Whenever I see a school sign like the one above, it always makes me smile because it looks to me like a mum grabbing her reluctant child by the hand and dragging him off to school while he tries to dawdle along behind her, quite probably tripping over his untied shoelaces and trying to stuff the last bite of toast into his mouth ! Maybe that just says a lot about back-to-school mornings at The Madhouse though ! The first couple of weeks after the holidays are always slightly manic as everyone tries to get back into routine, so we've been looking out for anything to help relieve some of the morning madness.
One of the first things to worry about in the mornings is getting the kids to fill their stomachs before they head off to school. If you have fussy eaters or if they don't have much of an appetite first thing in the morning, you might find that belVita Breakfast biscuits are your perfect solution. There's something that feels decidedly naughty about eating biscuits for breakfast, especially the cocoa with choc chips ones that we've been sampling, so that might be enough to tempt them. These are no ordinary biscuits though - belVita Breakfast are the only breakfast biscuits proven to slowly release carbohydrates over four hours, when eaten as part of a balanced breakfast. They have a high content of slowly digestible starch, which is a slow-release carbohydrate that keeps your blood sugar more steady over the morning. Perfect for keeping energy and attention levels up until lunchtime, for you and the kids ! For more info : BelVita UK Facebook page
Call it Sod's Law but it's always just when you are about to head out of the door on the school run that your darling baby daughter decides to fill her nappy - more often than not, one of those explosive ones that leaks out of the sides of the nappy and soaks through several layers of babygro, tights and trousers ! - or your son appears with his school uniform all wonky, toothpaste stains around his face and Nutella in his hair. If your kids come home to lunch, they always manage to find time to get grubby knees and filthy shoes before heading back to school too. And I don't even want to remember the days when I ended up with baby sick on my shoulder just as I was heading out of the door to drop the kids off at the childminder's and dash to work ! For those moments when you have no time to head to the bathroom and a baby wipe just won't cut it, Johnson's have launched their new Top-to-Toe Baby Washcloths, which are almost twice the size of a normal baby wipe, providing a quick and easy all over clean, anytime, anywhere without the need for water or drying. They are mild and gentle on the skin and they smell lovely too! Perfect for clean-ups when you're in a rush. (RRP : £2.49 for 15)
One for all the mums of girls, who have to deal with the extra hassle of brushing and plaiting long hair during the morning rush : Revlon Professional have launched a new children's product, 'Equave Kids Princess Look' (RRP £3). Inside the funky heart-shaped bottle is a gentle, leave-in, detangling conditioner, enriched with keratin, which reduces tangling and prevents static electricity. It cares for hair and gives it an incredible princess shine and silky texture, as well as smelling lovely. Above all, it makes brushing easier, resulting in less morning strops - hallelujah !
Last but not least, there's a great little gadget that is absolutely perfect for helping keep your kids safe on the way to and from school, particularly when the nights start drawing in and it's still dark in the morning. ZipLit (RRP £4.95) is a little illumination device, threaded with durable cord that's easy to loop and attach to the end of almost any jacket, coat or backpack. Encased in durable, water-resistant plastic housing, its bright L.E.D. provides instant visibility whenever you need it, so you can see your surroundings better and others can see you. Combining a functional zipper pull with a bright LED light, it is as funky as it is functional and kids will be delighted to wear it and show it off to their friends because it's so cool. It's so cheap, it's definitely worth buying if it can help keep your kids safe. For more information : Whitby and co
If you want more ideas of how to save time and reduce stress in the mornings, belVita have been working with Dave Hax to create some ‘Good Morning Hacks’ which might be useful as well - some seem more sensible than others, I must say !
Have you found any other useful time or sanity savers to help reduce the back-to-school stress?
Disclosure : We received the products in order to write an honest review.