Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Our Back-to-School favorites!!!!

I know school is starting, like NOW for most of us, but hopefully some of you haven't started yet and can enjoy these favorites of ours!! 

I love this survival guide!  Unfortunately, I came (back) across it at midnight before school started and I wasn't going back to the store (for the millionth time that day) to get these things.  But next year I will use it and maybe you will love this too! Laurie from Tip Junkie created two versions of the Survival Kit.  I LOVE both of them!!  So, grab some Smarties, an eraser and a lollipop and give them version one, or grab a rubber band, Band-Aid, and gum ball and do version two!  So cute!  Our Kindergarten teacher does her own version of a little kit she gives the kids at back-to-school night, so I know kids love these things!!!  Check it out here~at Tip Junkie!!

Have you ever checked out Kristin Duke Photography??  If not~go~NOW!! Okay, not NOW-now.....but right after reading this post! ;)  I love her stuff.  She posts tons of fun things and good tips!  A few years ago she created lunch box jokes!  Her boys were getting older and she still wanted to leave them notes, but not be embarrassed if their friends found her mushiness.  So she created these awesome, cute, kid-friendly jokes.  You can print these off and pop on in their lunch box every few days!  Awesome!  Definitely go check these out for your kids!! 

My kids are in first and kindergarten this year.  (and preschool) Although they can read well, they can't quite read all those above.  So, I found these lunch box notes!  Brie from Darling Doodles (another really cute blog here ladies) created these notes/jokes.  Most of them are perfect for my younger kids who can read the fun "You are a Star" or "You're the Apple of my Eye" ones!  So go and get your printables!!  Also, if you look underneath in the "you may also like" section, you can see that there are other Holiday and season themed ones.  Wonderful!  You can use them all year long!!!

If you are Pinterest, or even Google savvy, you know there are TONS of back-to-school photo ops to choose from!  There really are~sooooo many cute ones! I came across these ones a couple years ago and have used them every year! I love them so much!!!  They are so adorable and the kids love holding the fun sign and seeing their change each year with the sign pictures!  These are from Jamielyn at I Heart Naptime!  (and yes, I totally loooove her blog too, so go there also)!!!  Click here and you can save and print your own from Jamielyn!  They are adorable!!!
My kids love our annual back-to-school breakfast!  I've done these every year too and they love them and ask every day if they are getting their "letter pancake!" 

The next tradition isn't quite as fun, but it is the most helpful!  I've done this for the last couple years too.  Glennon at Momastery shared a very sweet, personal story.  Please go here to read her post and her letter.  It's very touching and sweet!   Now, I do share this story, to some extent each year.  My kids are all of different ages and understanding about things so I do it one-on-one at their level.  I read the entire thing to my oldest two last year and this year, but before that I gave a simple, heart-felt discussion about picking on others.  After the story, I share my experience of the hell that was fifth grade and all the feelings that go with those experiences! Then, we have our own Talk.  Don't pick on others, but also, if you see others picking on someone, don't sit by and watch.  There are times you don't pick on someone, and that nobody else picks on them either, but that's not always enough.  Most of the time you have to make the choice to be nice, to say hi, to introduce yourself.  Just because we aren't doing something wrong, doesn't mean we are doing it right. 

I don't know if it's my son's personality, or The Talk the night before, but something helped him last year.  On the very first day of school, he saw a boy sitting alone on the bench at school.  He invited him to play.  They played every day that year.  That was one of his "kindergarten besties" or "the boys" as he put it each day.  Every day when I pick up the kids, I'd ask, "who did you play with today?"  He would usually answer, "the boys" and I knew who that included.  (ew..I hate that word..because they were all nice boys and didn't exclude anyone...) but sometimes he would say, "the boys.  And I brought Spencer (or Porter, or Isaac, etc) to play with us too."  And from that day forward, "the boys" included that person.  Yesterday was their first day.  He said he played with "the boys and he introduced them to Jordan!"  Yes, I am proud of him daily, but there will probably be a time where it isn't natural for him and someone might make fun of that boy and so it'll scare him away from inviting him to play.  And hopefully, if that time comes, he will remember The Talk we had that year and make the right choice. 

This is my favorite tradition because, well, because it is, unfortunately, very necessary.  Welcome to The Talk!

Okay friends~I hope you enjoyed my Back-to-School roundup!!  We love these great traditions and I can't wait to add in the newest one at the very top!! 

Have a happy day~Kasey

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