4 Back to School Hacks
Are you ready for back-to-school season? We know you're ready to get the kids out of the house; that's not what we mean. Are shopping lists on your mind? How many crayons will you need this year? It sounds a little ridiculous to be stressing about crayons but trust us; you are not alone!
That's why we're bringing you our favorite, parent-approved back-to-school hacks that actually work. How do we know they work? We've tested them with our own kiddos*
*No children were harmed in the making of this blog post (our lawyers made us add this)
1. After School Snack Drawers
It turns out kids are ALWAYS hungry. And if you don't have an after-school snack plan, that hunger will turn into "hanger", which isn't fun for anyone. But don't worry—we've found a solution. We call it the Snack Drawer. Sounds simple, amiright?
Setting up snack drawers willy-nilly for your kids is like that last time you went to the buffet. You know, the one where you tell yourself you'll stick to the salad bar this time but then grab that second plate for fried chicken. Listen, we can't blame you – we love that golden, crispy goodness too.
So, here's a better way: organize two snack drawers, one with healthy snacks (that your kids WILL eat, like organic fruit snacks and granola bars), and one with a few of their fave not-so-healthy snacks (chocolate chip cookies and cheese crackers). Tell your kids they can choose one from each drawer if they want a snack. You know how little ones want to feel like they have control over what they eat? This gives them balanced choices without whining. And don't forget the Zevia Kidz because with every hanger comes an insatiable thirst for refreshment.
2. School Lunch Meal Prep
We totally get it. You're trying to get your kids out the door with a healthy lunch for school everyday—but sometimes it's just not happening. And if your morning routine is anything like ours:
Wake up, rush around trying to get everyone ready, and rationalize to your kids that cereal is a better breakfast than the pastries that are stashed on top of the fridge. And then, when it comes time to pack their lunches…well, let's just say we feel you! But don't stress; think meal prep! We know meal prep sounds boring and kind of intense, but this isn't your typical meal prep plan. Here's the "ingredients" for our 5-star meal prep solution to make lunchtime easier and hopefully save some $$$ too!
- Get the kids involved! (They're the ones eating it, after all.) And since we don't want them eating junk food on the daily, treat lunch like the snack drawer (above) and provide the possibilities.
- Assemble lunches the night before. There's nothing wrong with making tomorrow's sandwich while you're catching up on today's Insta stories – except for maybe mayo on your phone. Getting started is the first step, so crawl before you walk. ;)
- Repurpose and reuse. There's nothing like giving them their favorite leftovers for lunch. The last time we checked, cold pizza was still delicious.
- Plan a lunch menu for the week and make it a family event to prep it up Sundays after soccer (chopping up veggies, packing non-perishables). You'll be one step ahead AND get to spend more quality time together.
3. Operation Containment
Do you ever wonder, "where did all of this STUFF come from?" as the backpack, shoes, lunchbox, and other random items pile up around your house at the start of the school year? If you're like us, clutter is your arch nemesis, and it's always leading you on endless scavenger hunts, like looking for THE WORLD'S MOST IMPORTANT field trip form because all of their friends' parents have already signed it, and if you don't find it THIS MORNING your kid is going to miss out on the MOST EPIC TRIP OF 3RD GRADE (or at least that's what they've told us).
Let's face it; kids are messy. As much as we parents want to jump in and stop their clutter and chaos, we know that there are some things kids just need to learn for themselves. We can't solve it (although we wish we could!), but we can help with one aspect: CONTAINMENT!
Create a "drop zone" for your kids by setting up hooks, shoe trays, shelves, or cubbies. It's either that or putting a trash can in your entryway...A mail organizer is great for all those important school papers, too. And set a new house rule: Do not pass go until your kid has shed all the school stuff, like a dog blowing their winter coat. Even if they don't get it done perfectly, you still contained the clutter and (hopefully) got some of your sanity back.
4. Homework Station
After spending a small fortune on school supplies, there's nothing like learning that your kid has misplaced half of them within the first week. But then you realize you're not much different, especially when you're scrambling to find your checkbook and pen, which you swore was in the kitchen junk drawer … or did you use the last check on last month's wrapping paper drive? Apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, does it?
And if your kids are anything like ours, they need an organized homework station with everything they need at their fingertips. Whether you decide to:
- Put all the crayons or markers in a bin or box for easy cleanup (reusing old shoeboxes work wonders!)
- Include a container or box with lined paper and blank paper
- Put together a box with other items like calculators, rulers, pens & pencils (shoeboxes for another win!
It's totally up to you and what fits your life. And if they request a mini fridge in their homework space stocked with their favorite flavor of Zevia Kidz we don't not recommend it ;).