Masthead header

Category Archives: Back to School

Kids can get so bored through the school holidays, this is a I’m bored checklist to help them come up with some activities to occupy their time.

Continue Reading...

  • Sal

    Can you please tell me where you got that beautiful mint bedside lamp in the photo with the girls playing lego?ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Sal it’s gorgeous isn’t it, it’s from Adairs kids.ReplyCancel

      • Sal

        Thanks Kat. Love your blog. Am heading off to Adairs to get one this afternoon!ReplyCancel

  • stay @ home mum

    Need some help am a house wife its so sad for me CUs I cant seem to get the kids to keep the place tidy the girls share a room ages 5,4,1 and the boy has his own any suggestions thanksReplyCancel

Plan activities to occupy the kids through the school holidays, plus use the checklist to help you be organised for when the kids return back to school.

Continue Reading...

  • I too am a holiday planner from way back! I find it is the only way to fit it all in. Mine usually takes the form of diary entries, nothing as pretty as your planners. Have a great school holiday with your kids xxReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Ooh thanks Nicole! Hope you have a great school holidays too.:)ReplyCancel

  • Wow… You are really an organized mum.. Planning your kid’s holidays is the best you can do for your kids n yourself as a parent…looking forward to read more of your post…I’m surely going to read the freeZer Friendly lunch ideas as I also have a six year old daughter
    beamingkids.blogspot.comReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      I find we fit so much into the holidays if we plan it out and gives the kids certain days to look forward to.:)ReplyCancel

  • I love that you plan the holidays! My kids aren’t school age yet but there’s still some great tips for me to do too. Thanks xxReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Absolutely Rebecca! Enjoy the holidays with your little ones xReplyCancel

The kids will enjoy these healthy after school snack ideas, some can be baked ahead and others prepared in minutes.

Continue Reading...

  • Kirsty

    I always forget to consider after school snacks when grocery shopping, this is great thank you, and so easy but some things I just wouldn’t think of.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Kristy, I think what i love most about these snacks is not only are they a healthy after school snack but also so quick and easy to whip up.:)ReplyCancel

  • Naomi

    ooh my kids would love the apple slices, fantastic idea. I also bake muffins and biscuits like you suggest for lunchboxes but for afternoon tea as well. So we always have something yummy in the freezer too.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      It works so well having yummy snacks in the freezer ready for when they walk in the door.:) And all so delicious.:)ReplyCancel

  • Sue

    Our quick favourites are:
    *ham, cheese and tomato flat bread toasted sandwichs
    *popcorn (done in the air popper and a bit of melted butter mixed in)
    *Pikelets
    *fruit salad and yoghurt (pre made Mason Jar style)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Yum! They sound delicious, Sue.ReplyCancel

  • I saw the apple slice and toppings idea on another website. Here is the link with a few additional ways to dress up the apple, savoury and sweet… All of them look yum!

    http://www.movenourishbelieve.com/recipes/cronuts-fauxnuts/ReplyCancel

  • I’m always battling during the afternoon, home from school, totally ravenous period. Thanks for the great ideas!ReplyCancel

  • We love peckish rice crackers here. My boy is starving after school and often just wants dinner so we have early dinners heheReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh yes they are a favourite of mine too.:) ~ KateReplyCancel

  • Karen

    I spread vegemite and sprinkle some cheese over mountain bread and bake in the oven. Once crispy, break into chip size pieces. They are like a healthier version of chips, and will keep for a little while in a airtight container. Very moorish for adults and kids.ReplyCancel

  • These look great. Love the sultana sandwich.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Aren’t they fantastic, Julie!.:) And the kids love them.:)ReplyCancel

  • Frozen grapes! What a cool idea (i hear they are good at keeping wine cool too!) 😉ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      LOL they could well do, Dana.:) They are a super yummy snack and so perfect for those really hot days. xReplyCancel

  • Jo Kemp

    they all look fantastic, but there’s a huge lack of protein in there. I am always conscious of getting my three kids to eat protein when they get home so that they aren’t snacking on carbs that just don’t fill them up. They eat plenty of fruit at school but not alot of protein. So my kids favourites are chilli con carne with tortilla chips, chicken and cheese quesadillas, quiche and anything yummy I bake.ReplyCancel

I’ve re-organised our school bag nook area adding in new charts and hooks for the school hats. I’ve become a little frazzled with all the activities the kids have so these charts are helping the kids and I remember what is happening each day.

