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It’s officially the first day back at school for kids here in Ontario, Canada! Unlike some kids, ours are super excited to be heading back and honestly, I’m excited too. As nice as having the kids out of the house and occupied can be, having them back in school brings a whole new set of responsibilities (homework, lunches, after school activities, etc.) that can be hard to balance.
Because life is crazy, I’ve complied a list of 8 products under $25 that have made our lives so much easier throughout the school year. Check it out below:
This bento style lunch container has been our #1 go-to in lunch packing since Holly started school 6 years ago. Not only is it spacious, it’s dishwasher and microwave safe, and has a removable ice pack that fits on either the top piece or the insert. The thing I love most about this box is that unlike so many more expensive bento containers, it actually fits inside a standard lunch pail.
I use silicone baking cups as dividers within the above bento box. My kids are obsessed with fruit salad, but for more juicy fruits (think melon and peaches) I like to use these cups to avoid everything mushing together. These are also perfect for homemade muffins or other baked goods that you plan on sending to school. They’re colourful, peel off easy, and are better for the environment than baggies.
Bento food picks are the best! They come in so many cute variations and really make lunch fun for little kids. Beyond that, they’re super functional for things like diced fruit and are much easier than packing a full sized fork. I send one in my kids’ lunches almost every day. The little giraffe pick is my favourite!
Before last year, I had no idea these things existed. They were a completely random Amazon purchase and now I’m obsessed. They’re made of a soft rubber material that allows lace up shoes to quickly become slip ons (aka way better for kids!). Be aware that these rubber laces don’t fit in all styles of shoes, but for simple canvas shoes there is nothing better.
Our family could not function without a fridge calendar. Yes, I keep my own planner, but it’s not realistic for me to open it up every morning before the school day. Our fridge calendar holds mostly important school dates (days off, project due dates, field trips, etc.) because it’s visible for both the adults and children. I know that every morning when I have to open the fridge to grab lunches it will be right in my face. No forgetting!
After years and years of fighting the great water bottle fight I’ve realized two things. First, stop wasting money on fancy water bottles. The truth is that most of the ones that come with some crazy closure system end up leaking. It’s so much harder than I ever imagined to find a water bottle that is truly leak proof. Second, have more that 2 per child. My kids constantly forget their water bottles on their desk, in their locker, in the car, etc. and not having a back up can totally throw off a busy night/morning. These Reduce sets are perfect. Simple, but so effective.
Zippered reusable bags are perfect for things like pretzels, chips, and crackers in a lunch bag. The investment is totally worth the amount of plastic baggies you’ll save, I promise. Simply wipe down and use again!
I’ve been using mail organizers forever, but during the school year they’re the handiest thing in the world. Important papers are filed immediately in our house, but school reminders and homework are the worst simply because they need to be kept, but only for a small amount of time. I use my mail organizer for all school forms and reminders, and once I month I go through and clean everything old out.
If your kids are heading back to school this year, I would love to hear what’s on your must have list! let me know in the comments.