Noting back to school nights

Make a note of important dates, especially back-to-school nights. This is especially important if you have children in more than one school and need to juggle obligations. Arrange for a babysitter now, if necessary.

Connecting with the bus driver

Communicate with your child’s bus driver and encourage your child to do the same thing. Children are sometimes very hesitant to talk to their bus driver, and it can become very important for you to take the step of speaking with them about bullying behavior on the school bus.

prepping for school colds

When preping for pre-school stock up on tissues, saline drops, antibacterial soap and gel, wipes, all the little items you wish you had in your pocketbook, car, or briefcase. As soon as the first cold hits, and it will, you’ll be so glad you did.

Reinforce Toilet Training before school

Depending on the program, some preschools require three-year-olds to be potty trained by the first day of school, some don’t. Check with your school and then move ahead with your plan.

Talking to kids about school

Spend time talking with your child about preschool even before it starts.

Before the first day, gradually introduce your child to activities that often take place in a classroom. A child accustomed to scribbling with paper and crayons at home, for example, will find it comforting to discover the same crayons and paper in his or her preschool classroom.

Talking to principal before school starts

Parents need to be prepared for preschool, too. Talk to the principal and the preschool teacher to find out as much information as you can about your child attending preschool.

If you know about the new routines and experiences your child will encounter, you will be ready to answer any questions they might have.

Starting the day right

No one likes to race through the school morning routine — especially on the first day. So get everyone up at a reasonable hour. That way, you won’t have to hurry your child as he munches through his morning meal — or risk being late because you had to tame your frazzled tot’s tantrum.

Car trip travel tip

When going on long car trips, prepare ahead with paper bags of items to be given out every 25, 50 or 75 miles — marked on a map with the location, it takes a little bit of preparation to do this but it REALLY helps young children.

In each bag put a wrapped item — usually a small toy. Then in some of the surprise packages you can add juice or a snack, stickers and a piece of paper, or something pertaining to the trip that you can talk about.

Back to School clothing tip

Rather than rushing out in August to buy school clothes, wait it out until mid-September.
In addition to finding more things on sale, your kids will also have an opportunity to see what everyone else is wearing before they buy those jeans they thought were trendy.

Talk up preschool

Talk positively about preschool ahead of time: their new teacher, their new friends, their new classroom.

Shop end-of-summer sales

You know as well as we do that kids wear short sleeve polo shirts all year long, so hit the big summer sales and snap up discounted duds that can be worn well into fall.

Keeping occupied while playing

After your toddler starts to play on his/her own, keep a magazine nearby and sneak a peek at a page while she is stacking blocks. It’s okay to take a break! She’ll let you know when she needs some more attention, interaction, or direction.

Safety for outdoor railings

If you have a deck, make sure the space between the railings is less than 4 inches. If it’s not, put up some kind of netting or protective shield. One Step Ahead sells a fantastic clear plastic protector that I’ve used for years.

When the sun is most intense

Avoid sun exposure from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are most intense. Keep in mind that even on cloudy days, the sun can be just as strong; you’ll want to use these same precautions on those days as well.

Send kids to work

Place child-sized furniture around the house to encourage the busy toddler to sit still longer and “work” at her own drawing table. A step stool will help her reach the kitchen sink for hand washing, tooth brushing, and for "helping" in the kitchen.

Sunscreen sensitivity

Try a lotion or creamy product with an SPF between 15 and 30, and test a small area on your child’s arm first to see if she’s sensitive to a particular sunscreen.

Asthma and air quality

If your toddler has asthma, then you may already be familiar with air quality alerts. Poor quality air is fertile ground for asthma attacks, a serious summer health risk for toddlers with asthma. Check your local news or online each morning to determine the status of air where you live and make plans accordingly.

Getting kids to sleep longer

If your child gets up too early try darkening her room. The body’s most sensitive time to light is in the early morning hours and these beautiful summer sunrises can be anything but beautiful if your baby or toddler is up with the sun every day.

Don’t skimp on sunscreen

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most people apply only about half as much sunscreen as they should.

Toddler obstacle courses activity

Obstacle courses can be great outdoor children games or you can create one for an active rainy day game. Setting up cushions for tots to crawl over or furniture to crawl under can make for a fun activity.