Are you ready for back to school season?

Going back to school can be both exciting and stressful for parents and kids. Although the idea of seeing friends and starting fresh can be fun, the morning and homework routine can also bring a lot of complaining. That’s why we’ve compiled 51 school hacks, plus a handy infographic to make your family’s life a little easier. Check them out below.

  1. Shop tax-free weekends: While the shopping list keeps piling up, it’s good to know that you can shop tax-free weekends on certain days in each state.
  2. Countdown calendar: Jot down important dates like clothes shopping, school supply shopping and doctor’s appointments on a family calendar. Reward yourselves after each task to keep it fun!
  3. Order online: Shop the essentials online to ensure you have everything you need for the new school year. Supplies like pencils, erasers and notebooks can be bought in bulk to save time and money.
  4. Emergency school kit: Pack a kit filled with commonly needed items like stain remover, tissues and pencils. Tuck it into your child’s backpack to ensure that last-minute spills or runny noses are taken care of.
  5. Eliminate electronics: Remove any distractions. As kids start school, they need to make more time for homework and school activities. So limit electronic use to keep the focus on learning. Electronics can also disrupt bedtime routines, so ditch the screens well before saying goodnight.
  6. Decorate lunch bags: Bring out your creative juices! Your child will be more likely to eat their lunch if it comes in a  decorated bag. Help them use watercolors, markers and even glitter on their paper bags.
  7. Printables: Print out fun lunch notes, stickers, first-day-of-school photo props and menu sheets to celebrate the new school year.
  8. Keep or donate: Plan a day to look through your children’s clothes and choose what can be donated or kept. This will help you assess what clothing your child needs before going back to school.
  9. Label everything: Use washi tape to label all of your child’s school supplies, clothes, sports gear and more.
  10. Shop sales: Take advantage of all the back to school sales around your area.

  11. Do a trial run the week before: Convincing your kids to get into a morning routine after being on vacation for so long can get a little difficult. Starting the morning process a week before will help. Create a checklist for choosing clothes, packing school supplies, etc.
  12. Play music: Not only is music fun, but it can help create a rhythm in the morning while everyone is getting ready. Create a fun playlist and time your routines to each song.
  13. Storage bins: Since it’s easy to get flustered in the morning, set up a storage area where the kids leave their school items such as backpacks and lunch bags. It makes it easier for both parent and child to know exactly where everything is.
  14. Have a bathroom schedule: Place a poster on the door with a bathroom schedule for each child. Include showering, brushing teeth and combing hair. Use a timer to keep the routine efficient.
  15. Go outside: Take a short morning stroll to get the blood circulating or do breakfast outside to get energized.
  16. Turn off your phone: Don’t turn on your phone until everyone is showered, dressed and breakfast is ready. Social media can take up all morning if we let it.
  17. Distance alarm clocks: Don’t put the alarm clock next to your bed. If there are bathrooms near the bedroom, place it there so that everyone has to get up to turn it off.
  18. Easy hairstyles: Browse online to find hairstyles that are quick and easy to do. Some can even be done the night before, like braids.