Continue Reading...

  • Lordy, this would be the *least* sorted I have ever been since my kids started school! The oldest started high school, and they changed the uniform, so that’s been an interesting experience. This year, we had a family holiday in January, rather than my taking leave when school goes back. So, this week has been a case of my running around on my lunch break collecting missing bits of kit (today – white sport socks)coupled with emails to teachers and phone calls and all manner of I don’t need this right nows. However, next week, people will have sport socks, art smocks, display books etc, and hopefully we can get into the swing of back to school properly.ReplyCancel

  • gillian

    Wow Kat! sometimes I think moms should get a university degree in logistics before we become moms. thanks for all your suggestions. I think you have made the right choice for you kiddies to go private, not for the snob factor as I am sure you may get it in the neck for that, but I find that private schools do tend to give children a real feeling of self worth and lots more opportunities. I am glad that they are enjoying it and well done again to you and hubby for being such supportive parents…xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh thank you so much, Gillian! We are so very happy with the school and the kids are settling in so well.ReplyCancel

Our school mornings are like ground hog day, however following this routine keeps us organised and has made the mornings rush-free. I’ve shared with you our family before school morning routine below with pictures. I started writing this post 18 months (not sure why it has taken me so long to publish it) however, moral of the story is that it still remains the same today!

Continue Reading...

  • dimple

    I get things ready the night before. I have their bags ready in front of the door i have their lunch ready in the fridge so i just pop it in the bags.if it needs to be heated i heat it then put it in their bag. Their clothes are all ironed clean and ready on the lounge room couch.they wake up wash their face brush their teeth wear their uniform (this happens all while im asleep) haha. Ones a new prepy and the other is in grade 1. So i wake up get the breakfast ready and do their hair. =)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic! Sounds like you have a great morning routine going on.:)ReplyCancel

    • I’m exactly the same…even their uniforms on the couch! Everything ready the night before and the kids do most of it themselves. Makes it much much easier!ReplyCancel

      • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

        Love your work, Jo!! xReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    I agree that a morning routine is essential. I absolutely LOATHE being late and by insisting on a morning routine that gets us all out the door by 7.45 I am hoping to teach my kids that it is important to be on time. This morning there were roadworks in our are, but because we have some buffer built into our routine – we still made it to both schools with plenty of time to spare and no stress.
    I make sure the uniforms are all ironed and in the kids’ wardrobes. As a part of their before bed routine – they are to get their uniforms out and hung on their doors for the next day. This includes down to shoes, socks & underwear. When they get up – they do their chores and then come inform breakfast. I almost ALWAYS cook them breakfast to give them a great start to the day. Other people think this is crazy, but I just make it simple. I prep lunches the night before so they are in the fridge ready to go and that frees me up in the morning to cook breakfast. On Monday this week they had French Toast, yesterday was English Muffins with Baked Beans, this morning they just had buttered muffins & milk. I usually make pancakes once a week and make enough batter for a double batch so they can have them two days in a row.
    After breakfast they brush their teeth and get dressed and I do their hair.
    I agree 100% no TV or electronics before school.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Mc

    One of my kid’s chores is to set the table with the bowls, spoons and breakfast cereals before we go to bed. Then they rinse and stack their bowls on the sink when they have finished. (No dishwasher) All three kids have one daily chore and one weekly chore to do around the house, and this rotates through the month.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I like it, Jenny!!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn

    never allow TV in the morning before school – also, we are just implementing a no iPhone/iPad/iPod etc before you’re ready rule too – these things are even more of a distraction than the TVReplyCancel

  • Melinda

    Kat I’m just wondering if you work all day on blog when do you prepare dinner, clean house etc. Always interested how people structure their days..TIAReplyCancel

  • Sonia grandile

    Hello Kat, have been following routines like yours for the school terms and makes the mornings and afternoons easier. I did download 4 routine charts last week and only 3 downloaded correctly. The 4 th came up as an error. I’ve sent a couple of emails but no response yet as to how I can get the purple coloured afternoon routine chart sent through correctly. Thank you
    Sonia. Love your blogReplyCancel

