DAY 1: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
Helpful tips for a smooth back-to-school transitionJuly 21, 2014
Use Coupon Code: SCHOOLDAYS1
Trading in a lazy summer schedule for a structured school day can be tough on kids, but we've put together some great tips to help make their back-to-school transition go as smoothly as possible.
First thing's first, we suggest breaking the back-to-school news to your kids gently by announcing that it's time for back-to-school shopping! Kids love picking out school supplies and it tends to help soften the blow by reminding them that a fresh new year with endless possibilities lies ahead.
Your children's school should offer a checklist that includes all of the school supplies they'll need throughout the school year, including a backpack, lunch bag, folders, notebooks, a pencil case, etc. You can find all of these items in designs perfect for students of all ages in our toddler and youth, preteen and teen, or college student department in the Back to School Store (Apply the coupon code you see at the beginning of this article to your order at checkout to save 25% off all the personalized school supplies on our site)!
Let your kids have fun looking through our wide selection of designs that are perfect for boys and girls of all ages. Picking out their favorite school supplies will help them warm up to the idea of going back to school and the personalized folders and notebooks are an added bonus as they will help them (and you!) stay organized all year long! Personalized school supplies not only help your kids stay organized, they also help prevent your kids from mixing up their belongings with another friend or student's - this is especially important with the new item that's popping up on almost every school's checklist: USB drives. Most kids will bring in the same black flash drives hard to label and distinguish from the rest, but with our You Name It!" Bamboo Flash Drive - your kids will never worry about mixing up their school work with another student!
Once you have all the school supplies you need, it's time to prepare your kids' brains to get back in the swing of things. Encourage your kids to do some summer reading and/or brain teasers as soon as possible so they can start flexing their brains (which may have been on cruise control throughout the summer) and be prepared to return to a full day of learning. If you're having a hard time getting your kids to read this summer, try motivating them with one of our Personalized Bookmarks or create a reward system that results with a prize or treat every time they meet one of their reading goals. Starting some reading or light academic work as soon as possible promotes a gradual back to school transition that will help your children feel more comfortable and confident as they start the new school year!
Finally, help your children make a smooth back to school transition by calming any first day jitters they may have. Ask your kids how they're feeling about going back to school and if there is anything that they're anxious or worried about. For example, if your little one is headed to their very first day of school, or their first day at a new school, they may be nervous about navigating through the building or riding the bus.
We suggest helping them calm their nerves by taking them on a "trial run" before school starts. Start by walking them to the school bus and explaining what time the bus will pick them up on their first day. Then take them to the school and walk them through the hallways and straight to their classroom so they know which way to go on their first day. We also suggest showing them around the entire school, including where the bathrooms are located and, if possible, introduce them to their new teacher or school principal. This little "trial run" will answer any "what ifs" they may have and will have them feeling much more confident about their first day of school!
Follow all these tips plus make sure they eat a nice healthy breakfast and get a good night's sleep and your little ones are sure to be fully prepared for their first day back to school!
DAY 2: It's Not Just About The Kids!
Helpful Tips Parents Need to Survive the FrenzyJuly 22, 2014
Use Coupon Code: SCHOOLDAYS2
Use Coupon Code: MUGBONUS
Your kids may be headed back to school soon, but they're not the only ones who need to be prepared! That's why we've put together some great parent tips that will help get you organized and prepare you for your kids' first day back to school and every day after that, too!
Life is about to get crazy, so crazy in fact, that you'll feel as though you don't have a second to spare in your entire busy day. That's why we suggest personalizing your very own "From the Mom of…" Notepad complete with all your kids' names plus your contact information, including your name, cell phone number and email address. These cute notepads are sure to come in handy the next time you need to write a quick note for the babysitter, teacher, coach or even another parent you're trying to schedule a play date with! Think of it like your own personal mommy or daddy business card – it's sure to save you a ton of time and stress whether you have one child or a dozen!
Another way to reduce stress as you're preparing for the new school year is to update your own planner or home calendar with the entire school calendar, including all after-school activities your children may have. You'll be happy to have everyone's schedule all in one place, so that you only have to check one calendar throughout the year (especially parents who have children in different schools). However, in order to prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, we suggest personalizing our "Simply Organized" Calendar Pad which will help you keep your entire family's schedule organized on a week-to-week basis. Your calendar will be much more manageable and much less intimidating so you'll be more likely to stick to it (we also offer Personalized Calendar Pads that your kids can use to help keep their individual schedules organized, too)!
While both of the above tips should help reduce stress, any realistic parent knows that stress is inevitable. The best way to fight that back-to-school stress is to be at the top of your game, by making sure you've started the day off right with your morning coffee! Head over to our Personalized Coffee Mug Department and have fun picking out a new back-to-school mug or travel tumbler design that you can personalize with your favorite photos, colors and message! The back-to-school stress and morning carpool will be much more manageable when you're facing it with a warm cup of coffee in your hand or cup holder!
DAY 3: "First Day" Fun for Everyone!
Capture the Moment with Fun Photos! July 23, 2014
Use Coupon Code: SCHOOLDAYS3
Use Coupon Code: TEACHERBONUS
Make their first day of school extra special by taking fun back-to-school photos both you and your kids will love! Traditional back-to-school photos are always cute, but you can make them even more wonderful by having your kids pose with a cute Back-To-School Sign that helps you capture this special moment (and their personality!) in time!
