With school starting on Monday things have switched gears around here. Lots of preparing but hopefully some final summer fun with a week of stay-cation activities to enjoy as we get ready for the upcoming school year.
Some things on our list are, going bowling, hitting the drive-in movie, end of summer bar-b-que complete with smores and a chance to pull out the telescope again, finish up some puzzles, make one last summer trip to library (although we continue to go year round), we will head out on one more hike and picnic, have a late night movie night with popcorn and ice cream sundaes.
We have lots of organizing projects going on in preparation for the start of school. Here is a great site with lots of ideas on how to start the year ahead of the game when it comes to being organized and ready to handle the back to school process, and all that comes with that.
One of the things we are doing around here is starting off with a system in place to tackle the onslaught of papers, assignements, and information we get on a weekly basis from school. I decided to go with the Stockhold collection from The Container Store. I have a dedicated cabinet in the kitchen that will house a set of each of these in various colors (one for each child obviously).
The stand up magazine holders will house the daily folders and homework assignements. The flats will house short term homework assignments, and the large flats will house the projects I am keeping to add to their memory chest. (Each of the children have a memory chest and each year we add birthday cards, photos, favorite items, (I add magazines, etc. to preserve current events from their childhood - ie. the Time/USA today re: Michael Jackson) and we add a collection of their school work. It is a great reflection of their childhood and a little time capsule of sorts.
I really love the idea of this lazy susan supply center WRITE START lazy susan. I plan to organize their basic supplies in a way similar to this one, too. Making sure to start off the year with everything in a place and a place for everything will make the daily homework and the projects they will tackle that much easier. (Meander around Write Start blog - it is FULL of great ideas for your children and the learning process).
In our gameroom we have a wall dedicated to the kids art projects. And I love the idea at Ohdeedoh (wire handing system) using the Dignitet system from Ikea. But we got our hanging system from Land of Nod.
These make for great wall art. And the more I look at the one on the Ohdeeoh Blog, the more I like that Ikea one, it adds depth for the handing items which I like. We love Land of Nod, and these systems are usually seasonal. So when we switch out our art, we can also switch out the clips, which is a nice addition.
Another way we are preparing for school is planning out their lunches. We decided last year to be as GREEN as possible with lunches and stopped purchasing ziplocs and other throw away plastics. So we have gone to LAPTOP lunchboxes, and I love the whole concept. It is based on the Bento Box style lunches so popular in Japan. This option allows more freedom with food choices and opens up a lot healthier menu for the kids. And, they are actually excited about this new lunch concept as it is more inline with how we eat on a regular basis. Here is a link directly to a photogroup at FLICKR dedicated to laptop lunches (and this is where I get a lot of the ideas on what to include in my kido's lunch.
Bakerella apple mini pops. A definate must make for the beginning of school. We are hoping to have a back to school social for the kids and their friends in the next 2 weeks, and I will be attempting to make these. I dont think there is anything cuter that just says back to school like these pops do.
Another area with food, is in snacks for afterschool. My kids are not terribly picky, but they do like sweet things and I would just rather save those sweet treats, for just that - a treat! A friend posted about a smoothie on FB yesterday and it made me start thinking through how good of an idea that was. So here are a few links with some ideas for you to try with your kidos. Chicago Smoothie, kids-simple-smoothies.
We like to mix up snack time making it fun, giving them almost playful attempts at snacking, they do like veggies with dip, especially hummus, they enjoy fruits and cheese as well. I think its key to make snack as stress resistent as possible both in the preparation and in the eating. In my case my kids will be winding down from the long school day and I will be gearing up for the long haul of dinner, study and bed routines. So its definately time to make like simpler and we are all about SIMPLE around here these days.
Speaking of eating.. I hope to make my weekly postings to include dinner ideas - and here are the first of those links.... As a mom of 4 its hectic around here as it is, so meal planning is a very important part of my role, its just got to be done to make dinner time go smoothly, and to tackle some of the stress that comes along with it. Ultimate Recipe Swap (speed cooking) plum pudding (zucchini boats) tasty kitchen (pioneer womans site).
Since summer is over our Sunday's this Summer posts will become Friday's this Fall. Keep posted next week to see what that means.....