1) Green school™ (www.green-school.ca) – I use a lot of their products, but my favourite is the one that helps me deal with the ridiculous number of forms sent home from school. Permission forms have to be returned for class trips, and I’m always sending in money for these, pizza days, milk and fundraising. I use the green school™ mini tote to ensure money and forms return to school safely and don’t get lost in the bottom of the knapsack black hole.
2) Ready Set Go! Board (www.tellychicago.com) – As a big fan of setting kids up for independence, I use the Ready Set Go! Board with my little ones so they can manage their morning routines. The picture icons are perfect for pre-readers and children feel pretty darn good about themselves when they have big kid responsibilities.
3) Water Bottle – I don’t send juice to school, so my kiddos always have a water bottle on hand. If you like your kids drinking filtered water, the Brita® Bottle for Kids is a squeezable, reusable bottle that filters water as you drink it, making it convenient for little ones to enjoy great-tasting tap water at school, camp and on the go.
4) Laptop Lunches (www.laptoplunches.com) – Litterless lunches are the way to go, and this reusable bento-ware lunch system makes it a snap. I’ve been using this product for years and while I still wish all those lunches would just pack themselves, having Laptop Lunches to work with is the next best thing.
5) Snack Bags – Snacks happen so make sure you have somewhere to pack them. Itzy Ritzy’s (www.itzyritzy.com) Snack Happened reusable and washable snack bags are a great eco-friendly option, or for Canadian mamas out there wanting to buy local, check out Greenalicious Bags (www.greenaliciousbags.ca), which are made of earth friendly organic cotton and repurposed fabrics.
6) Zazoo Photo Clock (www.zazookids.com) – We all know the frustration of having a keen kid awake and ready for that first day of kindergarten at 4:00am. Little guys can’t yet tell time but this multimedia clock helps train them about asleep and awake periods. Day-time “awake” and night-time “sleep” photos display at appropriate times to indicate to the child when it’s time to start and end each day.
7) Mabel’s Labels (www.mabelslabels.com) – Parents love saving time by not having to search out a missing running shoe, pair of mittens or sippy cup. Once labeled, these items inevitably get found and put in the appropriate backpack or cubby by school staff. Parents save money by not having to replace lost items and it’s never too early to start teaching children stewardship over their belongings.
8) Airbac Backpack (www.airbac.com) – Worried about the heavy backpacks your youngsters are carrying around? It’s no wonder the Airbac is a PTPA (www.ptpamedia.com) winner – this little beauty was designed for comfort, with the majority of the weight lifted off the upper back and shoulders of the wearer, where most pain is felt. It spreads the weight across the entire back and your kids will notice the difference!
9) IronKids Gummies vitamins (www.iron-kids.com) – Last September I had a kid take a sick day on the second day of school. Not this year – I want to keep these kids off the couch and in the classroom. I’m being preventative and shoving IronKids Gummies into them – though I don’t really have to be “shoving” since they’re so yummy I usually have to run away before the kids attack me for the bottle.
10) Knot Genie Detangling Brush (www.knotgenie.com) – Created “for every mom that has endured the foot stomping and screaming matches that come with brushing their child’s hair”. I have three girls stomping and screaming, but refusing to get haircuts. The Knot Genie has been a very welcome addition to our family.
Julie Cole is the Co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc. (www.mabelslabels.com) and the proud mom of six. Read her blogs at www.mabelhood.com/JulieCole and www.thebabymachine.com. Follow
her on twitter @juliecole.