By Jenny Schafer
It's time to start thinking about the back to school madness.
While this time of year can cause stress and anxiety, Celebrity Baby Scoop reached out to some savvy celebrity moms - and rounded up their top favorite brands and tips - to help beat the back to school chaos.
Melissa Joan Hart and husband Mark Wilkerson are parents to three sons: Mason, 7, Brady, 5 and Tucker, 12 months in September.
"I always try to get the boys a new backpack and a new pair of sneakers to get them excited about going back to school," Hart says. "We talk for a few weeks leading up to it about the teachers name and who a couple of classmates will be to help ease some of those first day jitters."
Courtney Lopez and husband, "Extra" host Mario Lopez, are parents to 3-year-old daughter Gia and are currently expecting their second child.
"In order to avoid losing her stuff at school, we label all of Gia's school supplies and clothes with Mabel's Labels," Courtney Lopez shares.
"TODAY Show" anchor and co-host, Natalie Morales, and her husband Joe Rhodes are parents to sons Josh, 9, and Luke, 5.
"Create a calendar of activities for each kid early on so they can see each day what they have and need," Morales says. "And label everything! I love Mabel's labels, as they stay on longer than the clothes lasts."
"Entertainment Tonight's" Brooke Anderson and husband Jim Walker are parents to 4-year-old daughter Kate, with another one on the way.
"Leave extra time to get ready and out the door in the morning so there's no added stress of running late," Anderson says. "Your child may already be anxious and dragging her feet a little bit. Rushing her will do nothing to calm the nerves. Make the routine fun and as stress free as possible (for everyone including yourself!)."
"Write a fun, encouraging note for your child and leave in his/her lunch bag," she adds. "I have found the notes from Little Jots to be cute and easy with included stickers but any old piece of paper will do. My daughter Kate loves to get words of support and love plus a little surprise drawing from me while she's at preschool."
The expectant mama went on to share a great time-saving tip. "Pack the backpack and lunch the night before with all the essentials so nothing is forgotten the morning of school," Anderson says.
"Entertainment Tonight's" Nancy O'Dell is stepmom to her husband Keith Zubchevic's sons, Tyler and Carson. They are also parents to 6-year-old daughter Ashby.
"Make an album with your child," says O'Dell, an avid scrapbooker.
"Over the summer when it gets close to the time for back to school, sit down with your child and make an album or a scrapbook of the previous year in school," she adds. "It will remind him or her of all the good times they had in school and it will get them excited about going back! It is a great bonding project to do together and you have a wonderful keepsake for the family as a result."
Nancy goes on to talk about the benefits of enjoying family photos.
"Also bring out some of your family albums to show your child," O'Dell says. "It will remind them that they are part of a group, that they are members of a strong family, that they belong and it will give them the strength to fall back on if they were to go through anything difficult at school, for example, bullying which is all too prevalent these days."
"Child psychologists will tell you that seeing family photos, with it being reinforced visually, helps children to know they have this family unit behind them to lean on," O'Dell says. "I share more of my album ideas at NancyOdell.com including an Album of Hope which would be another great back to school project with your child."
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