Score an A+ With These 9 Genius Back to School Hacks

If you’re dreading the 8am hunt for school shoes, the constant cost of replacing lost school hats and the ongoing nagging to get homework done, then these clever back to school hacks are a must-see.

As the beginning of the school year rolls around, we have put together a list of simple, cheap and GENIUS back to school hacks for you to try.

Keep on reading to see all our school hacks, mums and dads. We promise, they will change your back to school routines for the better!

1. Routine clock

I just get sick of the constant nagging to do homework or the constant calls of ‘when’s dinner ready’. Kids Activities has a timely solution. Get an old wall clock and remove the back so that you can access the face. (I picked one up yesterday for only $2.50 at Kmart). Grab out the permanent markers and allocate time slots for various activities. Create (or print) an accompanying chart and hang the colour coded list beside the clock. Save the arguments AND help develop clock reading skills.

mum central

2. Keyring for their school bag

Ever had to do the quick ring around to locate which classmate brought home your kid’s schoolbag? Do you have a brand new school baby who is a little anxious about starting? Keyrings are the absolute ‘biz’ on the schoolyard right now. Let your child select a basic initial keyring or anything that will help them locate their own bag. Or go next level and use keyring with a photo of your child. Get an old keyring and replace the pic with a photo of your child (or order one from any online shop like Snapfish). Such an easy way for your child to identify their bag in the huge sea of identical backpacks.

school hacks - school bag photo keyring
Image source: Snapfish

3. How to stretch new school shoes

Don’t snooze when it comes to the shoes. Yes, we all know we need to beat the rush, get in early and ensure the kids have time to ‘wear in’ their new school shoes. But, if by chance you are rushing to the shops at the absolute last minute (not me… not I… never… yep, maybe me), Today’s Parent has a brilliant hack to avoid the new school shoe pinch on the first day back.

How to stretch out new shoes

New shoes too tight? Try this quick & easy fix to stretch 'em out.

Posted by Today's Parent on Monday, August 27, 2018

4. DIY Homework Station

Is space always a battle in your home? Over having the kitchen table covered in crayons and coloured pencils falling down the couch cracks? Is the glue stick constantly MIA? Sick of hearing, “Where is my rubber???” yelled throughout the house? Simple Made Pretty reveals how you can make your own portable homework station filled with crayons, pencils, glue, scissors, a stapler and a ruler. Head down to the good ol’ Reject Shop or your local equivalent and design your own. Start with a basic basket, pop in a few tins/caddies (try them out in-store for size) and stock up on basic stationery.

mum central
Image source: Simple Made Pretty Blog

5. Hallway hack

I’ve always envied those homes that have giant entry ways with dedicated locker storage units for each child. Not so in our house. Here’s a quick, cheapish and clever way to avoid the morning tantrums and the eternal hunt for shoes and library books), thanks to Meet Penny. All you need is a wooden letter for each kid, a whiteboard/pin board for notices or daily reminders, a simple school bag hook and a small basket to hold one pair of shoes. Start the routine immediately. In the door, shoes off and in, any notes pinned up immediately (for you to deal with when you grow a 3rd hand), lunchbox OUT and bag on the hook.

back to school hack - hallway organisation
Image source: Meet Penny

6. Don’t lose the buttons

People swear by this one! If you have a kid who is constantly losing uniform buttons in the rough and tumble of the school yard, The National Sewing Circle suggests you dab some clear nail varnish on the thread at the back of the button to keep them secured. Certainly not fool proof, but worth a go if you prefer a spot of Netflix to sewing buttons back on in the evenings.

back to school hacks

7. Sponge ice packs

Ready for the stinking hot summer school days? If you are looking to keep your child’s lunch cool, but sick of them losing their nifty (and pricey) ice packs, simply grab a pack of cheap sponges. All you need to do is wet one, seal it in a ziplock bag and freeze. Perfect size, too. Voila. And when the kids get home from school, just whack them back in the freezer for next time.

YouTube video

8. Keeping the apple sweet

Chopping up an apple for fruit snacks and don’t want it to turn brown before Crunch ‘N Sip? Slice, put back together and pop a rubber band around it to keep the shape. Thanks Hacky Shacky for this game changer. Another trick I’ve used to keep the chopped apple fresh, is to soak it in apple juice for a quick minute before you pop it in the lunch box.

back to school hacks - apple

9. No more Maths homework trouble

Kids moving in to the big grades this year? Algebra not your forte’? Sick of losing face with formulas and fractions? Problem solved… literally. Download this maths app, hover over the sum with your phone and SHAZAM! An answer AND a step by step explanation of how the problem is solved, right there at your fingertips. Oh. And it’s free. That is… it equals NOTHING.

photomath app for parents who hate maths

Needing some more back to school help? Check out our Back to School Supplies Checklist to work out what you need to kit them out.

Avatar of Anna Brophy

Self proclaimed salted caramel expert and champagne taster, Anna might be heard shrieking at her kids to "hold on with both hands" at a Melbourne playground near you. She lives with her son, daughter and cycling obsessed husband, and dreams of one day writing books in a little cottage, in front of a big window, beside the beach.

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