Disclosure: Diary of a First Time Mom is taking the PURELL® 30 Day Challenge! Although I received some form of compensation for this post, all opinions remain my own. 

Dear Diary,

Although Caitlynn will always be my “baby,” she’s no longer a baby. In just a few weeks, she’ll enter her second year of preschool, and according to her, she’ll be a part of the big kid crew that teaches the three-year-olds how to follow the rules. One rule she’ll enforce–hand washing. That’s the first thing her classmates do when they enter the room before breakfast. And as a first time mom, it’s one of the first questions I asked her teachers. I wanted to know the sanitizer scoop, so I wouldn’t worry–who am I kidding? So, I would worry less–about Caitlynn coming home with germs, coughs and colds.

Wash Hands

As we prepare to go back to school, we’re taking the PURELL® 30 day challenge.  It has been shown that using PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer three times a day for 30 days can help reduce the risk of getting sick. That means more time in school training to become the first female president! We added a few bottles to our back-to-school shopping list at Target, and of course, we filled up the cart with other essentials, like a backpack, writing utensils and stickers.

Here’s how to head back to preschool healthy, happy and prepared.

First Day of School

Say Cheese

Be sure to add a camera to your back-to-school shopping list and capture your child’s first day at daycare or preschool. You can compare the photos to the previous year and see the growth. Make sure you print the pictures! I am the queen of digital documentation. This year, I’m pledging to develop the photos, at my mom’s request. She’s not on Facebook and says she misses out. Caitlynn likes to dress up, so we picked out an adorable shirt and short set with kitten slip on shoes. Speaking of shoes, skip the sandals. Although I like my child to look cute, it’s more important to be comfortable. She needs shoes with a good grip to run, jump and play.

Doc McStuffins Backpack

Buy a Big Book Bag

When Caitlynn started school, I picked up a little backpack for my little girl. Then, her teacher told me I needed an upgrade. They sent home a large folder filled with assignments and alerts daily.  Often, I have to send something back. Each week, they practice a new letter. Our assignment is to cut pictures out of magazines that start with the same letter. I clipped on a to-go sanitizer, since we often stop at the store or park after school.


Take a Field Trip

To celebrate the last days of summer, we headed to Kennywood, a local amusement park. We rode every single ride in Kiddieland and then stuffed our bellies with corn dogs, cheese fries and funnel cakes.

Purell Wipes

The PURELL wipes cleaned faces, hands and tables,. The container was lightweight and fit in my tote bag. And it came in handy at the public restrooms.

Purell Wipes 2

Since I was on a staycation this week, we also headed to the water park and an indoor playground at the shopping mall. Even after her trip to the amusement park, she begged to get on the kiddie rides at the mall. 

Hey DFTM Fam–What’s on the top of your back-to-school shopping list? Will you take the PURELL® 30 day challenge?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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