Go Back to School with Target! (Giveaway)

IMG_7566 Love with your whole heart. Girls can change the world.

If I’m being completely honest, I’ve really been avoiding the whole back-to-school thing this year.  After an amazing summer spent running, swimming, and playing with my kids, I’m just not ready.  The tides are changing in our little family of four.  In six days, my daughter begins first grade.  It seems big, important, and a little bit overwhelming.  And in a couple of weeks, my baby begins his final year of preschool.  I’m not ready to say goodbye to the preschool years.  I love longs walks to the fire station and days spent scouring the library for a new and exciting book about trucks.

But time marches on.  And parents need to embrace change and enjoy each small moment that each stage brings.  That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

It’s been hard to pump up the excitement factor on this whole back-to-school thing when, quite frankly, I’m dreading it.  With one small exception.  Target.

When my friends at Target asked me to bring the kids to New York City for a night in August and attend a back-to-school event, I simply couldn’t resist.  We rode the train together for the first time.  We wandered the city in search of a park, and even managed to find one!  We enjoyed a beautiful hotel and a fun night in the big city on the other side.  And then we went to the Target studio for a morning of crafting and checking out the new styles and school supplies.

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Wow.  I mean, wow.

The inner nerd in me has always loved school supplies.  I remember carefully selecting notebooks as a kid, and then holding them close and breathing in their fresh, unwritten scent.  As a secret writer, I loved the feel of the blank pages and couldn’t wait to fill them with thoughts and stories.  And I was always in search of the perfect pencil case, the perfect binder, and the perfect notebook.

Target got it right this year, that’s for sure.  Check out these gorgeous (and sturdy and inexpensive) binders…

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And these pencil cases?  My fancy girl was in heaven! (And, ok…maybe I was, too.)

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We all know back-to-school isn’t just about school supplies, though.  For some reason, kids insist on growing in leaps and bounds over the summer.  Sigh.  Not to worry, your little fashionista will love the back-to-school clothes at Target this year.  Color is the name of the game and patterns and sparkles are everywhere!  I practically had to drag Riley out of there… Note:  You all know how I feel about clothing that is just a little too mature for little girls.  I love that Target chose cute and fashionable patterns and styles that keep little girls looking little…

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Seriously…I had to pry this headband off of her head.  And don’t get me started on the super cute accessories…

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And for the little boy in your life who maybe doesn’t need so many sparkles…these soft and cozy hoodies and shirts in muted colors are a great option.  (Note to Target:  Please put a construction truck on each one so that my boy will wear them.)

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Finally…due to the insane allergies in this household, my poor kiddos are generally stuck with unscented soaps and shampoos.  Not much fun when you’re little.  Check out these Galvin & Galvin London Kids products that are both organic and hypoallergenic and made just for Target!  Let’s hear it for fruity soaps for allergy kids!

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As if all of this isn’t enough to send you running to your Target store of choice…I have a little gift for you.  One lucky U.S. reader will win a $50 gift card to Target to help offset the cost of back-to-school shopping.  Who doesn’t want that??

To enter:

Leave me a comment here telling me what back-to-school products from Target you are most looking forward to trying.  That’s it.  Super easy.

You have until August 26, 2013 at 8pm PST to enter this giveaway.  ***Please make sure that I have your email address.  You can’t win if I can’t find you!

Disclosure:  As part of my affiliation with Target Inner Circle, Target sent me (and the kids) on an all-expensed paid trip to New York City to preview their Fall collection.  We had a great time crafting with other kids and checking out the new styles.  I truly loved the new styles, particularly the school supplies and girls clothing (and the soaps!).  All opinions contained within this post are my own.

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About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes for PBS Parents, Washington Post Parents, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World" (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and the forthcoming "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" (Penguin Random House, 2018)