Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘Back-to-School’ tag

July 25th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Labeling Your School Supplies

With 32 days left of summer vacation, my family needs to start thinking about school and getting school supplies. Buying the supplies are the fun part, but the labeling of them can take forever! You can go the simple way of labeling with initials or first name using a pen or marker, but I wanted to share some fun ways to label your supplies without all the hassle.

Print some labels like in the picture above. I love these little labels to print names and attach to items. They can also be found in neon colors. I have found that you sometimes need to cover with tape when labeling crayons and markers and others things that are curved.’

Check out these Property of stickers. These would be great for books, folders, and other large items.


Your child can really add personality to their labels when you print these personalized labels.


Mabel’s Labels offers labels for school supplies, lunch boxes, and even clothing and shoes. These offer a great alternative to the printed labels because they are made with labeling items as a sole purpose.

If you have the ability to cut vinyl lettering you can label things like this. This would take a bit of work but makes a big statement. Check out how they labeled pencils with vinyl.

Once you decide what option you are going to use stick a good movie on the tv and go to town! It’s a tedious task, but once you see all those labeled items you will feel like you really accomplished something!

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July 23rd, 2014 at 9:00 am

Outfit of the Week


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As a kid, I LIVED in sweatsuits in the fall and winter because they were just so comfortable! These fleece sets are no different, and they come in a bunch of colors with fun graphics and patterns. Sports, skulls and crossbones, and monster trucks…your little guy will love these soft sets for play or just lounging around.

You can find these in Walmart stores and on!

Garanimals Infant/Toddler Boy Graphic Fleece Top and Pants

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July 17th, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Outfit of the Week



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The fall collection is here and it’s as bright and bold as the changing leaves will be soon! This outfit of the week is for infant/toddler girls. The pretty striped long-sleeved tee features a sparkly silver threading in between each stripe. The stretchy tuxedo leggings feature sparkly side striping for the perfect glitter glam ensemble! Both items come in a variety of colors for mixing and matching.

You can find these items in Walmart stores and on!

Garanimals Infant/Toddler Girl Long Sleeve Tee Shirt

Garanimals Infant/Toddler Girl Tuxedo Leggings

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August 30th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Boo Hoo or Woo Hoo ~ The Tale of a Mom’s First Day of Kindergarten

This week my youngest son started Kindergarten. I didn’t know how it would go.

With my first born I cried and was sad, but being a stay at home mom I had spent day after day with him. It was weird being home with only one for a whole day. I didn’t know what he would encounter at school and worried that he might be hungry or scared.

After the first day, he came out of school and said “This was the best day ever!” Each day got easier for me as I saw how much he enjoyed school and was so proud of the things he brought home.

This week, when my youngest started school, I thought it would be easy. He is more confident and adventurous than my first born. The night before Kindergarten I read the story The Night Before Kindergarten to him and I started to get teary-eyed. My role as a stay at home mom was changing. From 8-3 it would only be me at home and my boys would be learning about the world from their teachers. I worried that my youngest might make wrong choices in his actions, whether he would interrupt the teacher or have a crying fit. (He has a personality all his own)

The next morning we took pictures, got all dressed with our new backpacks, and we were off. The school held a Boo-Hoo Breakfast where the moms and dad would get to say good-bye to their kids before they would go to their class. It involved the story The Kissing Hand and some information about their day. There were hugs and kisses and they marched upstairs. I got a quick hug and a see you later!, just like I thought. Even though my husband was home, it was quiet – eerily quiet – something that I am still getting used to several days later. At the end of the day I saw his smiling face exiting the school and his first comment was “I Love Kindergarten!”

I have to admit I think about the boys when they are gone at school, wondering if schoolmates are being nice to them, if they are having a good day, and what neat things they are doing. It’s hard growing up, isn’t it? Even for parent!

If you want to use the same fun First Day signs from my picture above you can find them here.

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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August 20th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Tips to Keep Your Kids Bilingual When They Go Back to School

My children are not lucky enough to attend a dual language immersion school. That means they are surrounded by English pretty much all day long once they go back to school. Nothing wrong with that, except that it makes it a lot harder when you’re trying to raise bilingual kids.

