healthier and actually an enjoyable part of your day -- say "goodbye" to chaotic mornings!

I know, you think I'm talking nuts right? 

But I want to help make it happen for you this year!

So I have some AWESOME things to share with you (because I love to make life easier for everyone!):

• a FREE printable list of healthy breakfast ideas with a round-up of our favorite healthy recipes,

• tips to make mornings less stressful,

• and great way you can take control of your mornings!

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DIY First Aid Kit List {with free printable!}

DIY First Aid Kit List {with free printable!}

Use this free printable First Aid Kit list and quickly know what to include in your own medical kit for the car, classroom or college student!

We are currently packing up my oldest and getting him ready for his first year at college this week (one of those big life moments for both parents & kids)!

And in all the packing & shopping, I'm trying to think about what he'll need when he's 1,000 miles away from home.

You know, the stuff that Moms always seem to prepare for -- all those "What if" moments.

One of the items that quickly came to mind is a portable First Aid Kit that's perfect for students!

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9 College Prep Tips: How to Get Ready for Freshman Year

If you have a teen, these college prep tips will help you get them ready for Freshman year!

I want to prepare you for what’s coming – the honest & brutal truth -- your kids will grow up and leave you.

I'm sure you know this but as it quickly approaches and becomes an absolute, the thought hits you like a ton of bricks.

If you’ve read our first post in the ‘get ready for college series, you’ll recall that I started talking about how we had 48 Saturdays left with our oldest. 

We are now down to our last 2 Saturdays

... just 2 more weekends as we pack & prepare to ship him 1000 miles away. 

... to a great school and an awesome college life -- but he will be gone until Thanksgiving

... and I'm told life will just never be the same.

Insert sniffles & tears here!

Getting your teen ready to move their entire living space (and life!) to another location is not an easy task! 

There’s the shopping and the packing, discussions about what life will be like, trying to organize everything and get them to decide what to take.  Plus fitting in some fun family time too!

So it's wonderful that Caribou Coffee has sponsored us to be part of their #12hrAdventure -- for us, it's a College Prep adventure day!

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Getting Kids Ready for a Sleep-over: What to Pack in Your Overnight Bag

When my son had his first overnight at a friend’s house, the phone rang at 10 pm.

"Mom? I forgot my inhaler".

"No problem", I told him, "I’ll run it over".

Good thing he was right next door :)

So I hop over to the neighbors where I’m greeted at the door by two very awake boys.

"He also forgot his toothpaste," announced his friend, "so I let him borrow mine".

I thought things might be a little more organized with my daughter since she was older at her first sleep-over.  But when I got there to bring her home the next morning, I could tell a few things hadn’t gotten into her overnight bag.

"Any chance you packed a brush?"

"Nope.  But I remembered my toothbrush!" (score 1 for no cavities after cake & ice cream) – one of the other girls had forgotten hers and it looked like two others had also forgotten their hairbrush :)

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The Best Place to Begin Organizing Your Entire Home

If you have kids, you know that you can accumulate a LOT of stuff!

Probably way more stuff than any of us really needs in our homes.

And the goal is always to “get things organized”, right?

This isn’t the first time I’ve made a concerted effort to organize our home – in fact, it’s pretty much been an ongoing project for the last 12 years.

I would read a great book or see an awesome post on Pinterest and think “Hey! That would work for us.”  And I would be gung-ho to get a closet or the pantry all organized.

And it would be perfect …

… for about 2 days :)

Then I would get discouraged because things would get messy again.

However, this past November I decided to change my approach to organizing our home and guess what – it finally STUCK!

What did I do that was different?

 

Organizing Ideas for the Home -- where to start

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Getting into a School Day Routine

Do you know what my most favorite part of summer is -- no routines!  I really love that we don't have to stick to a schedule and can just operate day-by-day.

But once school begins, our house really needs that regular daily schedule to keep away the chaos. And I'll be honest, the routine looks different each year.  As the kids grow, you'll find what works best for your family and schedule. 

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12 Items Too Cool for School

Want to make Back to School a big hit in your house? 

We know it's all about the gear, right!

Here are a few fun & helpful items that will thrill the kids as they head into a new school year!

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