  • I am amazed at what you get done in the mornings. Absolutely no electronics allowed in the mornings at my house too. They are able to distract each other easily enough as is. Having a responsibility chart has helped around here too. I am so glad to not have to nag them any more. They just follow the chart!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      It is so lovely to have mornings running smoothly and stress free.:)ReplyCancel

  • Great routine Kat! It looks like it works perfectly with your family too! 😀ReplyCancel

  • So admirable! And consistent! I am not nearly as organized in my life and there is only one of me, plus husband of course but I don’t think he would respond well to checklists ???? We are very similar beings. I am mostly spontaneous but in some ways I have organisation envy, you make it look so fun! ???? I’m impressed!ReplyCancel

  • Trish

    This is an excellent post. I don’t have children-I am a teacher! I am going to make some of your lunch box suggestions.ReplyCancel

  • Jay

    Your post of before school routine has saved me today were always running late with three children 6 and under it’s a constant battle just trying to leave the house!

    For getting my tribe to brush their teeth (which was a daily battle). I brought tooth brush timers (sand timers) one for each of the kids now they have no excuse how long to brush them for, it also made it so much easier there is now no more fighting or arguments as they always try to race to be the first to turn their timer! :) something so simple!ReplyCancel

  • Great routines and I love all your printables xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Naw thank you Caley.:)ReplyCancel

  • The idea for pre-school morning routine sounds amazing! It is a good way to built a habit in your kid to clean and tidy their room. Thanks for the article!Barnsbury Carpet Cleaners Ltd.ReplyCancel

  • These are great ideas Kat! My boys only go to kindy two days a week, but if I have any hope of getting them out of the door in time we also have to have clothes ready the night before, no tv etc. I love your teeth brushing chart too, off to get one now :)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic Lauren! They are so handy, we love ours.:)ReplyCancel

  • Janine

    Hi Kat, our morning routine is a nightmare! I have 3 girls aged 9, 6 & 3. Aside from MY OWN disorganisation (a work in progress!) all 3 girls take so long to eat in the morning, it drives me crazy, and I find myself nagging and micro-managing their every move till we race out the door to get to school before the bell goes. I’ve tried routine charts but my control freak nature finds me checking on them, or giving them time reminders all the time to try to get them to hurry through the list of things they have to do. My OCD nature also would like them to eat first so they don’t get food or toothpaste all over their clothes, but this way, the eating part of the golden hour takes up most of the hour! So I want to put eating last on the list so they’ve only got a certain time limit to finish eating before we have to leave. Short of making each of them wear a bib or even an art smock (!!!) so you have any tips for getting them to eat quickly without me feeding them or nagging them. Some days I just want to pull my hair out! Thanks for listening to my rant, cheers, JanineReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh Janine i do feel for you. I know how frustrating it can be. Do they have the TV on while eating breakfast? I would have no TV and maybe get them up a few minutes earlier to allow for the extra time that is needed in the morning. I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you and your family.:)ReplyCancel

      • Janine

        No, definitely NO tv or electronics of any sort, we are very strict with that, even in the after school timeslot. They are just such slow eaters!ReplyCancel

  • Ok, my kids have six things to do every morning. Get up (sounds obvious, but some mornings…) make beds, have breakfast, clean teeth, get dressed and make lunch. The oldest has a few extras as he leaves last (turn off all the lights and lock the front door – I normally lock the back door when I leave. This is fundamentally what happens, just with a lot of “what are you doing?” and “what are you supposed to be doing?” and a few “you clean your teeth in the bathroom. With a toothbrush. And toothpaste.”

    We need to be out the front door at 8am so I can get to work by 8.30am. Some mornings we don’t make it without a LOT of shouting!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Miss Maudy, sounds like you have a great system. I like it.:)ReplyCancel

  • Viki

    Thanks for sharing this! Good to read -wish I could do it almost like you, but often I get confused what and when to do…Always wanted to write down what need to be done -the priority order- but I always forget it…ReplyCancel

  • Melinda

    My girls get dressed, tidy room, make bed. Then breakfast while I pack lunches, I do their hair while they sit at the bench eating. Then they wash face, brush teeth, pack bag, shoes on. Tv or iPad, playing or reading only happens when everything is done. The girls take less than 30mins to do all this so are rewarded with about 15mins of free time before we head off.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      WOW that is fantastic! I love your morning routine, Melinda. Well done to you and your girls.ReplyCancel

  • […] Read more about my families before school routine, here. […]ReplyCancel

When my kids started school all those many years ago as soon as they got in the car I ask them ‘How was your day’?  9 times out of 10 I get ‘good’ as an answer and at times that was it, conversation was over, either they felt they answered the question, they were tired […]

Continue Reading...

