• back-to-school Archive

    “Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” is a fitting description for my soon-to-be kindergartner. She’s been enthusiastically picking out her backpack, new school clothes and supplies like there’s no tomorrow. Plus, we’ve been checking out nearly every first day of school picture book from our library (luckily, there’s no limit!). While I don’t fear my 5-year-old will have any separation issues, reading with her about what she can expect is my way of preparing her for the big day–and getting her into the groove for storytime. One of my favorite books so far is the just-released Rufus Goes to School, an adorable story about a precocious pig who’s determined to go to school, even if he is an animal. Prompted by the desire to read his favorite book, [&hellip

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    Today we picked up school supplies for my 9- and 5-year-olds. We have it easy this year, as our school works with a local retailer to fill orders by grade and have them boxed up and ready to go. It’s truly one-stop shopping, and there’s no hunting for that special 3-ring binder or illusive composition book with the correct number of ruled lines. It also means no fun extras that we always manage to accrue every year, like scented colored pencils or purple glue sticks. But that doesn’t mean we can’t pick and choose an item or two that can shake up the classroom routine and update our home repertoire. Enter the Crayola Wild Notes line of notebooks and journals, featuring black (gasp!) lined paper [&hellip

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    At Target, the school supplies are crowding out the summer gear. Coolers and beach bags are making way for binders and backpacks, whether we’re ready for them or not. Because the first day of school is the farthest thing from my kids’ minds, I know we’ll need some motivation once it’s time to prepare for September. And since your average tween doesn’t exactly get jazzed by a new lunchbox, we moms must find creative ways to get the kiddies psyched for school. Enter Happy Charmz, a fun way to spice up your pencil box. These sweet little charms find right over the top of a pencil eraser, adding a little pizzaz to penmanship. (Think of it as bling for your favorite writing instrument.) Available in [&hellip

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    My 5-year-old had her kindergarten screening yesterday, and walked out with the biggest smile on her face. “I can’t wait to learn!,” she told me later. It’s moments like these that make you want to stop time, and bottle that infectious enthusiasm. To help my daughter get off to great start, even before September comes, we’ve been playing lots of simple learning games–using magnetic letters to spell out fun words, talking about the bugs and birds who’ve been making a home in our backyard–and I’m watching how they fuel her imagination. Just as important as these creative teaching moments are the opportunities to reinforce what she already knows and keep it fun. Just in time for back-to-school comes Priddy Books’ Schoolies, a line of educational [&hellip

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    In today’s mail, the Old Navy back-to-school catalog arrived. It wasn’t the first one we received, and it isn’t even August yet. Seems hints of backpacks, lunchboxes and all things back-to-school are happening earlier and earlier this year. If you haven’t already gotten a jump yet on school supply shopping, allow us to whet your appetite with some items that are making a name for themselves–literally. Makaboo lets kids design and personalize their own lunchboxes, backpacks and other cool-for-school accessories. Simply select an item, and then choose from one of over 30 colors, a font for your name and favorite icon (take your pick of 100 different pictures!). You’re good to go! We think Makaboo will be a big hit this September, especially for kids [&hellip

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    Got a summer reading list? If your teen hasn’t cracked open this year’s selection, it’s time to get crackin’ (only 6 more weeks ’til Labor Day). But if the sun and surf are competing for her attention and making it difficult to hunker down with her Kindle, Nook or hardcover, it’s time to offer a little inspiration. Out of Print Clothing features an entire line of book-themed T-shirts, tote bags and journals for kids and adults alike. Whether your grade schooler has just finished “Charlotte’s Web” or your high schooler has plowed through “The Great Gatsby,” there’s an item that’s just perfect for her. Among our favorites are the literary covered journals that invite aspire young writers to keep at their craft, and the bags [&hellip

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    I always get a little bummed right around the summer midway point; when I was a kid, my grandmother used to say, “After July 4th, summer’s over.” To this August-born babe, I was horrified by her statement and to this day, I still relish those dog days of lemonade drinking, firefly catching and all the little joys that make the season what it is. Imagine then those bittersweet feelings I experienced this week when the Lands’ End back-to-school catalog landed in our mailbox. It got me to thinking that it’s time to replace last year’s backpack with something a little more, shall we say, “lively.” After all, when you’re a rising third grader, anything remotely babyish just won’t do. So when we got a load [&hellip

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    At a time when SpongeBob is making waves for influencing poor attention spans in preschoolers, I feel the need to dust off some of my childhood classics, crawl back under the covers and remember a time when no one griped that Cookie Monster was responsible for making us eat too many chocolate chips. One of my favorite friends was Babar, the elegant elephant whose only flaw was making me want to learn French before I could master the English language. Nevertheless, the antics of papa elephant, Celeste and their adorable family was my first taste of sophistication and one that I can appreciate even more today as I read to my children. Picking up from where the story lines leave off are newly released twin [&hellip

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    Later this week is back-to-school night at my daughter’s elementary school, and I think I’m nearly as excited to meet her teacher as she was. After listening to my daughter’s daily descriptions over the last few days, I’ve begun to form my own positive impression…and can only hope this mental picture lives up to my expectations. Putting a face to a name is always nice, especially when it’s the person who’s educating your child for the next 180 days. No matter whether you look forward to a school open house, or you find yourself painfully reliving those days spent at wobbly desks and smelly gym classes, it pays to develop a good rapport with your child’s teacher in the long run. Aiming to open up [&hellip

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    Both my girls have already discovered the art of expressing themselves, and it’s not just through their artwork. My 7-year-old loves to don a pair of sparkly sunglasses or anything bearing a peace sign, while the 3-year-old has figured out that she exudes coolness if she sports Snoopy attire (don’t worry, tomorrow it’ll be Hello Kitty or some other character of the moment). Maybe that’s why graphic T-shirts are all the rage these days, showing up everywhere from runways to kids’ clothing catalogs. The latest line to catch our eye is from Chi Chi Baby, featuring 11 distinct prints for sizes 2T-5T. With bold prints that proclaim hip lingo like “wild child” and “rock star,” both boys and girls will gravitate to these stylish shirts, [&hellip

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