Shay Mitchell Shares Stress-Free Back to School Tips and Must-Haves for Parents

Shay Mitchell shares why she's "not stressed at all" about her daughter Atlas starting school, tips to help parents relax, and her family's morning routine.

By Marenah Dobin Aug 31, 2023 7:08 PMTags
E! Insider Shop, Shay Mitchell Amazon Back to SchoolFlannery Underwood/ E! Illustration

We interviewed Shay Mitchell because we think you'll like her picks at these prices. Shay is a paid spokesperson for Amazon. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our links. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!. Prices are accurate as of publish time.

Whether you're a student, parent, or teacher, starting a new school year involves some preparation– and shopping, of course. Shay Mitchell and her daughter Atlas turned these tasks into an enjoyable experience, shopping for school must-haves from Amazon. Shay shared, "We did the whole thing together and my mom was super jealous because that wasn't her life back in the day. My mom was like 'Oh, where are you going?' and I was like 'No, we're not leaving the house.'"

Shay relies on Amazon because she can get everything she and Atlas need in one place instead of running errands at many different stores. Getting ready for school has been a learning experience for the family and a reminder not to sweat the small stuff. She explained, "Even if you are not super organized or you forgot something, you can just wait a day or two and it will come in the mail and you're good. Truthfully, I think the key is just not stressing over the little things and making it fun. If you forget something, you're teaching your kids that mistakes are okay. You have to be gentle on yourself as a parent as well."

In an exclusive E! interview, Shay shares her family's morning routine, tips to help parents relax, and some Amazon must-haves. 

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E!: What are some tips that you have for parents navigating back to school season?
SM: To be perfectly honest, this is kind of technically my first year. We got supplies and I am sure there will be more requests with things she'll need throughout the school year. I'm not gonna lie, I was not stressed out at all because we did this from my couch, Atlas and I together. It was really easy. Instead of going to one store for school supplies, another for snacks, and another store to get her new tights, I didn't leave my couch. We did it all together, which makes it so fun. It's really exciting leading up to her first day.

E!: Milestones can be stressful, but if you can turn school shopping or getting ready for the day into a fun activity instead of a chore, that's more relaxing.
SM: It really is a whole mindset on all of these things and trying not to stress out. When I'm stressed out, I think everyone can pick up on it. I don't want my kids to feel stressed out. We should be grateful we have dishes to be washing instead of being annoyed. I always teach them that they have options to make your lunch and to be grateful you have these options to choose from. We pack our lunch box and bag for school. I think finding the enjoyment in all of the simple tasks is what's going to make life a lot more enjoyable. No matter what it is that you're doing.  

Bentgo Kids Prints Leak-Proof 5-Compartment Bento-Style Lunch Box

"We make her lunch box together. I like to include her in as many experiences as possible, like getting herself ready,  picking her things, packing her bag, all of that. I really love the Bentgo lunch boxes. They make it super easy. They come in cool colors and they're great."

These come in 30 colors and have 48,200+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

Bentgo Snack Cup

Shay also recommends these Bentgo Snack Cups, which are leak-proof, and dishwasher-safe. There are 5 colors to choose from.

Bentgo Buddies Reusable Ice Packs- Slim for Lunch Boxes, Bags, and Coolers Multicolored 4-Pack

Shay recommended the Bentgo Buddies Reusable Ice Packs, which come in 8 shapes with multiple colors. These ice packs have 12,700+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

E!: You and Atlas make her lunch together instead of you getting all of her stuff ready for her without her help. Tell me more about that approach.
SM: I think sometimes parents take on too much of the work because you're not asking them to help. I ask her to help and I'm teaching her that she can be useful and I love that she feels accomplished every day. I want to help her and I want her to learn.

E!: Do you have any tips to make the morning routine easier with your family? 
SM: I think the best thing for us is to do as much as you can the night before. If we're gonna have pasta for lunch, I will make it the night before. I put everything in their lunch bags that doesn't have to be refrigerated. We have their backpacks ready and some extra clothes in the car just in case. If we're out on an adventure and then there happens to be an impromptu waterpark decision, then we can go and I'm not worried because I'm an extra spare set of clothes with a towel in the back of my car.

E!: Ironically, being prepared gives more opportunities to be spontaneous with your family.
SM: I feel like when I'm prepared I don't have to say no to something that could be a really fun experience just because I didn't have the stuff I need. I think it's good to be as prepared as possible, but if you're not then whatever. That's good too.   

Shay Mitchell's Back to School Amazon Picks

Anker Magnetic Battery Pack Power Bank, 5,000mAh Wireless Portable Charger

"My phone always needs to stay charged, especially when I'm taking the kids to school or extracurricular activities."

This magnetic battery pack comes in 5 colors.

