*This post is sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company, all opinions are 100% our own.
The First Day of School is right around the corner. It’s time to squeeze in the last pool trips and get ready to trade in the goggles for backpacks.
And since that first day and week can make a big difference in setting a good tone for the rest of the year, we’ve rounded up our top tips for making sure it’s a success.
After all, who couldn’t use a little help easing the family back into a routine? Here are seven ideas that will help make the transition a little easier on everyone.
#1 Start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier the week before.
If you’ve slipped into late nights and late mornings (and who hasn’t?), it’s basically impossible to fall asleep the night before school when your child gets tucked into bed hours earlier than normal.
Combine that with back-to-school excitement and nerves, and it’s a recipe for a restless night when your kiddo really needs a good night’s rest.
Bring bedtime and wake-up times up about 10-15 minutes every day the week before so you can ease into the earlier wake-up time and your child isn’t falling asleep at his desk the first day.
#2 Get your after-school snacks ready to go.
That first day of school is go-go-go, and guaranteed your child will come home ravenous. Pick up a few quick, wholesome snacks that your child can grab as soon as they get come in the door.
We’re big fans of apple slices, Quaker Chewy granola bars (peanut butter and chocolate chip are the most popular flavor in our home), and yogurts.
#3 Walk your child through drop-off and pick-up.
These are the most chaotic parts of the day at school as hundreds of children arrive and leave, so it’s nice to have both of you clear on it before the big day.
Make sure you know exactly where you’ll be dropping your child off (or where they’ll enter if they walk or ride their bike) and where you plan to pick them up so everyone is on the same page.
#4 If you have younger children, pick up a few activities for them to do during homework time.
My younger children are desperate to be doing whatever the older kids are up to. I’ve learned to stock up on a few new coloring books, play dough, or library books so my younger children feel like they have their own “work” to do while my older daughter does homework.
#5 Schedule extra time for that first morning.
Everyone is trying to figure out the routine on that first day (or three), so it usually takes a little longer than it will in a few weeks when everyone has the hang of packing lunches, grabbing backpacks, and loading into the car.
Plus, you’ll probably want to take a first day of school picture, and the school is going to be the most crowded that day, so build in at least 20 extra minutes so you aren’t late or frantic.
#6 Keep a few snacks stashed in the car.
On these first chaotic mornings, I find that it’s easy for me to realize I skipped breakfast or that one of my children forgot a snack. I try to keep a few non-perishable snacks in the glove box so that no one is starving on those critical first days.
Quaker Chewy granola bars, beef jerky, nuts, and dried fruit are all good options that will last a while and be ready when you need them.
#7 Expect things to not be 100% smooth.
In a perfect world, everyone wakes up on time, knows where their backpack is, has filled out any forms, and eats a healthy breakfast before marching out to conquer the first day of school.
But real life is rarely like that, so anticipate delays, trip-ups, and maybe a few tears on that first morning, and try your hardest to keep your cool.
It’s a stressful big day for kids, and you being calm goes a long way to helping them feel like everything is going to be okay. And it is!
Happy first day of school!
This post was written as part of our participation in The Oat Authority, a team of top bloggers out to help Quaker meet the needs of families’ evolving lifestyles with tips and recipes that inspire delicious, wholesome and convenient breakfasts and snacks!
More Quaker Oats Recipes from MPMK
Need help feeding your toddler?
Sign up for our newsletter to get a handy stick-it-your-fridge list of our favorite meals for toddlers and a link to all of the recipes!