  • Max

    The key is for your kids to sense you are genuinely interested in them and their experiences. Avoid some of the “closed” questions on this list (i.e. questions that can be answered with a single word) such as “How was your teacher today?” (Good) or “How much homework did you get today?” (None). Open-ended questions that invite a story are much more productive. “Tell me about your day today?” “What happened after I dropped you off at school this morning?” or, from the list, “If you could change one thing about today, what would it be?” If kids find a way to answer with a single word to even an open-ended question, then persist, “Tell me more about that?” “Why would you think that?” Once you get your kids talking, make sure you attend carefully, and explore further!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Love some of these ideas, especially – What happened after I dropped you off at school this morning. Thanks for sharing Max.ReplyCancel

    • Belinda

      It’s important not to make it sound like an interrogation, children need to feel listened to and valued for their ideas thoughts and opinions , I would hope most families would use the great list above as a tool,not a check list, ticking off when they have asked the right questions….it is a means as a tool to support and guide open ended questions. I believe it is more important to laugh and play with your kids even in the teenage years it is in these times children really open up and feel comfortable. Good luckReplyCancel

  • Kelly

    I’m a big fan of your list of after school conversation starters but have just realised I am guilty of asking every one of them each afternoon in quick succession!!! I’m thinking I might need to tone it down a bit! LOL! Thanks for this moment of clarity! My children thank you too… 😉ReplyCancel

  • I love these questions. I do options for my kindy kid so she can choose which option she liked or wants to talk about.
    JulieReplyCancel

  • Tanya

    Check out the following link on 25 Ways to Ask Your Kids ‘So How Was School Today?’ Without Asking Them ‘So How Was School Today?’

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-evans/25-ways-to-ask-your-kids-so-how-was-school-today-without-asking-them-so-how-was-school-today_b_5738338.htmlReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Cleghorn

    I think the Huffington Post article, linked above, has some great questions. Some are “What word did your teacher use the most today?” “Is there anyone from today that you would send to the moon?” (Good question to determine who your child might be having conflict with). I often ask my kids “What was the worst thing that happened today?” That always gets the conversation going!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic conversation starters, Rebecca! I like it.:)ReplyCancel

Click here to view all other posts in our Back to School Series A reader of our wonderful community has a dilemma:   I’m looking for some healthy toddler lunchbox ideas. My preschool has a strict NO DAIRY, NO EGG, NO NUT, NO STRAWBERRIES, NO SUGAR AND NO SALT, policy. They also will NOT HEAT […]

Continue Reading...

  • Priscilla

    Lee Holmes of Supercharged Food and The Raw Food Store have great cookbooks for kids too. Also check out http://www.sugarfreekids.com.au. Great treats etc that are free of refined sugar. Just to note coconut and seeds may be prohibited too as it is at my son’s daycare, along with nuts. Be worth checking this along wiith what they mean by no sugar. Is it just refined sugar or only fructose allowed? There is an egg replacer on the market and honey, maple syrup etc are good sugar substitutes too if permitted. Good luck!!!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Thank you Priscilla, I too love that book.:)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda

    Thanks for this wonderful website. DS has egg allergy and we are grateful for any new ideas for the lunches. Great help. I will continue to be an avid follower.ReplyCancel

  • Megan

    Thank you so much for this thread – my son is allergic to milk, egg and nuts so lots of tips here for me!ReplyCancel

    • Amanda

      Found a great cookbook today, all very simple, fast foods, not fussy at all, but all egg, but and dairy free. Called the No E.N.D Cookbook. By Emma Carter, Maureen Hatcher and Donna Wilson. Our family eats very plain simple meals and I want to cook absolutely everything in this book!ReplyCancel

      • Amanda

        Grrr silly auto correct … Egg, nut and dairy free NOT egg, but and dairy free!ReplyCancel

        • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

          Wow thank you Amanda! This is really helpful for so many readers.:)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic Megan.:)ReplyCancel

  • Marney

    I just spend the last hour and a half typing up loads of ideas wih links to the sites and other recipes and computer crashed and lost it all aaaggghhhh. so here is my abridged version

    You need to check if it is only refined sugar free. If so there are loads of better alternatives including rice malt syrup, coconut sugar/nectar, maple syrup and if allowed honey.

