Dreading the end-of-summer shopping sprees that signal school’s back in session? Relax — our cheat sheet’s ready to help everyone make the grade this year!
Don’t lose it — label it!
You don’t need to buy labels or a fancy machine that makes them. Use inexpensive masking tape instead to conveniently mark kids’ schoolbooks and supplies.
Instant index cards
It’s inevitable — at the eleventh hour your child will say, “I need index cards for school tomorrow.” If you don’t have any, use paper plates and a ruler. Measure out a 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 (A7 or A6) card on the plate and cut. Use the first card as a template for the rest.
It’s one of the universal truths of parenthood: Kids’ pencil cases, folders, markers, and other school supplies are forever disappearing. You may be able to lessen the losses, however, by affixing address labels with a piece of transparent tape to the contents of your child’s desk and backpack.
Keep supplies organized
Do the kids have trouble keeping track of their school pencils, pens, and rulers? Puncture three holes along the bottom edge of a sealable freezer bag so it will fit in a three-ring binder. Now the young scholars can zip their supplies in and out of the bag.
Make an artist’s palette
Tear off a length of heavy-duty aluminum foil, crimp up the edges, and you’ve got a ready-to-use palette for mixing paints. If you want to get a little fancier, cut a piece of cardboard into the shape of a palette, complete with thumb hole, and cover it with foil. Or if you already have a wooden palette, cover it with foil before each use and then just strip off the foil instead of cleaning the palette.
Organize kids’ sporting goods
Keep a decorated empty wine or liquor carton with partitions, and with the top cut off, in your child’s room and use it for easy storage of tennis rackets, baseball bats, fishing poles, and such.