  19. Create a homework station: Designate a space in your home just for homework time. Throw in colorful pencils, fun posters and even treats for when kids are done.
  20. Add movement into learning: Bring learning to the great outdoors! Playground games like hopscotch and jumping jacks can be used to learn about counting. For more ideas check out We Are Teachers.
  21. Reminder bracelets: DIY fun reminder bracelets for important things such as “give a note to teacher,” “bring back lunch container” and  “sign up for soccer.”
  22. Build a mobile desk: A mobile desk is much like a breakfast tray in that it can be taken anywhere. It’s perfect for when a child needs to do last minute revisions in the car or  make up missed work during a weekend getaway.
  23. Proofreading app: Use an app like to quickly proofread homework.
  24. Use a timer: Allow breaks and rewards as your child gets back into the homework groove. Setting the timer for 25 minutes between tasks will help with productivity. You can read all about the technique here.
  25. Create test questions: Take 10 minutes after homework is done to help your kids come up with five questions about what they learned. This will help them prepare for tests or future homework.
  26. Include educational screen time: Using apps like Friends of Ten, Spelling City and Facts for Kids will keep kids motivated about learning. Plus they’ll have fun while doing so.
  27. Desk dividers: DIY some desk dividers between children so that they don’t get easily distracted.
  28. Assignment sheets: Print assignment sheets and make a notebook for the child to refer to every night before homework. This will help your child stay organized and focused.
  29. Peppermint oil: Rub a couple drops of peppermint oil on your kids’ wrists before they study. It helps to stimulate the brain and aids in concentration.
  30. Food prep: Preparing meals ahead of time can save a lot of time and money, especially when mornings are hectic. Make sure you also have dinner planned to ensure that you get started on homework a little earlier. Leftover dinner is great for lunches as well!
  31. Make lunch notes: Keep your child motivated by sending along cute lunch notes or funny jokes, especially if they have a big day ahead of them.  
  32. Lunch kit: Keep an emergency lunch kit packed with snacks like nuts and cereal bars in case you didn’t have time to go food shopping. This will ensure the kids still have something to take with them.  
  33. Lunchbox cupboard: If your kids are old enough to prepare part of their lunch, set aside a space in the pantry and fridge with lunch items for them to choose. It saves time and prevents lunch complaints! Make a menu of items available to keep it fun.
  34. Keep lunch cold: Make ice packs out of sponges. Simply soak a kitchen sponge in water, place in a plastic bag and freeze. Place it in child’s lunch bag or plastic container.
  35. Slow cooker: Create recipes using a slow cooker, then freeze them for the week. Check out some recipes here.
  36. Use rubber bands: Place a rubber band around sliced fruit like apples and pears to keep the slices from browning. No need for plastic bags!
  37. Freeze juice boxes: Put  juice boxes or water containers in the freezer. They will work as ice packs for your lunch when you pack them in your lunch bag.
  38. Cookie cutters: Use cookie cutters for sandwiches, rice, fruits and cheeses to keep lunches creative.
  39. Gift wrap: Wrap a fun treat in gift wrapping paper and stickers to make it extra special. This is perfect for birthdays, a big day at school or just because.
  40. Skewers: Create fun skewers with fruits, cheeses and meats. You can even add googly eyes to make your kids smile.
  41. Use straws to hull strawberries: Hull strawberries with a straw. Here’s a quick tutorial.
  42. Routine clock: Create a DIY routine clock so that kids know exactly when they can play, do homework and prepare for bedtime. You can also create a custom clock for each child.
  43. Family game nights: Having something fun scheduled after school will motivate kids to finish their tasks on time.
  44. Snack necklace:. Make a snack necklace out of pretzels, cereal and cookies. Have your kids help the night before so that they have something to look forward to.
  45. Play date/homework groups: Join a group of parents in hosting play dates or homework groups once a week. Each parent takes their turn at hosting. This will help other parents get things done around the home, make dinner or run last minute errands.
  46. Clean up: Share an expectation that everyone in the family helps clean up before going to bed. This will not only save time in the morning, but it will create a healthy habit for the kids.
  47. Healthy screen time: Help your child differentiate educational apps from brain-sucking apps by using this brain food and junk food technique.
  48. Scavenger hunt: Quickhunts has a variety of educational and recreational scavenger hunts that can help children learn.
  49. Neighborhood bake sale: Organize a bake sale in your neighborhood. This will allow you and your kids to meet other families that don’t attend your children’s school.
  50. Friendship bracelets: Have the kids make friendship bracelets for all their friends at school. This will stimulate their creativity and keep them busy while you finish up errands.  
  51. Questions in a jar: Create a fun family activity by putting questions in a jar.  These can include math problems, favorite foods or something silly. Read them at dinner time to promote family bonding.

School hacks are a must in order to get through the school year. Being prepared ahead of time will ensure that your mornings and evenings go smoothly. Do you know what will make your child get really excited about going back to school? Stylish supplies and awesome personalized backpacks! There is something for every little personality out there.
Sources: One Crazy House / Spaceships and Laser Beams / Mums Net / Working Moms Against Guilt / Kidspot