Happy New Year! With the festive season now behind us, it’s time to start looking forward to the new school year ahead (in between enjoying the rest of school holidays, that is!). You’ve got to love the start of the school year. There’s something about beautifully contacted blank books and a brand new pencil case brimming with pens that signals a fresh start and endless possibilities. Whether you’ve got a child starting school for the first time, another commencing high school or you’re rolling into another equally important year, we’ve listed 10 quick ideas you can check off your list in order to get them ready for the class of 2017.
1.Invest in a Good Drink Bottle and Lunch Box
If food isn’t fridge fresh it can actually prove to be a very serious health issue. Remember, perishables, when kept out of the fridge remain safe to eat for an absolute maximum of two hours so an insulated lunch box or bag is a “back to school” essential. When choosing the right lunch box, containers and drink bottles, consider your child’s age particularly those in infant’s school (Kindergarten-Year 2). Ensure they can easily open their lunch, and of course, let them choose from our huge range of back to school lunch gear – with their buy in, they’re more likely to eat all their prepped food! Schools encourage rubbish free food, so consider lunch boxes with compartments so you can easily decant items.
Consider how many children are in your child’s school. That’s a lot of potential lost property! Labeling all your child’s belongings is a crucial part of the ‘back to school’ routine. Many uniforms (when purchased new) now have a ‘smart tag’ attached, so make sure you activate this upon purchase. If those items wind up in lost property, you will receive an SMS message from your school notifying you where your child’s lost gear can be found. Check with your school to see if their uniform shop has this function. For those items that don’t have a smart tag, a trusty permanent marker is a tried and true form of labeling!
3.Create a Good Desk for Them
Where does your child do their homework? Give them the best opportunity to learn by creating a comfortable space at home where they can undertake homework and school projects. It’s particularly important for high school kids and equally as important for primary school children at a time when you’re trying to nurture and encourage good habits. Whether you’re after a single or double desk, help your kids to hit the ground running with a desk space such as our Easy-Build Workstation that promotes organisation, independence and focused study patterns.
4.Create a Bag Drop Zone
It’s one thing to have the kids bring their own bags in from the car each afternoon, it’s another thing entirely to have them unpack it and hang it in its preferred spot. Make it as easy for them as possible and at the same time, avoid a front door “dump zone” by incorporating a series of hooks close to your home’s entranceway. Utilising vertical wall space in your garage or at your front door is ideal; because having a designated spot for them to place their bags each afternoon, is just as important as having easy access to their bags in the morning.
School shirts, school skirts, school trousers and blazers; they all need to be cared for in order to last the distance. Invest in a number of sturdy and easy to use hangers and encourage your children to put their own clothes away. Consider replacing all your small hangers with adult flocked hangers; they’re so easy for kids to use, and of course, their clothes won’t slip off. A slim lined flocked hanger will also increase the amount of hanging space you have in the wardrobe too.
Generally speaking, a lot of kids will opt for their treats before something healthy in their lunch box so here at Howards we’re all about making fruit fun! With great summer fruit to choose from, we have a number of products on offer that will help you to slice it, dice it and make it enticing for the little ones in your life. Take the Apple Peeler/Corer for instance. With a solid cast alloy body and stainless steel peeling blade, this product will create the perfect apple slinky (and it’s also great for potatoes if you’re looking for a way to make dinner time fun too!). Our PEPO Forest Watermelon Slicer is perfect for slicing, lifting and serving; while our Tovolo Strawberry Huller has an easy grip handle and features a straw cut out for easy hull removal. Get the kids involved with the prepping of these foods and they’re all but guaranteed to dig in!
While summer holidays has meant a nice break from all the school paperwork and correspondence, its time to gear up for Term 1 and all the notes and excursion slips that will no doubt ensue. A memo board is the ultimate solution and we have a number of great ones to choose from. Do you love colour? Try our Memo Magnetic Board on for size. Available in 3 different colourways it’s never been so easy, or stylish, to create order! This wood framed magnetic memo board is the perfect size for displaying the kid’s merit certificates or other helpful notes, and comes with four geometric magnets. Alternatively, an item like our Magnetic Duel-Surface Planner Board will also do the trick! This magnetic white board/cork board in one includes one-marker, two magnets, one piece of chalk and four push pins. Populate the white board with the week’s homework tasks and after school sporting activities; and use the corkboard for excursion notes, referrals and other important information. At the end of each week, simply wipe it all clean, file the paperwork and start again!
Unless you intend to fetch every single meal for your kids, a child friendly pantry is essential! Remember what makes a kitchen great is how you organise it, especially when it comes to catering for kids. An easy to access child friendly zone at the base of your pantry solution for healthy snacks will save you time, reduce waste and empower the little folk in your life to become self-sufficient when their stomachs start to rumble! More than just an accessible snack stop, by storing high access breakfast items alongside school essentials in one handy spot, you’ll encourage independence during the before school rush and when packing lunches too!
9.Cut Down on Waste with a Sandwich Wrap
When it comes to cutting down the amount of waste in a lunchbox, the first item that can be eco-wrapped is of course the sandwich or wrap. Here at Howards we have a number of high quality Sandwich Wraps with various patterns with are perfect for sandwiches and snacks on the go. Made from food safe materials, these environmentally friendly, reusable pockets are dishwasher and washing machine safe; and furthermore they’re lead, BPA and phthalate free. What’s more they’re quick drying thanks to their lightweight fabric! Alternatively, if your child would prefer a container, products such as our Décor Lunch Break® lunchbox system offer a unique air-tight and leak-proof way to keep lunches fresh and your cooler bag mess free.
Avoid having their dirty clothes strewn across their floor; invest in a hamper and encourage your children to place their clothes in the hamper and take it to the laundry as needed. If your kids aren’t already contributing to the household in this way, make 2017 the year that they share the laundry load! Providing them with the system is half the battle. Let the washing begin!