Banish back-to-school madness with these helpful tips from top Canadian bloggers

Here's to making the post-summer shift as seamless as possible.

Here's to making the post-summer shift as seamless as possible.

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Just when you've mastered summer days and keeping the kids occupied in the backyard or on the beach, September hits and it's time to send them back to school. For many parents, it's a mixed blessing. Sure, they've got a place to go all day, but the madness of those first few days can be pretty jarring and emotions are always heightened, too.

To help you get through the first few back-to-school days efficiently, we turned to some of Canada's top bloggers to see how these thinkers do it. Here are their best tips for making the shift as seamless as possible.

Start the practicing the back-to-school routine early

"We start practising at least a week before," says Lisa Thornbury of Forever in Mom Genes. "We start going to bed earlier and getting up at school departure time. The kids eat breakfast, get dressed, and get 'out the door ready' so the first day of school isn't such a horrific shock to the system."

Talk to your kids about what to expect

If your child is starting school for the first time, you'll really want to prep them for what's ahead. "Over the next few weeks, talk to them about school and what they can expect, what they will wear; bring them shopping, talk about the friends they'll make and see," says Buzz Bishop, blogger at DadCAMP. "With a countdown conversation about what's going to happen, (hopefully) there'll be less of a shock and more excitement."

Give the kids more responsibility

"A six-year-old is more than capable of getting dressed solo and packing his own school bag," says Athena Tsavliris of La Parachute. "Get kids involved in their own prep, so that it's not just the adults running around like headless chickens in the morning." She adds too that "positive is better than perfect," so embrace the chaos rather than fight it!

Create yearly rituals to help ease the transition

Kids are often apprehensive about change, so back-to-school time can hit them hard. Establishing family traditions you repeat year after year will help calm those first day jitters and add a touch of the familiar to this unknown. "We have a tradition where we do an interview about how our son is feeling about the school year and take pictures together," says Alison Tedford at Sparkly Shoes and Sweat Drops "My ex and I both attend first day together with our son to drop him off."

Separate weeknight and weekend meals and plan appropriately

Meal execution is easier if you plan it right. Louise Gleeson at Late Night Plays shares her strategy. "We tend to stick to meals we know are liked by most [on weeknights], and we get a bit more adventurous and experimental on the weekends, when it's my husband's turn to cook," she says. By breaking up the week like she does, you'll have much more success getting dinner out on time — and you might even find yourself with some yummy leftovers, too.

Our tip: Make weeknight meals even easier with these 5 fast and freezeable chicken marinades and then save, oh, you know, things like this delightfully extravagant Piñata Cake, for the weekend.

Now that some of Canada's best bloggers have shared their back-to-school tips, we want to hear yours! Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter and let us know how your family deals with the September madness. And for even more inspiration on how to dress the kids this fall, check out these these Instagram feeds for ideas.