It’s back-to-school season and while it can be an exciting time for families, it’s also a time of added stress for everyone: from getting children out the door with schoolbooks and school lunch to helping with homework after school while getting dinner on the table; it’s all a bit overwhelming. But this year, parents don’t have to go it alone. Below are some tips for families to help take the stress out of yet another school year; creating easy, seamless routines for an anxious-free day.
Set your coffee maker to brew the night before so it’s easy to grab and go a ready-made, freshly brewed cup:
- The Coffee® Single Cup Coffee Maker with Built-in Grinder elevates the single cup brewing experience. The built-in grinder instantly transforms whole beans to fresh grounds. In the same amount of time it takes to load a pod, you can brew a single cup using fresh roasted coffee beans for a rich, full taste.
- The Coffee® Smart Optimal Brew™ 10-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Wemo® allows coffee lovers to adjust the brew time directly from an app on their smartphone. Sleeping in? Have an early meeting? Just change the brewing time to your schedule so you can always enjoy a fresh cup.
Create a healthy snack station for hungry after-schoolers with a variety of options:
- Look no further than the products in kitchen cabinets and utilize an everyday appliance like the Crock-Pot® Hook Up® Connectable Entertaining System to put them all together in the most delicious way. The System is perfect for whipping up these tasty treats for children to enjoy at the end of a strenuous school day. Another great snack idea? A smoothie. It’s a cool, healthy treat just before dinner.
After school, engage with your kids by planning an activity once or twice a week:
- Scream for ice cream…made in a sandwich bag. This method will provide a basic and delicious chemistry lesson.
- Volunteering can be fun and rewarding—have the kids decorate non-perishables for the local food bank or get them to pack bag lunches for the homeless.
- Play board games. Experts say board games develop the attention and focus of a child.
- Stage a scavenger hunt. Have kids search for fun items, indoors or out. If you have a large group, break them into smaller teams. Make the clues easier for the younger kids and vaguer for the older ones, while even incorporating what they’re learning in school that week.
Eat dinner as a family and get kids involved in planning and cooking the meals:
- Researchers have found that both older and younger children benefit greatly from dinnertime conversations. Spending time together as a family boosts vocabulary even more than being read aloud to; young kids learned 1,000 rare words at the dinner table, compared to only 143 from parents reading storybooks aloud. Adolescents who ate family meals five to seven times a week were twice as likely to get A’s in school as those who ate dinner with their families fewer than two times a week.
- Parents who have their kids help them while they prepare meals makes children more receptive to new foods because they are comfortable at home and will make the connection to a positive experience. So plan yummy, easy meals with tools like the Crock –Pot® Multi Cooker. This one appliance is easy to use and is versatile enough to brown and sauté, slow cook, roast, bake and steam!
- Save time each week by cooking ahead. For instance, on Sundays, make several meals for the coming week in a Crock –Pot® slow cooker and freeze them for easy preparation as the week progresses.
There are so many ways to make this school year infinitely more pleasant, pleasurable and enjoyable for everyone in the family. With the tips and tools outlined here, schoolkids and their parents can transition from summer to scholarly pursuits, drama and stress-free.