Thursday, July 31, 2014

Top Five Back to School Essentials

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I cannot believe it's that time again already! It seems like summer just started, but already it's just about time to pull out the school supply lists and peruse back-to-school ads. Getting five kids ready to return to school is a pretty massive undertaking, and I really have to be organized in order to pull it all off successfully. Having a list ready in advanced, or at least a pretty good idea of what I'm looking for, is crucial!

To help get you started, or maybe just give you some good ideas, here are five things which I find to be essential for making going back to school as smooth as possible!

#1: A great lunch dish.

As a bento-packer, having a great box to pack lunches in is definitely my number one essential school supply! A good bento box can make lunch packing both easy and fun. Some of my favorite bento boxes are pictured below:

Clockwise from the upper left: Laptop LunchesLunchbots TrioEasy Lunchboxes, and the Planet Box Rover

#2: A few fun tools.

A good sharp knife is the best bento tool, but there are a few other common kitchen items that can make lunch packing vastly more pleasant! Colorful silicone baking cups, a few sturdy shaped cutters, and a variety of fun cupcake picks are great ways to brighten up any lunch.

#3: A sturdy backpack.

The higher kids climb in grades, the heavier their backpacks seem to get. I remember lugging around a bag that seemed to be filled with bricks when I was in school, and they haven't gotten much lighter since! A strong backpack with sturdy straps is worth the extra cost over those made with flimsier materials. I am still hunting for a great backpack brand that can stand up to the beating my kids put them through.

#4: A good water bottle.

Yes, for us this is a school must! Water fountains and breaks to visit them can seem few and far between, so to keep hydrated we take reusable bottles filled with cool water with us everywhere. They are easy to wash with hot water and a good bottle brush, and by using reusable bottles instead of buying bottled water we are reducing both our spending and our impact on the environment. My favorites for the kids are the Reduce Water Week bottles.

#5: Your own style.

This one is the most fun! Whether you're reinventing yourself with a whole new style, or just adding a few new pieces to spruce up an outgrown wardrobe, back to school clothing and accessories shopping can be a blast! It can also get crazy expensive. Try going in with a list of specific items to avoid impulsive over-shopping, and watch for sales! A lot of retailers offer good clothing deals right before the new school year starts. Our favorite accessories this year are brightly colored shoes, backpacks with patches, and super fun Jamberry Nail Shields!

The special letter for the Bento Bloggers & Friends Back to School Basics Hop & Giveaway code is...

Keep going through the whole hop for a chance to win! Collect all of the letters for the code, unscramble the secret message, and follow the instructions to enter to win an amazing prize. Click the pic below to continue through to the next post in the hop:

Thanks for playing with us, and good luck!


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