It’s that time again already! Getting ready for back to school! I’m sure I’m not the only one asking, where did the holidays go?
I have both of my boys at school now and it feels like the days of nappy bags and daytime sleeps are long behind me. Now it’s all lunch box packing, homework and after school activities. One of my best tips for being organised is to plan ahead so here are a few things I’ve started to organise so we are ready for back to school.
I like to buy school shoes early in January, this way they can be worn a few times around the house to break them in a little and get used to wearing shoes and socks again. We tend to live in our thongs over the summer holidays so wearing shoes and socks can sometimes take some adjustment.
Take your school socks when you go buy your school shoes. Ask your child how they feel, there’s a good chance if they hurt or feel uncomfortable from the beginning they might never be comfortable (I learnt that one the hard way). These shoes will be worn every day for the majority of the day.
There are some great back to school specials so shop around. If the store is offering a buy one get one-half price and your budget permits, buy the next size at half price and keep it on hand for during the year.
Last year we used the Smash box Bento Switch up and we’ll be using them again this year. Having two growing boys being able to pack a decent amount of food is a priority, I haven’t been able to go past the size and flexibility of the Bento Switch Up. You can find them in Coles, Woolworths, Big W and Officeworks.
The Smash Bento Switch Up Lunch Box comes with removable dividers so you can separate your food into different sections. It’s easy to create 2, 3 or 4 different compartments depending on what food you’re taking. It’s also deep enough to accomodate 2 sandwiches, which suits my ever hungry boys perfectly. It also comes with a detachable cool skin which will help to keep your food cool and fresh throughout the day while also protecting your lunch box against damage.
With our warm climate a cooler bag is a necessity. The next best thing to an actual fridge that i’ve found is The Smash The Fridge. This Insulated Lunch Bag is perfect for taking your food to school, keeping it cool and fresh for up to 7 hours. The bag comes with removable gel ice packs will help to maintain a cool temperature throughout the day. It has a durable PVC construction making it easy to wipe clean. You can find The Fridge at Officeworks and Coles
After trialling a number of drink bottles and buying at least half a dozen we finally found one that lasted more than a few weeks. I’ve found the Camel Bak drink bottles to withstand all the bumps and knocks kids seem to give them, yes even the bottle flipping craze. We’ve been using them since the boys were toddlers and have progressed through the styles as they’ve grown. We’re currently using the Camelbak Podium Chill, as the name suggests they are perfect for keeping water cool in our hot summer. One of the things I love most about this range is they sell spare parts, we have replaced the mouthpiece ready to start the new year but will be using the same bottle as last year. Camelbak bottles are available at Coles, Woolworths, Anaconda and on the Camelbak site
I don’t send anything to school unless it has a name on it! At least with a name, there is some chance of it being returned or identified at lost property. As a teacher, I’m always astounded at the number of unidentified lunch boxes/drink bottles/hats etc in lost property with no name on them!
I’ve been buying from Hippo Blue for a number of years now, I run all our lunch box containers through the dishwasher and the labels have stood the test of time. The shoe and iron on clothing labels are also a good investment. Picture a line of black shoes all around the sand pit at lunch or a pile of school jumpers on the seat, having your child’s items labelled will help them identify their property as well as help it find them again if it is lost. Hippo Blue have a great range of designs and a large range of products you can personalise, both my boys enjoyed choosing their own label designs last year.
If you need to stock up on labels put your order in ASAP to ensure they arrive in time for school to start.
Thankfully I don’t have to deal with book covering! All our books are delivered to the school, and the school distributed them. In the event that I had to cover school books, I’d be taking the easy way out with slip on reusable book covers. You can usually find reusable covers newsagents and some department stores.
If you’re taking the contact option this tool helps eliminate bubbles when applying contact. It’s called a Constastick, if you’ve used one I’d love to hear how you found it.
Have you started to organise for back to school? I’d love to hear any of your back to school advice!
Happy back to school