Summer’s over. Time to go back to school!
“Back to school” is a strange concept for me as it’s been about a decade since I was last a full-time student. Having worked all the time since, I barely recognize the summer vacation months when they come along, noting only that it’s a little hotter and all the fun stuff in town’s a lot busier than it was a few months prior.
Which is all fine and dandy—until you have a kid.
Because Back-to-School is Different as a Parent.
I woke up early on the Tuesday following Labour Day, getting my Facebooking in before the toils and tribulations of the day ahead. I’ve spent 9 years seeing my Facebook evolve from club kids without a clue to travel, weddings and baby announcements, but this morning my Facebook feed was plastered with kids getting ready for the first day of school. My little guy’s only creeping on 10 months old, and I already find myself thinking of all the things I’ll need to keep in mind when he’s in preschool. Then in elementary school. And later in high school.
It’s 2014 and school’s more confusing than ever—you need indoor shoes; outdoor shoes; labelled containers for lunches, snacks and afternoon snacks; permission forms signed in triplicate; and clean DNA samples should anything go wrong1! Parenting’s way different now than it was when my parents were sending me to school—there’s quite literally an app for everything: want to get your little toddler ready for their first day? Try Hurray for PreK! Need a little help getting your lives in order in this new phase of life? Cozi Family Organizer, Remember the Milk and Awesome Note are all excellent choices. You can teach them about time with KinderClock; build healthy dining habits with LunchBag, Food on the Table and Big Oven — there’s even Is it Contagious? when you have no clue whether your kid should be around other kids!
The world has definitely changed, and transitioning from having a little person hanging around at home relying on you for everything to one ready to go out into the world and live a life without you involved is a tough one—and an expensive one, too!
Which is why stores like Best Buy are there to help out, with a bevy of diverse services like a Lowest Price Guarantee, Reverse and Pick-up service and Web Kiosks that can help ship an item to your home in the unlikely event that they don’t have what you’re looking for in-store!
And if you thought Best Buy was just a technology store, think again—with more than 300 backpacks, 3,500 school and office supplies, educational toys and even musical instruments, Best Buy could very well be your one-stop shop for just about anything your child might need! That toddler just entering daycare? Check. That kid tearing it up on the elementary school playground? Check. That teenager learning the ways of the world in high school? Obviously.
In fact, with the parental leave in Casa de Palmer coming to a close and the Daycare Days soon upon us, Best Buy Canada gave us the chance to try some products that fit the stage the little guy’s at, maybe even giving him a leg up he needs for a glorious future ahead!
1 Okay, schools don’t really ask for your children’s DNA samples for emergencies. Not yet, anyway.
Little Things for the Preschool Kids!
Munchkin Funpack Harness ($14.99)
I know there’re parents who are totally against using a harness to rein their kids in, but as a first-time parent, I’m extra-wary of the world’s dangers, and rather have as many emergency measures as possible to keep my child out of harm’s way.
The Funpack’s a fun little pack that can help carry a water bottle and some cleaning supplies, but as he explores his world, it’s good knowing that we can lend a helping—if a little unsolicited—hand when needed!
LeapFrog Touch Magic Learning Bus ($24.99)
Things have come a long way since the borderline-creepy voice of the Speak ‘n’ Spell back in the ’80s!
Though a quiet kid, I was reading from a young age, and I want to be involved in my son’s journey to learn a love for reading as well! So the LeapFrog Touch Magic Learning Bus was a great educational toy to get in the mail, with three modes to help him build his vocabulary, explore the alphabet, and even get in touch with his musical side as an added bonus!
(Just like his Dad!)
Normally, we let the batteries run out on his noise-making toys, but this is one worth buying extras for!
Munchkin 8 oz Cookie Monster Straw Cup ($6.99) & WOW Kids Spill Free Drinking Cup ($9.08)
Kids like to drink. As the Dad of a breastfed child, there was only so much I could do to quench his thirst in the early months, even at the times where we introduced the bottle. But now we’ve started introducing different liquids, and the little guy can’t get enough!
But boy does he ever make a mess!
Which is why an option like the WOW Kids Spill-Free Cup is so appealing—he still learns to drink from a sippy cup on his own, while we don’t need to worry from afar that he’s making himself a hot mess without us there to change him.
More Complex Things for Older Kids? Elementary, My Dear Parent!
Home Presence Fuel Bento Lunch Box Food Container ($16.99)
We’re years away yet from labelled containers at lunchtime, but the Home Presence Fuel Bento Lunch Box is great for kids (or even grateful husbands) to keep all those foods separate, clear of the cross-contamination that make things mushy, soggy or anything else that’s rather unappetizing!
I think… I’ll hold on to this one for a while.
So if you’re stressed and feeling underprepared for the school year, don’t worry! There’re stores, apps and a whole bunch of resources that’ll make this journey an easier one to face!
Good luck with the contest, with the school daze, and may the odds ever be in your favour,