Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Mabel’s Labels. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
It seems each year, my big kids sign up for more activities, sports and more involved teams. This year, the their little brothers are joining in the in the mayhem too. I can only imagine what it will be like in a few years when the boys are in elementary school and the girls in middle. In addition to balancing the schedules with lots of activities and sports it’s tricky to balance all the uniforms, gear, etc. This year I made a few changes and wanted to share some ways that we’re feeling more organized for sports and activities:
Get Organized for Sports and Activities
Label the Gear
My kids are the ones that always manage to leave their gear places. But often when I head back to the dugout, bleachers, etc to look for what we forgot… I feel a little better when I see lots of other gear left and that it’s not just “my kid”. This year I labeled ALL the gear – from cleats to shin guards to softball bats. I got the Kids Activities packs from Mabel’s Labels. You can customize the colors to do your team colors which is fun! They have packs based on activities. There’s a Dance Pack, Soccer Pack, Hockey Pack and many more. These were the perfect sizes and amount of labels to label ALL the gear. We’ve used Mabel’s for many years and they really hold up. They’re strong enough to be on active sports gear and not fall off.
Label the Clothes
Somehow we even misplace clothes. We have a few days where we go from one activity to another and have to change. Also, my kids like bringing layers to school and then those layers mysteriously appear in the lost & found bins. This year I also got a Custom Clothing Stamp from Mabel’s Labels. Stamps the name in seconds. If the clothes are darker, it also comes with iron on tags you can then stamp. So quick and easy for labels school clothes and sports uniforms.
*All of the bright, colorful clothes in the photos in this post are from our favorite: Primary.com.
The Uniform Hamper
OK… this one has been a game changer for me this fall. I saw this on Instagram and it really spoke to me 🙂
Not only was the uniform not always clean… half the time I couldn’t find it! Now we have a sports hamper by our basement door (our laundry is in the basement). This hamper is JUST for sports gear. Then I always know where it is and can wash it all together and put it back with the sports equipment.
Find a Hand Me Down Pal
Sports gear is expensive! We’ve also had a few sports that the kids try for 1 season and never play again. We want them to try new things but it’s never fun to invest $100+ on gear they’ll never use again. Plus… if your kids are like mine, they outgrow their fall cleats by spring! Find a friend in town with kids a bit older and see if you can take their sports hand me downs. Then, “pay it forward” and find people to pass your gear onto.
Snack & Drink Prep
I got in the swing of packing the pool cooler bag with their water bottles and a few snacks per kid. This year I decided to stick with it for the fall and pack the cooler with drinks and snacks each afternoon and bring it in the car (or stroller). Then there’s an after school snack at the ready if we’re heading to an activity OR it’s ready to take to games for the siblings watching. Another thing Mabel’s Labels stick to and never fall off: water bottles!
Don’t Over Schedule
It’s really easy to over schedule. My kids love sports and activities but last year would ask “do we have anything today?” and they days I said “no” they’d jump for joy. It made me realize we had signed up for too much. This year we limited the activities and decided we’d see how we felt after fall when soccer and softball ended to see if we wanted to add in something like gymnastics come January. With the start of the school year, it’s easy to sign up for everything at once. I’ve also started focusing first on activities that are offered by the school and take place at the school. It’s logistically easier and also makes the kids feel more involved in the school. Sports and activities are much more serious at a young age when we were kids. So it’s important to take a step back and make sure kids aren’t over scheduled and still have time for fun!
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