This year has been exceptional in every way and going back to school has brought a lot of excitement and anxiety among children and parents. Whether you’ve opted for distance learning, in-person, or a blended model for your child, we want to share the back to school must-haves and must-dos that are on our list as the school season starts to get through the year. If you're like me and juggling work from home, house chores, and homeschooling then this is what I am doing to make it all work.
Who knew a mask would end up on a must-have list, but this is the new normal! You’ll want to also label your child’s mask with their name in case there’s a mix up at school. Our school requires children to carry 2 masks, which makes sense because kids will be kids and either drop it, get it dirty or lose it altogether! There are so many options to choose from these days, but for me personally, the medical masks trumped the fashion ones because safety first, right? So, when children’s masks with filters came out, I was super excited and got funky designs for my kids.
I took my kids out to the mall last week for the first time after 6 months and guess what, my toddler lost his mask! So, like most mothers, I came back home and looked for a solution online and found these cool mask lanyards so that if the mask does slip off it doesn't fall it just hangs around your neck! How cool is that? A total must-have for kids if you ask me, I mean how many times have your kids dropped their mask? Too many times if you ask me!
Check out our masks and accessories collection that are completely customizable.
While washing your hands with soap and water is a better option, in case this is not an option for whatever reason, it’s a good idea to give your children a go-to size hand sanitizer. I love the small Dettol sanitizers that come in cute covers that can be attached to bags. This way they don’t lose the bottle as well and it’s easily accessible when they need it. Remind your children that they should wash their hands after going to the bathroom as well as before and after eating, and if they aren’t able to, they should use the sanitizer.
Check out our latest hand sanitizer bracelets.
One of the school requirements I found baffling was for children to bring a 2L bottle of water since there would be no provision at the school. The largest kids' water bottle comes in 32oz which is almost a liter. When choosing a water bottle for your child keep in mind how much they drink and select a size accordingly so it can last till the end of the school day. After all, the last thing we want is for kids to be sharing water bottles or anything for that matter during the pandemic. If you're homeschooling, then it's still a good idea to keep the kids' water bottles on their desk so they don't have to get up during class. We carry a variety of water bottles that are stylish and practical.
Tablet with a Pencil or Laptop
When the lockdown happened in March, we only had our kids' iPads for them to work on. We strongly believe in living sustainably and I didn’t want to print worksheets only to have to take a photo and upload them. So, I ordered an Apple pencil for each child and it was the single best investment during the lockdown. The kids would download the worksheets, use their apple pencil to complete the work, and upload the files. We didn't need to print anything! For children in higher grades, a laptop is a better choice due to their workload and requirement to do presentations, which are not easy to do on a tablet.
Desk and Chair
If you have opted for distance learning or the blended learning model, then investing in a proper desk and chair that is suitable for the child and which they enjoy sitting in is very important. This gives them their physical learning space and keeps all their learning material organized. More importantly, sitting properly with a good posture prevents postural damage and promotes better focus. Place your child's desk in a place that's free of distractions, noise, and clutter so they can focus on their learning.
New Backpack and Stationery Items
While this is not a must-have, it will get children excited to start school and we all know how important that is for the challenging year ahead! A new backpack and stationery items bring the joy we all may know too well from our childhood days. Our back to school shopping list included pencils in funky styles, cool erasers, new color pencils, neon and washable markers, fluffy notebooks, and pencil cases (the Smiggle range is our current favorite). Check out our Back to School collection that carries the cutest backpacks in a range of styles, water bottles, lunch boxes, and arts and crafts supplies.
Talk to Your Children
The first and most important part of getting your children ready to go back to school this year is to talk to them openly. They have been home for a while and everything around them has changed. Ask them what they are excited about and what makes them anxious. Remind them that while at school they need to:
- Practice social distancing
- Wear their mask
- Clean their hands frequently
- Avoid sharing their water bottles, snack/lunch, writing instruments, and devices
Have a Schedule
If you are homeschooling or your child’s school has a blended learning model where they will be home half the days, then I can't stress enough how important it is to plan your day and have a schedule. It is even more important to get your children to have a structure and follow a routine so they can get their schoolwork out of the way early on in the day when their mind is fresh, and they can relax later on. With you taking the lead they will follow in your footsteps.
Take Time Out for Yourself
No matter how crazy your day gets, take time out for yourself, and do something you like. When I tell someone that I run two companies, do the housework, home school my children, and make 3 meals a day, they call me super mom. But trust me, no matter how organized you are or think you can manage everything, it eventually gets to you. So, take time out every day to do something for yourself. Whether that something is taking a bubble bath, going out for dinner with your friends, or even just watching Netflix, it’s enough to freshen you up for the next day!
Now that the school year has started, I wish all of you the best in getting through what we all know will be a challenging year ahead! Remember that you are not alone, we are in it together, and we will get out of it even stronger.
The Crib is an online baby shop in Dubai, UAE that offers natural and inspiring products for babies and children.