    Guacamole with veggies (make sure you use lime or lemon to keep from going brown)

    Stuffed Tomatoes – scoop seeds out of largeish cherry tomatoes and fill with hummus (needs to be home meade and like a thick paste)

    Make meatballs and replace the eggs with chia seeds and dairy milk with rice, soy or even coconut if making a thai style chicken meatball.

    Roasted sweet potato chips http://thecraftingchicks.com/2015/01/20-healthy-snacks-to-keep-you-moving.html

    Check out thehealthychef.com.au she has loads of recipes that have options that can be made dairy, egg, nut, sugar free (usually listed at the bottom of the recipe). We eat alot of her recipes – i am dairy and sugar free and my son is sugar free and at daycare we need to be nut free as well.

    The Lunchbox Revolution ebook has some good recipe ideas for rice paper rolls and salads. where they add nuts to a salad, replace for sunflower seeds and pepitas.

    Check out super healthy kids facebook page – they have some great recipes and snack ideas

    wholefoodssimply.com have an email they send out weekly

    iquitsugar.com has some very yummy recipes

    lovingearth.com.au another great site.

    Make a delicious and nutritious smoothie to take, shake and drink:

    coconut water
    banana or mixed berries
    flaxeed meal
    chia seeds
    sunflower seeds
    spinach or kale
    coconut kefir

    Hope this is helpfulReplyCancel

  • Allison Mascurine

    Thankyou for this extensive list. While our kindy only has a nut free policy, my daughter is a strict FODMAP free child. No gluten, lactose, fructans, (onion, garlic)’ fructose (honey, apple, pear, watermelon & stone fruit, plus several other fruits). She can have half a serve of allowed fruit every second day, provided her gut is holding up, and no seeds, whole grains or legumes.There are also some vegetables she can’t eat, and most she can’t eat a lot of raw. They are only allowed water to drink, so no protein packed smoothies either.

    Her lunchbox usually contains:
    a rice paper roll, rice cakes or sushi
    A small salad or fritters
    Olives
    Gluten free pretzels, popcorn or small gluten free muffin

    Sometimes she’ll take curry & rice in her thermos pot, or soup & GF soldiers. To give variety I also do GF chicken nuggets, sticky chicken win getters, meatballs & GF pasta. These are always served cold, as the Thermos pot only seems to be good if there’s a fair bit of liquid.

    I’m looking for a proper Japanese bento thermos pot. Great for keeping a more varied meal hot. Unfortately lost mine some years ago.

    For fruit time I’ll be sending a cucumber, a capsicum & a tomato, which she is expected to share with the others. I’ve got to ensure there is sufficient veg there that she can get her fill while it gets shared across 4 plates. She’s a big eater though, normally she’ll half a capsicum, half & cucumber, a slice of lactose free cheese & 6-7 rice crackers.

    I concentrate on a high protein breakfast & afternoon tea.ReplyCancel

  • Laura

    Thank you for this. My daughter is anaphylactic to egg and my 7 month old has been recently diagnosed with allergies to dairy, nuts and wheat which I have cut from my diet while he is still feeding. This gives me a lot more ideas to try as I was quite stuck with the new allergies.ReplyCancel

Click here to view all other posts in our Back to School Series I just do very simple first day of school photo’s.  Kids in their full uniform at the front entry of the house, will be great to look back!  Here are some clever ideas for your photo’s for first day of school. 1st day […]

Continue Reading...

  • Sally

    Kat, my eldest started preschool this year and I was wondering if you have any ideas on how to store/archive school keepsakes eg school photos, artworks, memories etc. I have looked a some commercially available books but they don’t seem to have a lot of room. We have a box full of paintings from childcare but it is not organised or easy to review. I am after a simple solution that will be useful from preschool to yr 12. Thanks!ReplyCancel

This homemade hair detangler spray is super easy to make with only two ingredients, perfect to remove knots from girls hair.

Continue Reading...

