Get out the door faster with these time-saving, stress-reducing hacks for you and the kids.

It’s that time of year again — the new school year is starting and that means it’s time to get back into a routine. We know every bit of time-saving, life-smoothing advice can be a huge help. So, before you start worrying over early mornings, after-school activities and schedules, check out these 10 parent-approved ideas that will make the back to school transition just a little easier for both you and the kids.

Start term one on a roll...

  1. Quick Brekky Ideas

    For a quick brekky before school, hollow out a Hi-Fibre Lo-GI Lunch Box Roll and stuff it full of goodness! Perfect for an on-the-go breakfast that will keep the kids full of energy for longer. We’ve used scrambled eggs, ham, cheese, tomato and lettuce in ours.

    Quick Brekky Ideas

    Source: Bakers Delight

  2. Adjust Sleep Schedules Before School Starts

    One of the hardest parts of going to back to school for kids (and let’s be honest, parents too), is that their sleep schedules change quickly and they have to scramble to catch up. Give your kids a helping hand and head start by slowly adjusting their sleep schedules by 30 minutes in the weeks leading up to school. This tactic will make the first weeks of school so much easier for everyone!

  3. DIY Lunch Box Icepacks

    As the kids head back to school in the peak of summer, they’ll thank you for an icepack in their lunch boxes! These reusable DIY icepacks are cheap and easy, so if they get lost, it’s not a big deal. Simply soak a standard clean kitchen sponge in water, place it inside a zip-lock bag, leave the bag in the freezer overnight, and then the next morning, your icepack will be ready to go. When the icepack begins to melt, the sponge retains the water and prevents leaks.

    Source: My Kitchen Escapades

  4. Assembly-Line Lunches

    Packing lunches can be the bane of any parents’ existence, so make your life easier with this simple hack! Prepare a pantry shelf dedicated to lunch box ingredients, such as popcorn, bread rolls, dried fruit and muesli bars. Then all you have to do is move down the line of labelled bins, picking out what you need that day (or the night before if you’re ultra-organised). You can also use a shelf in the fridge to do the same thing. This works well if the goals is to move the kids on to making their own lunches.

  5. Colour Code the Clock

    Telling the time can be tricky for some kids, as can getting into the school routine. Colour code your clock to make it a bit easier and allow time for certain activities, such as snacks, homework, bath time and bedtime stories.

    Source: @milittlecorner 

  6. Sticker Shoes

    For the littlies finding their feet, cut a sticker of a favourite animal or cartoon character in half and put the halves in each shoe so they can tell left from right by matching up the sides.

  7. Study Station

    ‘I can’t wait to get home to do my homework’ – said no kid ever. However, having a special space to work on it can make it a bit easier. Whether you put a little desk in a corner of a bedroom or create a nook in the family dining room, having this quiet, dedicated space can help your kids get into a productive mindset outside of the classroom.

    Bonus tip: Walking around the house looking for pencils, glue and tape is a sure-fire way to encourage procrastination! Once you have the homework area set up, create a DIY stationery organiser to keep everything together.

    Source: Juggling Act Mama

  8. Add a Post Office to the School Bag

    Sick of finding that permission slip in the bottom of the school bag a week after it was due? Add an over-sized zippered pencil case or a document folder to keep in your kids’ school bags. Label it ‘post office’ and let them know that in their role as official post person, they need to make sure mail is delivered successfully between home and school at all times. All mail should be delivered via the post office, not scrunched up and thrown into the bottom of the school bag!

  9. Family Activity Calendar

    Between sports, music lessons and playdates, keeping track of the kids’ schedules can be confusing! Bring some order to the family with a whiteboard in the kitchen and colour code each family member so everyone is on the same page.

    Source: What Moms Love

  10. Command Centre

    If left to their own devices, most kids just chuck their school bag on the floor and run off to play, leaving you to sort through the mouldy sandwiches and overdue permission slips.  Take control of the clutter with a command centre and organise a designated spot in the house where the kids can leave their bags. You can even have small bins for them to unload homework, important papers and leftovers (bookcases work perfectly for this).