7 things to know for back-to-school 101

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Back to school season is pretty exciting for many parents. The kids are out of the house for at least six hours per day, bringing sweet freedom that summer vacation stole from them.

Like anything, though, it’s not all parental bliss. Sending your children back to school requires a lot of planning and preparation from school supplies to creating healthy, tasty lunches on a daily basis that your kids will actually want to eat.

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SEE ALSO: Should Vancouver schools eliminate homework?

Below are seven things to prepare for as your children venture back into the school system for another year.

Get school supplies on the cheap.

Ah, school supply shopping, the bane of every parent’s existence. It’s annoying, time consuming and often expensive, but if you go shopping within the first week of school there are some amazing deals to be had.

Staples is offering some pretty sweet deals at the moment – paper is less than a dollar and they have a whole portion of their website dedicated to back-to-school.

Pack a healthy lunch.

It isn’t always easy to make a kid-friendly lunch that’s both healthy and delicious. It just seems so much easier to throw some Lunchables in their backpacks and call it a day, but good food doesn’t have to be a struggle. Bon Appetit has a great list of yummy kids lunches that you’ll feel good about and your kids will enjoy.

Thrift some school outfits.

Kids can be notoriously picky where their clothes are concerned – if it’s not cool, they won’t wear it. Luckily for you, thrifting is all the rage right now. Get those unique vintage 90s looks at a fraction of the price by hitting up secondhand stores like Value Village. Just don’t forget to wash the pieces before your kid wears them.

For a handy how-to for thrifting, click here.

Get your kid a cellphone.

Ok, this one sounds a bit obnoxious, but hear us out. The safety of your child is of the utmost importance and a great way to guarantee it is with a line of communication. The recent string of attempted child abductions in Stanley Park means parents should be more vigilant than ever with their child’s whereabouts.

Thankfully, there are cellphones – and even smartphones – that were designed just for your child that only allow them to call you or a pre-set list of numbers. Plus with GPS on the phones, you can track your child’s movements more easily.

Digital Trends has a list of the top five mobile devices that are great for kids.

Be wary of speeders.

Schools zones come back into effect as of today, September 8, which means many people will be slowing down and minding their speeds. However, some people might not get the memo and will continue to do regular speeds through the 30 km/h zones.

Teaching your children to be vigilant is key. Looking both ways before crossing the street and continuing to look while crossing is important, as is only using marked crosswalks. Kids should always take off their headphones when they’re in traffic-heavy areas in order to be completely safe.

Click here for a full list of road safety tips for back-to-school.

Don’t overload your child’s backpack.

A backpack is a handy and practical way for your child to carry around their school supplies, lunch, text books and binders, but the cumulative weight can, well, weigh them down. A full backpack can cause back, shoulder, neck and hip problems, among others. A great way to prevent this is by using a backpack from a sporting goods store or by encouraging your child to use the waist clip.

For more detail, see The Huffington Post’s how-to for backpack safety.

Establish a morning routine.

Having a good morning routine for your child is imperative. Leaving time in the morning for your kid to eat a balanced, healthy breakfast, get their homework assignments together and make their bed will create good life-long habits and will set them up for a great day.

And having a solid morning routine doesn’t have to be hard. Take it from the experts at Parenting.com on how to create a stress-free morning routine for you and your child.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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