  • Emma

    If only I could braid hair without getting my hands and fingers entwined. I end up looking like a drunk octopus and the girls hair a tangled mess!ReplyCancel

  • vickie

    I used to add a few drops of tea tree and lavender oil and use a washed out commercial pump spray pack. Everyone always used to comment about how nice my kids hair smelt. Used to use in on the boys everyone morning to comb their hair neatly too…they never complained and we never had nits despite regular outbreak. Kids now all grown!ReplyCancel

  • Such a great idea to make your own detangling spray. I also have just purchased the ‘Tangle Teezer’ brush and it has been a lifesaver! Getting a comb through my thick, curly hair can be a real challenge, but using this to brush conditioner through in the shower means my hair is now rarely knotted. Winner!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic Jo! I do love using the detangling spray on the girls hair, just makes it so much easier.ReplyCancel

Tween Girls Emergency Toiletry Bag, for when their unexpected ‘visitor’ arrives while at school. It’s never to early to prepare them.

Continue Reading...

  • Deb xo

    I have this on the go for my daughter, however I use a small pencil case instead of a toiletry bag, much more discreet if it was to be ‘seen’ and a lot smaller, everything still fits in perfectly.ReplyCancel

    • Donna

      Yes I agree, I have twin girls and one got her periods 6 months ago. Her teachef suggested the pencil case, she said there is less chance of being teased.ReplyCancel

    • Rowena Hope

      Pencil case- brilliant. We are not to far away from this season I the moodiness is anything to go by so I have been thinking about this for this year or next.ReplyCancel

  • Belinda Foster

    My daughter has a couple of wet wipes in a snap lock bag as well,ReplyCancel

  • Vonni

    Thank goodness I have boys!!

    That video was priceless though.ReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    My poor DD was in Thailand when she got her first period. It was the day we were leaving and we just had to go to a 7/11 store in Phuket and buy some non-descript brand of pads. Poor darling then had to put up with the flight home…

    Anyhow – after we got home I gave her a gift bag filled with about 8 different brands / sizes of packets of pads and a couple of packs of tampons for when she’s a bit older. I also included a Dolly Magazine and a large block of chocolate. I told her to ask for Panadol if she gets cramps – but the chocolate often works best ! The rationale behind all the different products is that we are all different and it’s up to her to find what works for her. She is a year older now and knows what she prefers so I just make sure we are well stocked. I remember my mum giving me some “old lady” brand of pads (I think they were called “Modess” and they were designed to be used with a sanitary belt (what the ?)). Needless to say – I wanted my DD to have a different experience !ReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    DD is in High School and they have lockers so it’s really easy to have an emergency kit on hand.ReplyCancel

  • Even as older teens it’s advisable to have an emergency kit on hand, sometimes even as 40 something adults, when we are starting to get a bit unpredictable (if you know what I mean) it’s handy. Great tips Katrina, I have given it a share on my FB page for you.ReplyCancel

  • TB

    At our school they were given small black purses from libra for free. Some promotion they do to all schools. Each purse has samples in it. Worth checking out.ReplyCancel

  • Gemma

    Most brands in Australia offer sample kits of their products for free. Just sign up on their websites. A newer product many people are unaware of is menstrual cups like Lunette. Sustainable and affordable.ReplyCancel

  • Karen

    I love the pencil case idea for their school bags. Our 10 year old has started her period though very irregular and very light at the moment, I nearly cried when I saw it. I started at 9 and like you Katrina didn’t have a clue what it was so have made sure that our daughter has a better idea than I did. So sad they are growing up so quick now. Thank you though for the great idea.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi P

    Although pads are generally the less scary option for first timers I’m all for being open about the options available. My mother was very closed minded and only bought granny pads, which were very unsuitable for me. I ended up buying my own tampons and it was ten years before I discovered a menstrual cup. This is the best invention ever and I wish I had known about it a long time ago. So be careful not to let your preferences depict what your daughters will have, give them the option to explore what they are comfortable with.ReplyCancel