Wireless Charger, Magnetic Foldable 3 in 1 Wireless Charging Pad

Shay also recommends this magnetic foldable charging pad, which you can use to charge your phone, watch, earbuds, and other devices at once. There are 10 colors to choose from. Shay's pick has 3,100+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

Stasher Reusable Silicone Storage Bag, Food Storage Container, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe, Leak-free, Bundle 7-Pack

"I absolutely adore the Stasher Bags. I always felt guilty the back in the day using one single-use plastic bag. It's definitely something we're trying to eliminate. I always say that it's important to take small steps. Making a small step in the right direction and not using single-use plastic bags is amazing. They're silicone bags that are reusable. You can throw them in the dishwasher, which is easy. I use them for my daughter's snacks or little hair ties or jewelry. They come in a lot of fun colors."

Miranda Kerr recommended these to E! shoppers too.

BEAR Real Fruit Snack Minis and BEAR Fruit Rolls

"I like that I can get healthy snacks on Amazon instead of going to multiple stores."

Shay included these mini fruit snacks and fruit rolls in her list of Amazon recommendations. Both are available in multiple flavors.

Bentgo Kids Water Bottle- Leak-Proof, BPA-Free

"Everybody has been getting into their water bottles and big jugs, the Stanley and that kind of thing. There are also a lot of really cute options for kids. I'm such a water bottle girly and my daughter is too."

Shay's pick comes in 14 colors and patterns.

Thermos Funtainer 12 Ounce Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Kids Straw Bottle

Shay also included these kids insulated water bottles in her recommendations. There are Disney, Batman, solid colors, and more options to choose from. The Thermos Funtainer has 47,300+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

Stanley Quencher H2.0 FlowState Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler

"We can both get our jugs and fill them together," Shay shared. She recommends the iconic Stanley Quencher H2.0 FlowState Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler, which comes in 18 colors and 5 sizes. This tumbler has 14,400+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

Shay's pick is a TikTok favorite, which has also been recommended by Kandi Burruss, Witney Carson, Haylie Duff, Jenna Johnson, Katie Austin, and Duff Goldman

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

"There's a little ice cream maker. I think that's so important because she knows what she's eating. We talk about what we put in our bodies. Yes, we could easily go down to an ice cream store, which we still do every once in a while, but if she wants her ice cream, which is more like a healthy frozen yogurt, we make it together. Do I add a little bit of spinach and spirulina in there? Yes, I do. But she doesn't see and it's fine. She will want to add strawberries and cream and it's amazing. So everybody wins. And we get to have another activity that we get to do together."

The Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker comes in 3 colors and it has 13,900+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

Boogie Wipes Baby Wipes Unscented- 6 Packs (180 Wipes Total)

"I haven't got Atlas into the activity of changing her sister's diaper, but I'm working on it and she brings me the wipes now." Shay uses these unscented wipes from Boogie Wipes, which have 2,600+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

Live Fraiche Castor Oil + Filled Mascara Tube USDA Certified Organic, 100% Pure, Cold Pressed, Hexane Free Stimulate Growth for Eyelashes, Eyebrows, Hair

E!: Are there any items that are helpful to help parents relax during busy times?
SM: I really take my time when they go to bed, but even little everyday things like showers can be a relaxing experience when I have my little routine with my beauty things. If there's something I'm using every day, I love it to be more natural. That's why I have castor oil in my list. I use it for my brows. It helps hair follicle growth and everything. I just love that.

Shay's pick has 3,200+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

Kindle Oasis

"I've really been enjoying this Kindle because I used to read five books at the same time. But it's nice because I can have them all on one device and especially because I'm carrying so much stuff for everybody else now. It's nice to have it on a small little Kindl.  I love it. I read it outside in the sun and you can still see all the words without a glare."

This Kindle model has 2,000+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

Shay's list also includes the Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen, which has 11,400+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

It has also been recommended by Amanda Stanton, Dr. Tiffany Moon, and Dylan Barbour.

thinkbaby Sunscreen Stick (2 Pack)

For the kids, Shay loves the thinkbaby Sunscreen Stick, which comes in a pack of two. 

Roselynboutique Cryotherapy Ice Roller for Face Wrinkles Fine Lines Puffiness

If you want to unwind and take care of yourself, Shay added this $10 ice roller to her list. It has 6,200+ 5-star Amazon reviews and comes in 14 colors.

Amazon Essentials Women's Fluffy Slipper

Give your feet a rest after a long day with these fluffy slippers from Shay's shopping list. There are 5 colors to choose from.

Tangle Teezer Wet Detangler Hairbrush for Wet & Dry Hair

These brushes are great for adults and kids. They are tough on tangles and gentle on hair, making it so easy to brush out your strands. There are 33 colors to choose from. The Tangle Teezer has 45,000+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

Want to do more Amazon shopping? Here are the 34 most popular Amazon items E! readers bought this month.