Back to School: Routines

Can you believe that school will be starting back in nearly 3 weeks (QLD starts 24th Jan), I’m sure this time will fly, or may go ever so slowly if the kids are playing up :).  Are you ready, have you purchased all book supplies, shoes, socks, have you started covering the school books, ooh that evil contact.

Today, is the beginning of a series of back to school posts.  I do apologise to all my readers that don’t have kids going to school, however please read as you may find some information useful for kindy, uni or work.

Create morning and afternoon routines

I have previously posted about our morning routine chart and afternoon routine chart.  Click links or pictures to take you to those posts.

Rainbow--Morning-Routine-Chart-in-Frame These charts have worked very well for us since the twins started their first year in Prep, they are now going into Grade 3 with our youngest starting Grade 1.  We have now made a rule of no TV in the mornings, which has stopped them from rushing their tasks and they are always ready on time.

I have blu-tac’d them to the wall of their toy room easy for them to use as a guide.

Personalised routine charts are also available.

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Caz Filmer January 7, 2011 - 4:04 PM

Oh I do love a competition 🙂 I have one girl going into grade one and one in kinder this year. I am loving the look of entire Girly Bird range of products by Penny S. I'd especially love my kinder girl to have the bag and lunch box. The thing I find most difficult to get organised for school is lunches. Keeping them creative, healthy and organised. Now I'm off to make sure I'm liking your fb book page (pretty sure I do already). Thanks OHW.

Rebecca Hyssett January 7, 2011 - 6:08 PM

I am a big fan of penny Scanlan. My neice got a pair of her gum boots for Christmas and they are just gorgeous… I do like the overnight bags as well. Until now my girls have shared when they go to Grannys but as they get older they are getting more independant and wanting to take their own. I have just asked my daughter which is her favourite and she likes the new simply daisy style!!

Kirrily January 7, 2011 - 6:22 PM

I love their lunch bags. So many cute designs! There was much lunch box show and tell at playgroup last year. I have already liked your FB page. We struggle with bedtime routine. I have a 2yo and a 2 month baby. My husband only gets home 40 minutes before bedtime, so the 2yo is still fairly excited when bedtime comes around and neither of them are particularly strict about stopping playtime and getting him into bed. Our 2yo is a good procrastinator, so keeps asking for 'one more' story and my husband normally reads 'one more' about 3-4 times, so reading time stretches to 30-40 minutes. Needless to say, sleep time can be a lot later than bedtime.

Chrissy January 7, 2011 - 6:25 PM

I have always loved Stars so the Penny Scallan Backpack ~ Navy Star is my absolute fave.

It is my oldest first year at preschool this year, so I need help starting a routine from scratch. Someone to kick me out of bed before my kids get up would probably help to LOL.

I am a fan on FB. Thanks for the great post and giveaway.

LisaW January 7, 2011 - 6:49 PM

Absolutely loving the Penny Scallan Library/Swim Bag with the Girly Bird design! Super cute and practical. My youngest is starting school and she's not a morning person at all! I know my biggest challenge will be facing the chaos in our house each morning. Off to print those charts! Cheers, Lis.

Caroline January 7, 2011 - 7:22 PM

I like the Penny Scallan Sun Hat ~ Girly Bird. I especially like the fact it has a toggle, as usually I end up having to sew them on myself! My daughter would never keep a hat on without one!

Tam January 7, 2011 - 7:34 PM

Ohhhh, just found the most perfect product for my 10 year old daughter. The Penny Scallan Wheelie Bag ~ Simply Daisy! Now that she's older, she's not into the 'character' wheelie bags you find at Target etc, and the plain brown and black ones you can also buy are 'boring', apparently ;).

The major issue I have is ensuring all their tasks are completed in the morning in time for us to leave for school is always an issue – getting them to remember even the simplest tasks like getting dressed fully (ie uniform AND shoes lol) is difficult at times, and totally frustrating. I am thinking the morning routine chart is just what we need! With 2 different start times and 2 different school campuses every day this year will prove to be challenging unless I can implement something like this (as well as motivation for them to play along!).

I'm so glad I found you, Kat!

Samone January 7, 2011 - 7:37 PM

I'm only new here – I love your kids routine posters! We don't have a real lot to organise back to school but when at school I'd love some help organizing kids artwork and other info that comes home.

And I'm living the penny scanlan soft toys I've never seen them before.

Kylie January 7, 2011 - 8:28 PM

The Penny Scallan soft toys are pretty cute, but I think my fave would be the library/swimming bags – love that they are made from waterproof material.

What I think I need help with the most is getting the children to move from holiday mode back into school mode – they refuse to use the routine charts on school holidays. Bedtime is a nightmare here at the moment.

Zoe January 7, 2011 - 9:24 PM

My favourite would have to be the car one. My son loves everything with cars on it . I think for me its more what to put in the lunchbox which is healthy, which little man will eat and what doesn't contain nuts.

Kristine January 7, 2011 - 9:27 PM

While I am waiting for the bags page to load, I'd say the biggest issue I have with the school routine is MY part in it… making sure the kids put their lunchboxes and drink bottles on the bench, shoes away, dirty socks and uniform in the dirty clothes basket, getting lunches made and packed before going to bed… that and waking the kids up on time in a good mood!

