Are your kids ready for school? Get the best back to school tips for parents here! From how to save on school supplies, lunch ideas, back to school photos, and more! Learn how to make the back to school experience exciting for your child.
Back to School Tips for Parents
Thinking about back to school yet? It is coming up sooner than we’d like!
When do you start getting ready? In my experience, it’s better to start mid-summer to get ready for back to school. It eliminates having to rush around right before school starts.
Here’s a few ideas that will be fun for the kids and easy for you. Be sure to read all the way to the end because this is PACKED with great tips!!
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Start the Countdown to School
While your older kiddos might moan and groan over this one, younger kiddos will enjoy using a calendar to countdown the days until school. You can also use the calendar to plan some fun end-of-summer events to make the most of the end of summertime!
Ease Back into a Routine
A few weeks before school starts, it’s a good idea to ease back into a routine instead of the summertime free-for-all. You can set specific times for meal times, start going to bed earlier, and get into the habit of an earlier morning routine.
The more you get into a routine now, the better it’ll be when it’s actually time to go back to school.
Take Fun Back to School Photos
Capture back to school memories with these ideas:
- Take a photo of your child with their new teacher. You could take one at the beginning of the year and one at the end to see how much your child has grown and changed since the beginning of the school year!
- To get in the mood for back to school, dress up in a school outfit and take some silly photos with your child. The sillier the better!
- Get outside and take some pictures. Natural lighting does wonders for photos! Have your young child pose for the camera while they play with their friends or pets.
- Stage some back to school photos in front of the school before school starts. You’ll have more time to take great photos than on the first day of school when EVERYONE else is trying to get a pic!
Read Back to School Books for Kids
Our favorite back to school kids books include:
Save on School Supplies
Back to school time can get really expensive, really quickly. With 4 kids in school, I try to save money whenever I can!
One way to save money on back to school supplies is to stock up for supplies in the Fall, after the kids have already started school. School supplies tend to go on clearance then, so you can stock up for the next year. Same thing with clothing and back packs!
Too late for that? You can use store loyalty clubs or programs, like Walmart+, Target Circle, Kohls Cash or Yes2You, Office Depot Rewards, CVS Extra Care Rewards, etc to save money on back to school items.
Another good place to get discounted back to school stuff is a consignment shop. You will find books, clothes, furniture and much more all at a fraction of the price. Most consignment shops try to sell like new or barely used items, so you’ll get great value for what you find.
Another way to save money is to use a shopping app like Ibotta. I use Ibotta for almost every shopping trip, and I earn cash back on so many items I already use!
This back to school season, Ibotta is excited to be giving away FREE items to send kids back to school the right way.
That’s right – 100% cash back on a variety of school snacks and supplies. Ibotta has teamed up with some of our favorite brands to celebrate the new school year. When you download the Ibotta app or browser extension, get 100% cash back on back-to-school essentials to start the kid’s year off right with full backpacks and lunchboxes!
How Ibotta’s Back to School Free-for-All works:
- Download Ibotta for free to start earning cash back on things you buy every day. Get the app on your phone or the browser extension for your computer (better yet: both!)
- Visit the Ibotta website to activate the offers. Offers will be added to the app.
- Choose where you want to shop for school supplies: Walmart Pickup & Delivery, Target Online, HEB Online, Instacart, or Shipt
- Link your retailer account, then add back to school offers to your list (from the browser extension window)
- Shop and check out like you always do. You’ll get your 100% cash back 24 hours after your grocery order is picked up or delivered!
Some of the brands participating include 5 Star Notebooks, Skippy Peanut Butter, Ticonderoga Pencils, Sharpie Highlighters, Goldfish, Del Monte, Crayola Crayons, Ziploc, and more!
Get Personalized Labels for School Supplies
Many schools request that you label your child’s school supplies so that they don’t get lost. You can get personalized labels for each child to make sure they know which supplies are theirs.
Mabel’s Labels has really adorable back to school personalized labels for kids, including ones that can help little kids know which shoe goes on which foot!
The Ultimate Back-to-School Sale is here – Take 20% OFF all Mabel’s Labels’ best-selling school products!
Send Lunch Box Jokes
Want to brighten your kid’s school day? Send the kiddos off to school with laughter in their lunch box!
- Why are principals friendly? Because they’re princi-PALS!
- Why did the math book look so sad? Because it had so many problems!
- What does a computer do for lunch? It has a byte!
- Why isn’t there a clock in the library? Because it tocks too much!
- What do elves learn in school? The elpha-bet!
- Which letter comes after A in the alphabet? All of them!
Want more jokes? Get this free lunch box jokes kid printable from Kelly’s Thoughts on Things.
Need school lunch ideas? Find out how you can meal prep school lunches.
Create Back to School Crafts
Crafting can help soothe nerves before back to school. They can also help create a positive vibe around the experience, especially for the younger kiddos!
Here are some back to school craft ideas:
- Make this vibrant, happy crayon wreath using just a few supplies like crayons, wide ribbon, scissors, and hot glue. Get the full tutorial over at Dollar Crafter.
- Looking for an adorable teacher gift that teachers will actually use? These Back to School Mason Jars are simple enough to make that kiddos can help without making too big of a mess! 🙂
- Try this adorable Apple Craft for Kids that will not only be cute to make but can also help with counting, sorting, and more!
- This is a craft that teachers may appreciate: this teacher gift box. It can be used as a desk organizer, or a holder for all kinds of odds and ends. Filling it with supplies would be amazing, because we all know how much of their own money teachers spend on classroom supplies each year. Adding a gift card would be a nice touch, too. (You can get a Thank You letter printable to add in there as well!)
Make Back to School Recipes
Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner….snack! It seems like all the kids want to do in the summer is eat! Thankfully that *kinda* calms down during the school year.
Here are some recipes and ideas to help you keep your crew fed during the school year:
Kids like trail mix? This banana split trail mix hits the spot any time of day. It’s like having a healthier version of a banana split for breakfast!
How about a sweet breakfast? Banana chocolate French toast will satisfy a sweet tooth. Yum!
Need a breakfast for hectic school mornings? DIY freezer breakfast sandwiches are prepared ahead of time and taste just the same when you reheat them.
If you forget to make the freezer breakfast sandwiches, you can quickly make this toasted peanut butter and jelly in a jiffy!
Like Bento Boxes for lunches? Here are some Bento Box lunch ideas to make your kiddo’s lunches the talk of the cafeteria.
Need help with back to school meal planning? To feel prepared and maybe a little organized, grab these free back to school meal plan printables from Bright and Busy Kids.
Need to Contact the Teacher?
Do you have questions about the upcoming school year? Contact the teacher a week or so before school starts to have your questions answered.
Note: Traditionally teachers are off for the summer and may not check emails until a week or two before school starts. If you have a question that needs to be answered sooner, you might be able to get in contact with the school’s principal during the summer hours.
Back to School Tips for Parents
I hope these back to school tips and ideas help! I use these tips for my own family and they work wonders for us to help everyone ease into the back to school season.
Do you have any back to school tips to share? Leave a comment below!