This post is sponsored by on behalf of popchips.

After seeing everyone’s social media posts about the end of summer and beginning of school, I feel a bit relieved that my kiddos don’t start until September (the way it SHOULD be). At least it’s this way for our 2 and 4-year programs, but I’ll take it. While we’re still enjoying every last bit of summer break, I’m also mentally and logistically preparing for our new routine.

When my schedule changes, I always enter panic mode at the beginning – anyone else? I literally have to map out and write down how drop offs, pick ups, office time, doctor appointments, babysitters, etc. will all fit together, and it looks like some serious A Beautiful Mind stuff. In the end, with organization and preparation, it always works out.

Here are some of the ways I’m prepping to transition into back to school mode.

Tips for transitioning back to school

Write out new schedule

Whether your schedule is changing or you’re just adding an after school activity, I find it best to physically write (or type & print) out your schedule. Post it somewhere easily accessible, like in the kitchen, to keep you on track.

Prep the night before

Check your child’s folder after school to see if there are any special items needed for the next day; then put it in their backpack the night before. If your child takes a lunchbox to school, make the lunch the night before – have your kid help you make it, too! Don’t forget to grab it on the way out.

Have your child pick out their outfit (or present them with 2 choices) the night before, too.

Prevent hangry meltdowns

{Hungry + angry = hangry} To avoid terrible hungry-induced meltdowns, pack a better-for-you snack in your child’s lunchbox, in their backpack for after school, or even in the car to enjoy on the way home (or right when you get home – I don’t love food in the car). Our family favorite? Popchips – they make THE MOST DELICIOUS snacks that you can feel good about eating.

I’m not sure which I love more – I go back and forth between the Sea Salt and tangy BBQ; both are light, airy, non-GMO, and only 100 calories per serving made with real ingredients. Yes, they’re healthy kid snacks, but they are also 100% mom tested and approved.

Everything has a place

To avoid the chaos of “where’s my backpack? Where are my shoes? Where’s my folder, lunchbox, etc.?” make a conscious effort to put things back in the same place every time. No exceptions. Get the whole family into this routine so everyone is accountable for their own things.

Set small goals/rewards

If you’re having trouble mentally or emotionally saying goodbye to summer, set weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals with the family to keep the fun spirit of summer alive year-round. It can be as simple as making a commitment to after dinner walks, making plans to go to a new park on the weekend, or as elaborate as planning your next va-or staycation.

What are your best tips on transitioning to the new school year?