Best Back-to-School Apps for Parents

Moms and dads need help, too, as back-to-school season begins. We have the scheduling, shopping, and food apps to make the transition a snap for you (and your kids).

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Tackling First Day Jitters

Courtesy of Hooray for PreK!

Tackling First Day Jitters

Hooray for PreK! can lessen your kids' anxiety; photos of children in class lets them see what a typical day at PreK looks like. Personalize the app to include the name of your child's new school ($1.99; iPad only).

My First Day of School focuses on a boy who is excited--and a little scared--about his first day. The app tackles some common questions an elementary school child might have, while getting him revved up for the adventure ahead (99 cents; iPhone, iPad).

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Stress-Free Scheduling

Courtesy of Cozi

Stress-Free Scheduling

Keep your family's busy itineary in sync with the Cozi Family Organizer, which was featured in the September 2011 issue of Parents magazine. Share a family calendar, create to-do and grocery lists, and put together photo albums and a family journal. It's no wonder the app has won awards and been featured on the Today show (Free; iPhone, iPad).

Remember the Milk allows you to set up a family calendar that can be synced with Google Calendar. Outline specific duties (pick up the dry cleaning, switch car pool days, etc.) and assign tasks, with specific time frames, to other family members (Free; iPhone, iPad).

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Getting to School on Time

Courtesy of KinderClock

Getting to School on Time

Guiding kids out the door in a timely fashion can be hard, especially with little ones who might not be able to tell time. KinderClock allows you to use pictures to create a simple countdown that is easy to follow. Choose from a variety of images, then add or subtract them to represent time (99 cents; iPhone, iPad).

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Homework Help

Homework Help

myHomework will help you and your child organize classes, assignments, projects, and tests by tracking what's due and when. A color coding system organizes homework by class (Free; iPhone, iPad). iStudiez Pro enables students, parents, and teachers to keep tabs on agendas, homework, tests, and grades with scheduling tools, notifications, and GPA-tracking features ($2.99; iPhone, iPad).

Parents Flash Cards can make learning 1-2-3s and ABCs (99 cents), plus colors and shapes (Free) easy and fun (iPhone, iPad). For kids who need a little math help, Parents Math Flash Cards teaches kids addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division (99 cents; iPhone, iPad).

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Food Ideas for Three Meals a Day

Courtesy of My Food

Food Ideas for Three Meals a Day

Start the day off with plenty of morning-meal ideas with Breakfast. This collection offers recipes for both the accomplished and the inexperienced cook. A timer lets you know how much time is needed to prepare each meal (Free; iPhone, iPad).

If your kids are tired of PB&J sandwiches, take a look at LunchBag, an app conceptualized by a kid (a 12-year-old boy)for kids. There's a database of more than 100 lunch items, and you can check each off as it's made (Free; iPhone, iPad). No longer available in U.S. iTunes stores as of July 2013.

Come up with new ideas for dinner--on a budget. Food on the Table provides enough recipes to let you skip the drive-through window. Even better: It helps you find the best deals on ingredients in your local stores (Free; iPhone, iPad).

Ensure that your kids are eating as healthily as possible with My Foodle - Nutrition Facts, which has nutrition data for hundreds of foods (including breakfast and lunch items), as well as common serving sizes (Free; iPhone, iPad).

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Health Concerns

Courtesy of Facts of Lice

Health Concerns

Did you know that 85 percent of all school districts report at least one lice outbreak every year? The Facts of Lice is the first and only app to provide real-time alerts of lice outbreaks in your local area, along with information on how to prevent, combat, and report outbreaks (Free; iPhone, iPad).

If your child wakes up feeling under the weather and you're not sure whether to send him to school, simply punch in his symptoms on WebMD Mobile. The app can help determine if you need to call the doctor and keep your little one home (Free; iPhone, iPad).

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Back-to-School Shopping

Courtesy of School Supply List

Back-to-School Shopping

Get your back-to-school needs organized with the School Supply List, which has a database of 150 items to choose from (you can also add your own). Create individualized lists for each child, make notes for each item, and track quantities needed (99 cents; iPhone, iPad).).

Comparison shop with PriceGrabber (Free; iPhone, iPad) to scan product bar codes and see if you can get a better price elsewhere. Then use SaleLocator (Free; iPhone, iPad) to find local stores having sales, plus the exact items being discounted.SaleLocator no longer available in U.S. iTunes stores as of July 2013.

For those who buy kids' shoes online, Pitter-Pad measures toddler feet. Simply place a child's foot in the foot icon, move the measure line down to the longest toe, and wait while the shoe size is calculated (Free; iPad only).

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After-School Activities

Courtesy of TeamSnap

After-School Activities

Keeping track of practices, games, and other events can be a major challenge. With TeamSnap, follow schedules, team stats, and scores; monitor fees and payments; find out who can come to games and events; and share photos and files with friends and family members. You can also create a private site for all of your kids' teams so that everyone can stay in touch about time changes, coordinating refreshments, and more (Free; iPhone, iPad).

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Volunteer Duties

Courtesy of VolunteerSpot

Volunteer Duties

Manage all your extracurricular and fundraising commitments with VolunteerSpot. Coordinate various activities to eliminate the need for long email chains and clipboard sign-up sheets. Sign up for more activities while waiting on the soccer sidelines, in the doctor's office, or in the pickup line (Free; iPhone, iPad).

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

Linda DiProperzio is a mom and a freelance writer covering a variety of topics, including parenting and pregnancy. Her work can be viewed at www.lindadiproperzio.com.