I love that summer holidays give me the chance to spend more time with my kids, and that they get to spend their days outside playing and exploring. BUT, like 98% of other parents I know, I’m always kinda glad when Back to School rolls around! I love routine, so getting back to a schedule makes me happy.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows! Ooooh noooo! And at the top of my UGH list, there’s waking up early and getting school lunches ready. Honestly, I think I spend more time on any given day trying to convince the kids that it’s time to get out of bed, and staring at their empty lunch bags willing something healthy and tasty to magically appear, than I spend on anything else!
Parents, I know that I’m not alone in this!
Thankfully, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that make these tasks a little bit easier. Now, there’s nothing groundbreaking here (darn!), and I certainly didn’t come up with these all by myself (thank you, Pinterest!), but here are the ones I’ve found most helpful!
- Wake them up to music. Mind-numbing, kid-friendly music. My Spotify go-to’s are the Parry Gripp playlist (with such hits as Raining Tacos and Space Unicorn), Disney Hits (which, let’s face it, is 50% for the kids and 50% for me…), and Kids Beats (which are pop hits that the kids recognize from their favourite movies). They are sooo much happier when they wake up to the sound of a hampster singing about a breakfast burrito than to me telling them it’s time to get ready for school.
- Lay out their clothing the night before. I know, such an obvious one, but do it if you’re not already!
- Get as much of their lunch made the night before as you can. Again, OBVIOUS, but just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean you’re doing it! So if you’re not, get on it!
- For breakfasts, make a large batch of pancakes or waffles on the weekend and freeze them individually. The kids pop them into the toaster all week long!
- Freeze yogurt tubes. For one thing, I can buy a bunch when they go on sale or when I visit a walmart and I know they won’t expire before I can use them all up, PLUS they act as a freezer pack in the lunch bag, and my kids love them way more when they’re still half-frozen at lunchtime! Win! (Side note: cheese strings also freeze well and are still good and string-able when they’re thawed out.)
- Lunches: my kids love when I half-fill their thermos with milk, and include a ziploc bag of cereal that they can add at lunch time. Charcuteries, it’s so easy to put together a variety of crackers, meats, and cheese, and they always get eaten. Meat and cheese roll-ups. Lettuce wraps with leftover chicken and shredded cheese. Stovetop Stuffing and meatballs. Tortilla roll-ups– my kids like them more than bread, and you can fill these up with aaaaanything you have in the pantry. These are all easy, inexpensive, and offer more variety than the same ol’ sandwich every day.
That’s it, I’m all tapped out of good ideas! But if you’ve got some up your sleeve that I haven’t mentioned, drop them in the comments! I want to hear any suggestions you’ve got that might make mornings even easier in my household! Happy autumn!