If you’re raising your children with more than one language, there are several things you can do to make sure they don’t forget their second language once they go back to school.

Here are some of the things we do in my household:

  • First and foremost, talk to your children in Spanish. In my house, my kids know that as soon as they get home from school, they have to switch to Spanish because that is the language we speak at home.
  • Make sure you’re reading to them in Spanish as much as possible. My daughter has to read for 20 minutes, so I let her do that in English. Then, we spend another 10 minutes with me reading something to her in Spanish.
  • If you let your kids watch movies, use the Spanish track so that they watch them in their second language. They may not like it at first, but they’ll quickly get used to it.
  • Same thing if you let your kids use your tablet. My kids are allowed to use mine only if they play apps in Spanish. They can play some in English too, but first they have agree to play the ones that helps them practice their Spanish.

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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August 23rd, 2012 at 5:01 am

Bilingual Books for Back To School

It’s hard to believe, but the summer–or at least our children’s summer break–is about to come to an end. In fact, my children have been back in school since last week, but that’s because school starts in early August in my neck of the woods. In order to get my children back into the school routine and excited about a new school year, we started reading books about going back to school a couple of weeks before their first day back.

Let me share some of our favorite ones with you:

Spot va a la escuela by Eric Hill — Perfect for preschoolers. Like all other Spot books, this one includes simple text, colorful illustrations and flaps for children to lift to find out more information.

Cheech y su autobús escolar by Cheech Marin — This is one of my personal favorites, but that’s because I love Cheech Marin. This is a particularly great book if your children are taking the bus for the first time.

My School/Mi escuela by Ginger Foglesong Guy – A journey into everything that happens in one day of school. I think this one is great for children who are nervous about the typical things that go at school on any given day.

Rabbit and Turtle Go To School/Conejo y Tortuga van a la escuela by Lucy Floyd – Retells the old fable of the turtle and the rabbit but this time the race is on their way to school. The rabbit runs and the turtle takes the bus. Who will win this time?

Max va a la escuela by Adria F. Klein — Another exploration of what goes on in a typical day at school. This one is perfect for beginner readers like my daughter who likes to read it to her little brother.

Do your children have any favorites in English or Spanish that you’d like to share with us?

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s currently working on her first book, based on her blog, to be published in September. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.


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August 6th, 2012 at 6:58 am

Making School Lunch Fun

Lunch is an important part of a child’s school day. It refuels their body, recharges their mind, and gives them that boost that helps them get through the second half of the day. There are some great ways to make lunch fun and healthy while keeping it affordable!

Have you ever thought of including a little note in their lunch bag? There are some easy ways that you can remind your child you love them. Draw a little picture or write a special note on their napkin. Notes can be written by mom or dad. I once saw a note from dad to his son and he reminded him that it was their special night to watch WWE on television. The sons eyes lit up as he talked about their plans for the evening. That little bit of LOVE goes a long way! Check out my Pinterest board of lunch box note ideas.

Once you have your note ready, how about showing some love by packing lunch in a fun and healthy way! Think outside of the box – lunch doesn’t have to be chips, a cookie, an apple and the daily peanut butter and jelly. Pack a thermos filled with the leftover soup or pasta from last nights dinner or make a fun wrap filled with diced chicken, lettuce, cheese and other veggies. There are some great containers out for lunch boxes that really help to carry lunch easily with interesting choices. Does your child like sushi? No reason that they can’t have that at the school lunch table. Be creative.

I know this all seems really daunting – organizing fancy school lunches and writing notes to go in them. Think about putting lunches together for the entire week at a time and having your notes ready to go also! A little organization goes a long way! Be sure to stop by my personal blog for some more ideas on how to make school lunch fun!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.