  • What a fantastic blog post. I do not have a daughter but I was/am one.
    I got my period aged 11 (still kind of early compared to a lot of my friends back then) and it was still a giggly, freaky thing that made you stand out at the time should your friends find out. I kept it a secret for a long time and who knows, maybe some of my friends did too and I never knew!
    I had to hide my pads and while my mum provided me with all the stuff I’d need (she was awesome), I don’t think we thought to give it a little, discreet bag to keep it all safe together. I think I just hid it in the front pocket of my school bag and prayed no-one would go in there.
    Once, a girl in my year (the bully) teased me mercilessly because I think she’d found my stuff (why I didn’t think to get angry that she invaded my privacy I do not know). Truth is, I think perhaps she had her period too and thought by bullying me, she’d take the heat off herself. I was mortified but just kept denying what she said and hoped it would blow over.
    Please, parents, read this and equip your daughters! We do get our periods quite early sometimes!! I am so so lucky my mum had mentioned it before it happened to me. The morning I woke up with it (such a relief it came overnight and not in public), I knew what it was immediately. I know many of my friends’ parents would not have prepared them in time for grade 6 thinking it was years away!
    The 11 year old me feels grateful to you for covering this topic so nicely :)
    I hope if I ever have a daughter that I’ll be able to make it as easy for her as possible when the time comes xReplyCancel

  • Waverly

    My daughter got her period at 10 1/2. I also had a pencil case put together with a couple of pads, small pack of wet wipes, tissues and a new pair of knickers (still in the packet) for just in case. She carried her pencil case with out needing it for 12 months when a friend got her 1st period at school. The pencil case was very much appreciated not only by the young lady, but also by her mum.ReplyCancel

  • Great idea and something I had planned to do when the time came. I think all parents of girls should do this! I was so unprepared when I got mine at 10 – it was horrific! And there was no discretion after the fact either!ReplyCancel

  • Izzy

    My girls are older and I thought I would share that you can go onto the websites of companies which sell sanitary products and request free samples for young girls. These often come with an appropriate “purse” or case for the items. It’s also a good way for young girls to try a variety of products without you having to purchase them all. That way they can’t decide which type suits them. my girls received some information with these and hav a couple of different packs in bags they use regularly one in the school bag one in the choir bag etc…ReplyCancel

  • Sue R

    Please make sure the school knows of any medication in your daughter’s pack. This could alleviate any problems later on.

    I was 12 when I first got my period, and it was very scary. My mum had, of course told me about it all, but I was still very unprepared. Thank goodness I got them overnight at home.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Hartnett

    I bought my daughter the book the care and keeping of you. I had her read the everything except the period part a few years ago, then here recently at school in a special health class the girls learned all about there periods and making a pouch and that night her bff stayed the night and those two were reading the part of the book and already being grossed out from school and then reading about tampons was hilarious for me not them .as i heard eww that’s gross I just remembered when I started and had to use the pads with the belt I am just really glad times have changed I would not want for my daughter to have to go through that.ReplyCancel

  • Use the P Tracker app! It is a handy, must-have app for girls that has a calendar and ‘predicts’ when the next period is coming, ovulation, etc. It is a great learning tool and very simple to use, plus it helps build confidence due to removals of unwanted surprises.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic! I will certainly be looking into this app, thank you.:)ReplyCancel

  • Kelli

    i have 3 teenage boys (but constantly have a houseful of boys and girls), and keep emergency supplies in the bathroom cupboard with a discreet note on the door (you can’t miss it from the toilet). I restock as required (pads, tampons, wet wipes, undies of various sizes, nappy bags) no questions asked and have had several girls thank me! My boys are well educated to not questions frequency of bathroom visits, girls not wanting to go in the pool etc. We also have a huge box of condoms, lubricant and safe sex and drug education brochures in the bathroom cupboard (my boys are 16, 17 and 18). All the kids know to help them selves, no questions asked and I restock as required! Better prepared than regretful. I am impressed with how often the safe sex brochures are taken!ReplyCancel

Click here to view all other posts in our Back to School Series A few days ago I shared my tips for freezer lunchbox baking and some of my favourite go-to freezer recipes, here are some other recipes I make for the lunchbox, that can’t be frozen. Homemade Strawberry Rollups Apple Fruit Leather.  Also try […]

Continue Reading...

  • There are so many yummy recipes here, I don’t even know where to start!!! I love your Apricot Balls and have followed your shredded chicken instructions a zillion times – it always works out perfectly! xxReplyCancel

  • We also swear by energy balls too, they are highly versatile not to mention being absolutely delicious. They are small and easy to bring on-the-go in tiny storage boxes.ReplyCancel

School starts back in most states next week, so now is the time to start preparing your kids and your home for the first day of school. This means ensuring you have routines in place in the mornings so you aren’t running around frantically, preparing your own mindset for separation from the kids and preparing the kids back to routines and school time sleeping hours.