We've created this cute FREE PRINTABLE (as seen in the above image) that you can print and fill out to use for your very own back-to-school photos! Help your little one fill in the blanks, such as "I Love ______" or "When I grow up I want to be ______" and snap photos of them holding up their back-to-school sign. Years from now you'll love going through the photos and reminiscing about not only how cute they looked, but also about what their favorite things were at the time! If your little one is feeling camera shy, you can also use this FREE PRINTABLE (as seen in the image at right), which features more cute questions and can be filled out and kept in their baby book or memory box.
Now that you have cute back-to-school photos, you'll need to show them off! The "1st Day of School" Wood Frame (at right), or the colorful "My First Day Of School" School Bus Frame are the perfect designs for the occasion, or if you're looking for something different, you can browse through the wide selection of designs in our Personalized Photo Frames Store until you find your favorite!
There's sure to be a lot of excitement and commotion in your home on the first day of school, but it's important to remember that your little ones aren't the only ones who are headed back to school … teachers are, too!
The first day of school is the perfect opportunity to make a good impression with a Personalized Teacher Gift! The "Touches A Life" Tote Bag (at right) is one of our most popular teacher gifts, but we also have a wide selection of personalized stationary, desk accessories, gifts for the classroom and more – we even have gifts for bus drivers and coaches, too!
Once you've taken fun back-to-school photos and picked out a thoughtful teacher gift, your little one's first day is sure to be a success!
DAY 4: Time to Put on Your Game Face!
Don't Forget These Must-Haves for Active Kids July 24, 2014
Use Coupon Code: SCHOOLDAYS4
Every parent has a long checklist of supplies their child needs for school, but when your little one is involved in after-school activities, you need more than just folders and notebooks!
Whether your kids are playing sports, taking music lessons, or going to dance practice, it's important to send them with a Personalized Water Bottle (see above) so they can stay healthy and hydrated! We have tons of great designs for kids of all ages which can be personalized in their choice of color, fun graphics, messages, fonts, and more – we even have designs that you can personalize with one or several of your own favorite photos! Parents love our bottles because they feature a flip-top lid with a straw for easy sipping and they have a functional lid that can be hooked onto a backpack or sports bag. The best part about our personalized water bottles is that your kids will no longer mix up their water with their friends or siblings so no more sharing yucky germs!
If your kids are involved in after-school activities, they're also going to need a Personalized Tote Bag to carry all of the things they need, such as music sheets, dance or gym shoes, a change of clothes, etc. Our new Nike® Drawstring Bags (at right) can be embroidered simply with any name or you can choose to add any sports title or team name, their jersey number and their first or last name – all of which comes in your choice of 15 thread colors! These durable nylon bags feature a zippered pocket on the front and a mesh ventilation panel that's great to air out their gym shoes.
Our Active Girl Personalized Tote (at right) is perfect for girls who are involved in any after-school activity because this fun, swirly design can be personalized with any activity name you'd like, such as "Cheerleading" or "Band" plus it comes in your choice of 6 beautiful colors! Our wide selection of designs includes specialized themes, like our "Dancer" Tote Bag, which is perfect for kids involved in ballet, Irish or tap dancing, or we also offer more simple designs, like the new "All Mine!" Canvas Tote, which can be personalized with any name in your choice of color scheme so it can be used for any after-school activity that your little one may be involved in!
Once their games, recitals and performances begin, you're sure to be spending a lot of time in the cheering section. Show your team pride with a Personalized Sweatshirt Blanket, like the popular "School Pride" Design (at right), which you can personalize with their team info and their school's colors. Our cute blankets will help keep you warm as you cheer from the stands and support your little athletes all season long!
No matter what sport or activity your child is involved in this year, you're sure to find everything you need to have a successful year in our Back-to-School Sports & Leisure Gifts Store!
DAY 5: Think Outside The Lunch Box
Creative Tips for Making the Best Lunch Ever! July 25, 2014
Use Coupon Code: SCHOOLDAYS5
The best way to ensure that your kids have a great first day (and every day there after) is to send them to school with the best lunch ever! Lunch time is the one opportunity you have to make your little one smile throughout the school day, so make sure their lunch period starts off with a bang by creating a Personalized Lunch Bag just for them!
When it's time for lunch and your child pulls out their new lunch bag, the personalized touch is sure to brighten their day and remind them how much you love them!
Once you have the perfect lunch bag picked out, it's time to focus on what's going to go on the inside! Make their lunch extra special by following these three tips:
1. Get creative! Think outside-of-the-lunch box to create fun snacks, like Apple and Grape cars (above) and use cookie cutters to create one-of-a-kind sandwiches, like a Back-to-School-themed Sandwich (above) that will knock their socks off (you can find these and more recipes on our "Kids, Kids, Kids!" Pinterest Board)!
2. Add some color! Make their lunch bright and colorful (and healthy!) by using fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only will it brighten their day, it's good for their growing bodies, too!
3. Keep them on their toes! Introduce a new food each week and involve your kids in the process! When you let them pick out a new item from the grocery store each week, not only will they be excited to try it, they'll also be excited to tell their friends that they picked it out all by themselves!
These tips are a great way to keep lunch time exciting for your little ones, but for an extra special touch, be sure to include a special note, like one of our "Love Notes For Kids" Personalized Lunch Notes, to let them know that you're thinking about them and how much you care! Whether you just jot down a quick "I love you!" or spend time to write a special message to encourage them on the day of a big test, a personalized lunch note is sure to make their day!