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July 30th, 2012 at 7:24 am

Making the Start of School Fun

Some kids are excited to go back to school, while others moan and groan about the start of the new school year. Add some fun to the school year with some of these ideas I’ve collected:

  • Instead of just writing on the school supplies with sharpie, make it Stylish.
  • Hold a Back to School Party . It’s a great way to get friends together to celebrate the start of the new school year plus us moms can have fun too!
  • Have the Back to School Fairy make a visit. Check out my ideas on Pinterest, here or here. Or present the kids with this Back to School poem, ready the night before school starts.
  • Document the start of the school year by taking some of these pictures. Plus don’t forget the annual first day of school picture – how about some of these ideas?
  • Have a snack ready for the end of the day – You could go with the usual Chocolate Chip Cookies, or how about these cute apples?
  • Create a time capsule that contains information about your childs favorites, a writing or coloring sample, and information about school. Open it on the First day of the next year and compare the changes that have occurred! Here is a great questionnaire you can use with each kid.
  • Even moms can celebrate the First Day of School! Send out invitations to other school moms for a coffee date at the local coffee shop or even a coffee play-date for the little ones at your house! Or just paint your nails funky for the first day!

All August I will be giving more Back to School ideas – School Lunch Ideas, How to Organize School Papers, Thoughts on Bullying, and some ideas on getting involved in your child’s education.

How do you make the Start of the School Year fun?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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July 23rd, 2012 at 5:00 am

Getting Ready to go Back to School!

Can you believe it? The stores are filled with school supplies which mean the time is approaching…….

Back to School! 

Here in Wisconsin we have a little under 40 days until the new school year starts, but I know some of you start in early August so I want to be sure you are prepared.  The start of a school year means a little organization and a lot of preparation to get everyone ready to go back to school – moms and dads too!

Here are the things I think about when preparing to go back to school:

  • Go through the kids closets and dresser to try on old clothes and decide what new things are needed. Make sure to check the underwear, socks, and belts!
  • Set a budget for the start of school. Be sure to include school supplies and clothing and remember to include all the fees that are due to school!
  • Figure out what supplies can be reused (scissors, glue, ruler) and collect school supply list. Make sure to buy extras of items that get used up through the year and put them away.
  • Decide on a homework spot that is complete with needed supplies. Be sure to add these to the school supply list.
  • Clean out old toys/books that the kids have outgrown.
  • Make a launch pad – this is a spot that backpacks and other school items are kept (musical instruments, sports equipment,etc..)
  • Go grocery shopping for a collection of healthy snacks and lunches. Gather some new ideas of things your children might be interested in.
  • Confirm arrangement for Before and After School care along with transportation.
  • Schedule hair cuts
  • Shift bedtime so you can shift the wake up time. We always start this the first full week before school starts.
  • Review the basics – do we need refreshers on our phone number, address, math facts, or ABC’s?
  • Plan play dates to reconnect with school friends
  • Plan one last family getaway – not a lot of money? Think about a stay cation!

Be sure to visit my post next monday for more Back to School fun……..I’m going to be talking about making the start of the school year fun! Can you say parties, gifts, and back to school traditions?


Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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August 15th, 2011 at 5:00 am

The Freshness of the “New Year”

I always feel like the start of a new School Year is more my “new year” than the actual January 1. It is a fresh start to our “organized” year and I’ve had several months of some down time to evaluate things in my household.

So, as I get ready this week for the start of school in the next two weeks I have started thinking about my goals and aspirations for the next year. Then in January I will review where I am at and what I need to do to get there!

What do I do to get ready for a new year?

I buy a new calendar. I sit down and enter all the important dates, the new school calendar, and any potential events that I would like to attend. Then I go through the papers I have saved over the summer and process them. I either file them, toss them or use them to put an item on my to do list. I also look at the calendar and try to figure out what activities the boys will be participating in for the fall and winter.

I make a bunch of lists. Let me run down the lists I write:

  • School/Fall Clothes that are needed
  • Fall Cleaning List
  • Honey Do items that got forgotten over the summer
  • Christmas to do list
  • Christmas Gift List

These list help me to write my goals. One of my goals this year is to SIMPLIFY. This pertains to how my family handles holidays, our finances, the clutter in our house, and the things we take on in life.

Now I have a plan and can conquer the “New Year”! What do you do to organize and start your “New Year” off right?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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