Continue Reading...

  • Kristy

    this is such a great post, my eldest starts school this year, she is exciting, me not so much I really don’t know what I am in for, so this gives me a really good guide on what I need to change now, I didn’t even think of making sleep time earlier in the lead up, but of course that makes complete sense.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon

    I used to be all over the place with my laundry until I read your laundry system post, I got one of your prints for my wall and has kept me really organised. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Oh my, I am doing that strange laugh and rocking in the corner… My children have had a list of things to do in the morning for – well, at least 3-4 years. Now I shout “what are you doing” and “what are you supposed to be doing?” followed by “check your list” instead of clean your teeth, get dressed, you do not have to kill your shirt before you put it on (ok, I still have to shout that one). But this won’t stop me updating the list for this year, shouting or rocking in the corner.ReplyCancel

    • Karen

      Thanks for this Miss Maudy,am crying with laughter after reading your post. My boys and i are just about to join this rollercoster this year with my eldest starting kindy, and like your child my boy also frequently “attacks” his T-shirts.ReplyCancel

  • Ali

    This is my sons first year at school – DO I LABEL SCHOOL SOCKS?!

    I have no idea if its over the top or perfectly reasonable!ReplyCancel

    • I never bothered, but because my kids could wear sports socks, I just bought ten pairs of cheap identical white ankle socks at the start of the year, and chucked the remaining seven and a half pairs at the end of the year.ReplyCancel

    • Alana

      Hi there, I teach prep and have had many sock mix ups – the students at our school do PMP (perceptual motor program) twice a week and this requires bare feet. I teach the kiddies to put their socks into their shoes, but no system is perfect and I have had a couple go missing from time to time! It really depends on how distressed you’ll be over a missing sock! Also, things like swimming programs etc will require shoes off (and never discount the times we must change their shoes and socks after those way too appealing puddles during winter ;))ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Yes Ali, and it’s not over the top. The kids don’t take the shoes off at school, but I like to know who’s socks belong to who when at home. I just use a black laundry marker.ReplyCancel

  • I am totally a friend pimp. My kid gravitates towards the sort of children who get her in trouble or distract her. I’m quite happily a friend pimp lol!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I am a friend pimp too Gina and think the term is so funny. When I was at a meeting for our kids new school this term was brought up. The school was trying to help the new kids transition and create independence and I laughed when it was mentioned as I have totally done that in the past, created great friendships with the mums too, but I really do like the concept of the idea that the kids should make their own friends.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah

    I read a similar post this time last year from this site and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. My very shy son started prep so we implemented the ‘eating from the lunch box’ the week leading up to first day of school along with the change in bed time for ten days prior. We knew it was going to be stressful for everyone – more so my husband and I but atleast we knew he was eating properly and wasn’t sleep deprived. At tiny bit of practice certainly helped set him up for what was a wonderful introduction into school lifeReplyCancel

  • I have my middle child starting Prep this year and it’s possible that I’m way more nervous than him! Actually, definitely more nervous, he’s excited! I’m having mild palpitations about meeting all the new parents, him establishing a friendship group, me making my own Mummy friends, eeeekk!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    In the lead up to starting school we did a practice run. At each stage I photographed my child doing the activity. Then using a racetrack template I found on the Internet I added the child’s photo of each activity along the track. I laminated a track & a race car for each child. Now they move their cars along the track using blue tac and when they reach the finish line they are ready for school. It’s been great & a fun way for preschool & kindergarten children who can’t read yet. Now instead of yelling “have you brushed your teeth, have you made your bed” etc I just ask what’s next on their racetrack.
    I also brought an A4 visual art diary for each child. Each day when a note comes home I trim it and stick it into the diary. It’s an easy & simple way to store all of the information relevant to that child. I always know where the notes are & I don’t have a big ugly file to sort through to find out what time an excursion starts etc or worse still a pile of paperwork that I will get around to filing one day. I also stick copies of merit awards, homework sheets, party invitations and sometimes newsletters. I cover it with copies of the class photographs. At the end of the year it’s a great record of what they have done and learnt, what excursions they have been on or what activities have taken place at the school. It’s a time capsule in a book and I find it works very well.ReplyCancel