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Back to School Supplies - Our checklist and getting organised!

Otis getting his bag ready, back to school at How we Montessori

It's a week until my kids go back to school - it's time to get organised!! Organisation is my strength and I love this time of year! 

Our school provides all the children's stationary so our back-to-school supplies only includes personal items, lunch boxes and the like. So I've taken everything out, given it a good wash and completed a thorough stocktake. My procedure is:

  1. Wash everything - school bag, spare clothes in school bag, water bottles, eskies, school shoes.
  2. Stocktake.
  3. Order new supplies where needed.
  4. Label everything! 
  5. Pack ready for the start of school. 

Back to school supplies - waste free lunch at HWM #averykids

Our school supplies include;

Lunchboxes - It sounds excessive but each of my children has two lunchboxes. This allows us to prepare the next day's lunch while one lunchbox is still in the dishwasher. It also allows me to start on the lunches early (before the boys get home from school) if I am baking or chopping up vegetables for dinner early. We have used LunchBots for years and they just last, they look as good as new and we've loved the size and the dividers. 

Snackboxes and snack pouches - We use snack boxes and reusable pouches. Our previous school has a waste-free lunch policy (no packaging in the lunchbox) so we've found it easy to continue with this at our current school. All schools really should adopt this policy, it would reduce litter in the playground and families would have to think harder about the waste they create. 

Water bottles - Otis needed a new water bottle. Caspar broke two glass water bottles so we are going fully plastic this year.  

Hats - Otis has two hats, he misplaces his hat frequently at school (in his classroom!?!). It almost always shows up the next day but it is worth having a backup. It's school policy if the children don't have a hat they can't play outside so a backup always saves the day. 

Clothes - Otis is still at the age where a spare set of clothes is required, you never know when they will get wet or covered in paint or mud. The start of the school year is a good time to make sure they have enough comfortable, breathable, well fitting, clean clothing (including underwear and socks). I've ordered new school clothing for Otis from Into The Woods. The range is Waldorf inspired and it shows. 

Shoes - This is also a good time of year to check the children's shoes are in good repair and still fit! 

Backpack - We gave ours a good wash, air out and repacked everything neatly! 

Ice bricks for coolers - Make sure ours were clean and in the freezer. 

Cooler or Esky - It looks completely strange but due to the extreme heat in our city, most children in our school pack their lunches and snack into mini Eskies. They are a little heavy for young children but are a good option for the older ones. The Eskies last for years and just need a good scrub clean every couple of weeks.  

Avery Kids Labels - Back to school lables #averykids

This year we have used the Avery Kids Writable Labels. The advantages of Avery Kids Writable Labels;

  • The Avery labels are really flexible - you can write on them what you like. We label much more of Otis' things so we usually run out of 'Otis' labels and still have heaps of 'Caspar' labels left over. You can put your class name on them, or phone number or address. 
  • They have good design, they look good. I love the bold designs especially of the self-laminating pack. They are cute but not kiddish, they can be used for all the adults in the house too (would be perfect for teachers!). They are completely unisex. 
  • The clothing labels do not move. They don't need to be ironed, therefore are really fast to put on, possibly as you rush out of the door or have forgotten to label something on the way out. 
  • There is so much variety in size - think round, thin, thick, short, long. There is a label to suit everybody and everything. 
  • The Avery labels are available everywhere, really easy to pick up from Officeworks (Australia) or Amazon (in the US), and use them straight way. Run out of labels? It's easy to get more. 

Other items to think about labeling;

Books and Notepads - Caspar often takes reference books to school and although I know he is careful I don't want them to get mixed up with the school's books. If the boys are taking any books to school we pop a quick label on the back or inside the front cover. 

Extracurricular supplies - For us this includes towels, uniforms, library bag, swim bag. All of these are easy to misplace, or for someone else to pick up and it's always easier to get it returned if it has our name on it!

This post is sponsored by Avery! Are you ready for back-to-school?

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