Start the day right, be reminded to hydrate, don't pollute the environment and protect your eyes: Here are four ways to make going back to school happier and healthier.
Wake up with yoga
Relax with yoga before even getting out of bed. That's the aim of the Yoga Wake Up app created by Los Angeles husband-and-wife team Joaquin and Lizzie Brown. The wake-ups are designed for kids age 1 and up, encouraging gentle stretching and breathing to soothing music instead of the jarring beep of an alarm.
"Joaquin was in a 'savasana' [corpse] pose in yoga class and the instructor said, 'pretend you're just waking up in bed,'" said Lizzie Brown. "That's what inspired the idea."
The app can either be programmed to act as a wake-up call, or to play when you are up and about. A monthly subscription allows access to 80 different "wakes," ranging from five to 15 minutes.
Info: Three free wakes available to all users. Others are available via subscription, starting at $2 a month after a seven-day free trial. yogawakeup.com
Sip, play, hydrate …
Don't let this end up in the lost-and-found bin. This interactive water bottle from Gululu will encourage your child to drink more water by giving them virtual pets that are cared for with each sip.
A tracking system lets parents know how much water their child is drinking. And the bottle can be put in "sleep" mode during school hours or at bedtime. Designed for ages 3 and up.
Bag all that plastic
Wasteful plastic snack bags (some 20 million are tossed away every day) can be eliminated with the eco-conscious Stasher, self-sealing bags made from silicone that can be frozen or cooked in (sous vide, microwave) as well as for holding everything from fruit, veggies and pretzels to granola bars, wraps and sandwiches.
Stasher CEO and founder Kat Nouri wanted to create a product without the petroleum and other chemicals found in plastic.
"As a parent, I'm concerned that other parents are spending all this money on nutritious food they provide their kids, but not questioning the petroleum-based bag their kids go out in the sun with," she said.
Info: $9.99 to $11.99 at stasherbag.com
Eye, aye, aye ...
Sunglasses aren't necessarily too cool for school.
"Parents wouldn't send their kids out in the sun without sunscreen, and yet we often neglect to protect our kids' eyes from UV rays," said Christie Nye, vice president of sales and marketing for sunglass brand Real Shades. "Children and young adults are exceptionally at risk of UV damage to eyes as they have larger pupils and clearer lenses, which allows a greater amount of light to penetrate the ocular tissues. … 80% of lifetime UV exposure happens before age 18."
Nye advises seeking out wraparound sunglasses with 100% UVA/UVB protective lenses.
Info: $12.95 to $39.95, realshades.com