7 Back-to-School Lessons for Resourceful Parents

It’s the most wonderful time of year for parents.

The beautiful colours of fall litter the streets, it’s objectively the coziest sweater weather, and the sweet scent of sharpened pencils fills your home.

Yes – it’s finally time to sentence 😉 send your kids back to school. (We’ll give you a second to high-five your spouse).

Now that the school bells are ringing, it falls upon you to get your kids back into the spirit of the upcoming semester. These 7 back-to-school hacks are fun and creative, showing off your resourcefulness while simultaneously reminding your children the end of summer is near.

The DIY Lunch Box Ice Pack

Plastic ice packs may keep food cool till lunch, but the food may be wading in a puddle of icepack sweat by then.

Instead, opt for this DIY lunch box ice pack:

  1. Submerge your standard kitchen sponge in water, and enclose in a zip-lock bag.
  2. Keep the sponge bag in the freezer overnight.
  3. Place the icepack near fruits, veggies, or other foods best served cold.

Bonus: When the ice begins to melt, the sponge will retain the water, keeping lunch cool and dry. Think of it as a lunch box diaper!

How to De-Tangle Hair Knots

It was fine for your kids to go full Jungle Book in the summer, with wild, unwashed, and unkempt hair that’s synonymous with school-less months.

Now that they need to be somewhat presentable in public, follow these four steps for smooth, knot-free hair:

  1. Combine a bit of baby oil with a bit of conditioner in the palm of your hand.
  2. Using your fingers, apply the mixture to your child’s wet or damp hair. Rub in diligently.
  3. Gently comb the hair through the tangles with a wide-toothed comb. Avoid brushes if you can; bristles can tear hair out.
  4. With the leftover shampoo, rinse out any remaining oil.

Keep Apples from Going Brown

What can brown do for you (apple-wise)?

Not much. But it’s tricky keeping apples fresh – your kids prefer them sliced, which exposes them to browning much more quickly.

The solution: wrap a rubber band around a pre-sliced apple to prevent it from turning brown, but keeping it accessible for your child.

Pro Tip: Avoid giving your kid’s teachers a reassembled apple – there’s just something unsettling about receiving a Franken-apple.

The Art of Nose Blowing

Teachers have better things to do than wiping kids’ noses. So it’s imperative your child knows this life-long skill:

  1. First, familiarize your child with the theory of nose blowing. Get them to move a cotton ball in your hand with nose air, keeping their mouth closed.
  2. Now you can move onto the tissue. Have your child gently press one nostril closed while blowing out with the other, then switch sides.
  3. Post-blowing etiquette is just as important – teach your child to dispose of the tissue, and to wash his or her hands to prevent bacteria spreading.

Bento Lunch Boxes

The Japanese have given us the gift of sushi, cult-classic animes, and a justification to loudly slurp noodles.

Another adaptation from the East that we’re stealing is bento lunch boxes.

This one’s super simple, needing nothing more than some cupcake liners, and your average lunch container. Fill each cupcake liner with a small portion of fruit, veggies, or crackers, and do the same for each individualized compartment.

It makes lunches diverse, allows you to provide your child with a balanced diet, and makes it very easy for your child to aggressively barter snacks with fellow peers.

Find inspiration for your child’s lunchtime bento box here.

Removing Permanent Marker

A kid wielding a permanent marker can be a dangerous thing. What you see as an uninspiring wall in your home is a blank canvas to a creative child.

The best solution to remove permanent marker is a solution made from baking soda and non-whitening toothpaste.

Just mix a small amount of baking soda with the toothpaste onto a clean cloth. Rub the solution onto the stain in a circular motion. With time and elbow grease, the cave drawings on your wall should fade away.

Learning is a Two-Way Street

Showing enthusiasm in your child’s work should encourage them to get more excited to learn. (Are you believing any of this?).

A comprehensive book that’ll shake off your academic rust is Maths for Mum and Dads by Rob Eastaway. It’s an excellent resource to help you understand how your child is being taught, while familiarizing you with today’s primary school terms.

Remember, all you technically need to do is stay one school lesson ahead of your child. You’ll look like a genius!


These back-to-school lessons are suited for parents, nannies, or caregivers who’re prepping their little ones for a productive school year.

While these hacks-to-school are time & money savers, we understand how busy this time of the year can be for parents – especially parents managing nannies or caregivers.

NannyTax is a full service, nanny payroll tax company that specializes in calculating and paying payroll tax for employers of nannies, caregivers, and other domestic help. We calculate salary, wages, annual bonus, vacation pay, stat holidays, and anything else you may require.

Start your free trial with NannyTax today!

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