Easier Back to School: 5 Things to Prep the Night Before


This post has been sponsored by Kleenex®, Danimals, and NABISCO. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Back-to-school mornings

Are you getting ready to send kids back to school? It’s hard to believe we’re saying goodbye to the slow pace of summer and are headed into to the routine of fall in just a few short weeks.

This year I’ll be packing lunches for both Adelaide and Lincoln a few days a week (and wondering how we’ll manage to be on time for anything in the morning with a newborn). So I’ve been thinking a lot about morning routines and how we’re going to still like each other by the time we get out the door each day.

My biggest goal for having smoother mornings as we head into back-to-school season is to wake up before my kids. Why is this one thing that makes such a huge difference so difficult sometimes?

Additionally though, if you’re looking for simpler, calmer, slower mornings, there are five things you can prep the night before to set yourself up for success.

5 Things to Prep the Night Before


Kids are more likely to eat their food if they have some part in selecting or making it so try and get your kids involved in helping you make lunches. Maybe it’s letting them come grocery shopping and picking out the flavors of pouches you buy (both of my kids love the new Danimals® Squeezables in Strawberry Explosion at Target) or it could be letting them pick from an assortment of sides you already have at home to include in their lunch box (like choosing which flavor of TEDDY GRAHAMS® Snacks from the NABISCO Multipack they get to put in their lunch the next day). I love getting to take the kids to Target because we can all find something we love! Target has all of our back to school needs covered, and now you can save up to 10% on select snacks and essentials in the Target app with Cartwheel through 9/2!

If you’re tight on time in the morning, ask these questions about lunches the night before so you don’t overwhelm your child with more decisions in the morning when they’re already rushing to get ready or nervous about the day ahead.

You want to shorten YOUR to-do as much as possible in the morning so you can focus on helping the kids and setting the tone for the household in the morning. If you can, make lunches ahead of time or prep as much of it as you can.

I picked up little bento lunch boxes for the kids and we’re starting to experiment with back-to-school lunch ideas so they’re familiar to my picky eaters when the time comes.

**For lunches we also picked up these Kleenex® Wet Wipes Gentle Clean at Target which are perfect for cleaning up messy fingers and faces on-the-go. They’re gentle and refreshing on little hands and you can use them after your kids help in the kitchen to make their lunch or pack in their bag for them after lunch at school. You can bet the whole thing is also going in my diaper bag for all of the daily messes with a baby.


Here’s what’s in the lunch we’re putting together as a family here:

  • 1/2 cup apple slices
  • 6 celery sticks
  • 1 tbsp ranch dressing
  • 1 bag TEDDY GRAHAMS®
  • 1 Danimals® Strawberry Explosion Squeezables Kids’ Yogurt
  • 1 bottle of water
  • 1 turkey, lettuce, and cheese rollup, sliced like sushi. (3 slices deli meat of choice, 1 slice cheddar cheese, and lettuce leaves)

For more back-to-school lunch ideas, check out www.backtolunch.com!

Clothes, shoes, and hair

It isn’t novel to set out your outfit the day before but this also makes a huge difference if you have opinionated dressers. It means everything from the outfit to shoes to what you need to do their hair is all set out in one place AND they don’t have to make any decisions about it in the morning. You save those discussions about weather, negotiations about appropriate clothing, and long bouts of indecision for the evening when you’re all less pressed for time.


Along with backpacks, have anything else ready that the kids need for school that day (forms, projects, show-and-tell). Have these sitting by the door or even in the car before everyone goes to sleep the night before

Plan for the day

Prepping goes beyond just the “things” you need for the day and can also include preparing the plan for the day. My kids do so much better when they know what to expect for any given activity, the day ahead included. This might look like going over the calendar together as a family during dinner the night before but for us it usually means when the kids are in bed the night before. I’ll spend just a minute going over the plan for the next day and it is a great time to learn more about anything Lincoln might be worried about or something specific Adelaide is looking forward to. Maybe it is just because they’re procrastinating bedtime, but in these moments before sleep my kids are most likely to talk to me about how they’re feeling.

Do you go over the plan for the day with your kids? When do you do it?

A full night’s sleep

Want a huge impact on your morning? Make sure everyone (yourself included) has prepped with a full night’s sleep the evening before. When you aren’t urging sluggish kids out of bed or sleepwalking yourself, everything goes more smoothly.

Now tell me, what else do you do for smoother back-to-school mornings? What great ideas am I missing?

Five things to prepare the night before for easier back to school morning routines! #morningroutine #backtoschool #morningroutineforkids #ad @target @nabisco @kleenex @dannondanimals

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