The transition from summer to fall is a difficult one, to say the least. It’s never easy to say goodbye to the lackadaisical, sun-filled days of summer and give a warm welcome to another school year and its associated stress. Ditto when it comes to the kiddos, who are probably suffering from some degree of summer slide (not to mention social anxiety).
There are myriad ways to smooth the crossover. You can keep their brains spry and nimble with an engaging, challenging reading list. Get permission from the administration now and take the kids on a tour of next year’s hallways, classrooms and playgrounds to replace fear with familiarity. Lastly, you can minimize the stress of back-to-school by a) skipping the mad rush and getting all your shopping out of the way now and b) buying supplies so awesome, the kids will literally jump at the opportunity to use them—even if it does mean tackling that looming pile of homework.
Haven’t begun to even think of a back-to-school checklist? Never you mind. Click through the slideshow above for 10 cool school-supply essentials that’ll have you well on your way. Then go hit the beach.