When buying school supplies, don’t forget about playtime.

Oops! We’ve all done it once or twice-forgotten to send that brand new package of mechanical pencils in little Ava’s backpack or totally overlooked instructions to buy GREEN felt tip pens instead of red ones. But that’s okay, the parent job description does not include “perfection!”

Pens and pencils aside, did you forget to pick up some other really important school supplies this year? You know…those supplies needed on the other side of the classroom… the outside!

Here are some tips on what your kid will need to get back in the school recess game this year!

  1. Good, sturdy sneakers: Be on the look out for sneakers that can take the wear and tear of play activities and asphalt playgrounds. Good Housekeeping magazine recently named the New Balance 630 its ‘Runaway Winner’ in a test of the best back-to-school sneakers under $60, but there are many quality and affordable options available. Overstock.com recommends that parents search for a pair that is attractive and comfortable in addition to providing proper support and ventilation.
  2. Sunscreen: WebMD recommends that parents apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher to any child who might play outdoors for even a few minutes. Sunscreen should be applied rain or shine and reapplied every couple hours. Ask your child’s teacher if they’re willing to help out with application during afternoon playtime.
  3. Play clothes: Kids games are less fun if the players feel weighed down by too many buttons or heavy, constrictive fabrics. Dress kids in clothes that move with them and breath easy-we really love layers, especially as the seasons begin to change.
  4. A new philosophy on dirt and stains: Children and play are to dirt like magnets to the fridge…like dog hair to your black sweater! As parents ourselves, our advice is just to accept dirt and stains as inevitable. In fact, we think you should invite dirt and stains into your home, make friends with them and happily show them to the washing machine! (Stock up on your stain stick though!)
What else do your kids need on the playground?


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