Our annual Mabel’s Labels Ultimate Back-To-School Guide is full of tips, advice and resources to help you prepare for whatever school situation is ahead. These articles are full of useful information from real parents, experts and teachers to support your family’s transition back to the classroom. We’ve organized them into six sections to help you easily find the topics relevant to you.

Thinking Ahead

Will School Be “Back to Normal” This Year?

There are many questions surrounding the return to school (Masks? Vaccines? Cohorts? Variants?), so we asked a family doctor and an elementary school principal for answers.

6 Things Teachers Want You to Know About Going Back to School

Experienced teachers share practical, real-world advice about returning to school.

10 of Our Favorite First Day of School Books

To help counteract the first-day jitters, snuggle up and read some of the cute and clever books on our top 10 list.

7 Tips for a Smoother Back-to-School Transition

A list of helpful strategies to proactively address any pre-back to school worries.

Getting Organized

8 Things to Do Before Your Child Returns to School

Tips to help you plan ahead and have everything ready before the first day.

Back-to-School Essentials for 2021

Erin Pepler recommends some kid-tested, must-have items for this year’s school setting.

Free Downloads: School Supply Checklists by Grade

Not sure what to shop for? You’ll have it covered with these grade-specific printable checklists.

8 Ways to Clean Up Your Kids’ Sleep Routine for Back-to-School

A sleep consultant provides tips and advice to get everyone back into a school-friendly sleep routine.

Starting Kindergarten

10 Skills Your Child Will Need in Kindergarten

Wondering if your child is ready for the classroom? Check out this list of 10 basic skills that are typically expected of kindergarten newcomers.

Dos and Don’ts for the Early Days of Kindergarten

Kindergarten is a brand-new experience, but you’ll be equipped to handle it with these behind-the-scenes insights from an Early Childhood Educator.

5 Questions to Ask Instead of “How Was School Today?”

If getting details about your child’s day at school is like pulling teeth, try these open-ended questions.

My Last First Day of Kindergarten

As her youngest heads off to kindergarten, Cat Margulis reflects on this new phase of parenting.

The Early Days

How to Take The Perfect First Day of School Photo

A professional photographer coaches you through the process of getting a winning first-day picture.

How to Make a Good Impression With Your Child’s Teacher

An elementary school teacher provides insider tips to build a positive parent/teacher rapport right from the start.

An Introvert’s Guide to Schoolyard Interactions

Mingling in the schoolyard doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and it’s especially awkward during a pandemic. Kristi York shares strategies to strike up conversations with fellow parents.

What To Do When the Back-to-School Honeymoon Ends

When the novelty of back-to-school wears off, try these ideas to help your child maintain a positive outlook.


Where to Find Free Homework Help for Your Child

If your child needs extra practice or support in a specific subject area, you may want to access these helpful (and cost-effective) online resources.

Resources for Parents of Kids With ADHD and Learning Disabilities

Jen Millard provides encouraging words, plus an extensive collection of links to help kids with specific needs.

7 Tips to Help Kids Set and Achieve Goals

Help your child set goals that are meaningful and achievable.

10 Ways to Get Your Child Excited to Learn

Keep your child’s motivation at a high level with these useful tips.

Lunch Time

4 Tips for Easier Lunch Packing

Yes, back-to-school means back to the dreaded task of packing lunches. Linsey De Ruysscher suggests tips to make the process simpler and stress-free.

3 Easy and Practical Back-to-School Lunch Ideas

Need to shake up your child’s lunch box a bit? Add some variety by trying one of these easy-to-do themes.

7 Tips For Easy Meal Planning

We know you’re busy, so we’ve got tips and tricks for weeknight meal planning.

Tips For A+ Meals During the School Year

Meal-by-meal ideas for creative and healthy menu options for back-to-school season.


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