How To Celebrate Your Kids This Back-To-School Season

Three ways to help your star students shine their brightest this year.

Written by Una LaMarche
Collage of two kids and a woman smiling as she celebrates her kids' back-to-school season

Somehow, the fates have aligned so that I have one child starting kindergarten this year, while the other is starting middle school. This six-year age gap does have its perks, like less fighting (sometimes) and free babysitting (you get what you pay for). However, it also guarantees that when we go back-to-school shopping, we’ll literally be all over the place: crayons and a superhero backpack for one kid, a smartphone and trendy (“but not try-hard, Mom”) jeans for the other.

While I may be destined to make countless treks to multiple stores for their classroom supply lists, there’s one place that has all the apparel and accessories both my kids want and need: H&M. Yup, the same brand that got me through my child-free years with chic looks is now the go-to destination for a wide range of classic and current sustainable kidswear. These stylish pieces will guarantee a smooth return to school for everyone in the house, whether they’re still mastering the ABCs or cresting their first wave of preteen hormones. Ahead, find three ways I’m working to foster my kids’ unique personality traits and interests this fall, starting with their wardrobes.

Goal 1: I’ll Let My Kids Discover Their Own Personal Style

I have such vivid memories of picking out my favorite back-to-school outfit to wear on the first day. Choosing clothes for a new school year always felt like an opportunity to decide who I wanted to be, and I’m grateful that my kids have more options than I did to express their unique identities. H&M knows that kids need clothes that are cool, fun, and versatile, while parents want great prices and sustainably-made materials that can handle the wear and tear that comes with everyday play.

With a huge selection of both classic and of-the-moment designs, every kid from two to tween can find styles that show off their personalities. For trendsetters, H&M has colorful pastel crewnecks, vintage-inspired varsity jackets, and on-trend denim.

Goal 2: I’ll Help My Kids Find After-School Activities That Spark Creativity

Finding after-school care has always stressed me out. It can feel like a Bermuda Triangle of time; you still have work (or errands, or never-ending laundry) to do, and yet your kids are tired from a long day of school and just want to come home. That’s why taking the time to find out-of-the-box programs that will inspire and excite them is so important.

I happen to have a shy, sports-averse preteen son, but he’s super into science and gaming, so I’m deciding between an after-school robotics club and a local “game lab” that features tabletop games, as well as Minecraft. My younger son, on the other hand, is super outgoing, never stops moving, and loves to perform, so I’m looking at acting programs and gymnastics for him.

Goal 3: I’ll Ease My Kids Into The Back-to-School Transition With Fun Family Outings

The end of summer can be especially tough on kids. Who wants to go from freewheeling days and stay-up-too-late nights to the strict routines of academic schedules (not to mention, everyone’s least favorite back-to-school accessory: homework)? That’s why this year, I’ll try to keep a little bit of summer going into September and October, including weekend trips to the beach, amusement parks, and local orchards for our annual “wow, we picked waaaay too many apples for four people!” excursion.

I often get stuck in a headspace that tells me life has to get serious starting in September, but who made that rule? I know my kids will need even more summer-style fun once they’re back in school, so I’m going to prioritize adventure over algebra whenever possible. Incidentally, H&M’s versatile, relaxed, play-friendly pieces are ideal for layering during the change in temperatures, with varsity jackets, functional outerwear, and light knits for the onset of sweater weather. They’ve got us covered for back-to-school season, and beyond.