As the summer comes to an end, I have mixed emotions. Although I'm relieved that my living room will no longer be an indoor camp site, I'm also incredibly sad that my little ones are yet another year closer to leaving my protective nest for good. But more than anything, I'm stressed out about having to run frantically all over town to buy supplies and clothes for the upcoming year. If the idea of getting your kids ready for school is stressing you out, fear not. There are plenty of cool back-to-school apps moms need to stay sane.
Being organized is one of the easiest ways for busy moms to keep it all together. But as the days get shorter and your to-do list gets longer, it is often easier said than done. Fortunately, there are lots of options for shopping lists, menu planners, and calendar apps out there that are designed specifically with moms in mind. Just a few swipes and taps on your phone can prevent you from having a mommy meltdown this school year.
So load up your smartphone or tablet with some of these cool apps and make back-to-school a little easier for the entire family.
1. Cozi Family Organizer
Keeping up with soccer practice, doctor's appointments, and field trips can be overwhelming for busy moms. Cozi Family Organizer (Free) allows you to keep a shared family calendar, shopping lists, and to-dos all in one convenient place.
2. Lala Lunchbox
Lala Lunchbox ($1.99) makes lunch planning fun for kids and a lot less stressful for parents. Kids can get involved in deciding what goes into their lunchbox by choosing items from different food categories to create a healthy, balanced meal that won't go to waste. And parents can save items in the app to help create a grocery list.
3. Here Comes The Bus
No more guessing games to figure out when the school bus is coming. Here Comes The Bus (Free) gives parents a real-time view of their child's school bus location via their smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can even receive push notifications when your child enters and exits the bus. Now, all you have to worry about is getting your kid out the door.
If it seems like all of your kids have to be in different places at the same time, HopSkipDrive (Free) can help. A ride sharing service created by moms for moms allows you to schedule rides with experienced, qualified drivers when you need a little help. The app also allows you to follow your child's ride along in real time.
5. Dinner Spinner
Take some of the difficulty out of dinner preparation with Dinner Spinner (Free). The app gives you access to thousands of recipes and cooking videos. Follow your favorite cooks and create a collection of recipes you love. And if that wasn't enough, the app will tell you where to find the ingredients you need on sale.
6. Hooray For PreK
Ease your little one's first day jitters with this iPad app that gives them a glimpse into what life at school is like. Hooray For Pre-K! (Free) lets you check out pictures of children in class and see that school is fun.
If you're always racing against the clock in the morning try KinderClock ($0.99). The app presents time in a way that younger kids will understand, using a countdown clock with kid-friendly pictures that disappear as time passes.
Colds are inevitable during the school year. If you're wondering if your child's tummy ache or runny nose warrants a day off, check out WebMD's mobile app (Free) available for Android and Apple. It allows you enter your child symptoms and determine whether or not you need to call your doctor.
9. School Supply List
Keep up with all of the supplies your kids need with School Supply List ($0.99). The app allows you to create shopping lists for all of your school supplies and organize by store or student. Update your quantities as you purchase, and save your lists so you can replenish your supplies throughout the year as you need.
Now you can use your phone to find the lowest prices on school supplies and clothes with ShopSavvy (Free). Compare prices on the items you want and find the best deals closest to you.
A new school year means lots of new art projects. And while you'd love to save all of your little Picasso's creations, your fridge can only hold so much. Artkive ($4.99) allows you to save all of your kids' creations in one place and share with friends and family members.
The internet is a wonderful place for information, but if you're not careful, it's easy to get lost. Freedom (Free) allows you to block social media and other apps that might distract your child from homework assignments and study time.
13. Big Tent
BigTent by Care.com (Free) allows you to connect with other families in your community. The forum is designed to share information including kid-friendly activities and items for sale with parents near you.