This year I have all three kids in school full time, DD2 in Prep, DD1 in year 3 and DS in year 5. I NEED to be organised! I'll be doing up and printing of some of your fantastic routine charts for them.

Okay, my favortie products would have to be the Babushka Dolls Pencil Box….

Yvonne January 7, 2011 - 9:35 PM

I just love anything that has the stars on them, so gorgeous and very simple and stylish!!!! I love Penny Scanlan products!!! I need help with EVERYTHING for going to school this year. My eldest is starting Prep this year, so I'm a newbie to this whole school thing and it's freaking me out. Forms to be filled in, uniforms to buy, books, covering books, etc etc etc, so much to do!!!!!! HELP!!!!

Kym Paddock January 7, 2011 - 9:46 PM

I'd have to say for me I love the Apple range – the entire range! Am busy organising for my youngest to head off to big school this year (when I can bear to think about it!) and am looking at some lovely things to help create and reflect the exciting occasion it is for her – these would be great. As for me, one of the biggest drama's I have is socks – getting lost (my eldest daughter who is 11 has a maddening habit of taking one sock off in her travels and walking around with just the one) and then finding the lost pairs!!!! After keeping an odd sock box for years and never daring to throw any away even after years of being solitary, I have taken the plunge and purged the lot! (does this count as decluttering???) Bought a whole heap of all white for the 2 girls, and all navy for my son. Also have ordered the sock dots tattoos from Bright Star Kids as this will help me particularly with the whites and pairing up correct sizes. God help me if these get lost or I see someone wearing one only…

General laundry organisation would be fabulous Katrina – thanks for all the good and inspiring hard work!

Tanya January 7, 2011 - 11:56 PM

Oh Kim , I feel your pain with the odd socks. My husband had a bad accident several years again and nearly lost his leg so now has to wear a compression sock and AFO on that leg everyday. My eldest was about 2 at the time & I was 7 months preggers with the 2nd. DS1 decided one sock must be the go if Daddy does it and DS2 has grown up seeing both daddy and bro with one sock – so now it's just normal!!! Grrrr … I always used to pair up socks before washing but have long ago given up completely. I now just have a clean odd socks container and make a game with the kids of matching them with the pile from washing day.

Lisa January 7, 2011 - 10:15 PM

I love the large lunch boxes. Cute and functional 🙂 I think my problem is the same as Kristine's. I've been pretty spoiled the last few years because my eldest 2 have taken on many of those preparation tasks, getting themselves out of bed and breakfasted, getting their own lunches. My morning routine isn't great, I think the first step will be not jumping on the computer when I'm having breakfast LOL

Leila January 7, 2011 - 11:38 PM

I am loving the Penny Scallan Wheelie Bag ~ Monsters! Is something i'm sure i'd have to steal from my children for my overnight stays.

I need most help in organising my mornings with all 4 of my children. I have one in year 6 this year, one in kindergarten, one in preschool and a baby who stays home with me. I'd love to get organised enough to make all the lunches (including hubbies if i can) and have everyone ready to walk out the door on time.

Thanks for all the help so far in helping me become and organised mum with an organised household!

Olivia Wallace January 7, 2011 - 11:57 PM

hi…I luv all their stuff…I hadnt even heard of them until u posted this!! I hve a boy going into Year 5, a girl starting kindy & the youngest goes to preschool 2days a week…I really luv the bags they are a great size & different to the ordinary ones u can only get from the big shops…The lunch boxes are also a hit with my daughter begging for them for when she starts kindy!! Thanks for all the helpful hints you post…I have been trying to get my very disorganised home organised for a while & with all that you post it has been really great & motivating…My two youngest have had medical problems since birth so things have revolved around dr's, specialists, tests…. etc so now things r slowly getting on track!!! THANK U & keep up all the helpful hints!!!!!

Kristy January 7, 2011 - 11:59 PM

Apple Backpack.

Getting out the door for pre-school!

No facebook, sorry.

Thank you.

KymT January 8, 2011 - 12:06 AM

I love the Girly Bird print bag it would be perfect to pack all my little girls things in for Family Day Care which she starts next week. Also on the website I like the Girly Bird Drawstring bags which I would use for her Dance Class bits and pieces which she starts in a few weeks.

I need help remembering what to put in her bag, I also seem to forget one item, like her water bottle! So I might make a list of items to go int he back, like your checklist above and laminate it and make a swing tag, attach it to the back so I can double check very quickly that everything is there. This would help Daddy to when he drops her off and I am looking after the new baby and he wouldn't have to ask me something 50 times!

I am a liker of you on FB 🙂 – Kym Teale

Teresa Curyer January 8, 2011 - 1:03 AM

I absolutely love the simply daisy range as daisies are my favourite flowers and were in my wedding bouquet. My favourite of that range is the overnight bag it is absolutely divine 🙂

Rachel Bradley January 8, 2011 - 1:10 AM

I'm liking the overnight bags… I have that range of name labels coming for uniforms etc, they are gorgeous.

I have my oldest starting Prep on the 24th, so it is all a bit exciting for me.. I am all organised for her first day, the only thing that I really need organising is her lunches! trying to find healthy stuff to give her that she will eat..

Seana January 8, 2011 - 2:12 AM

I love the new design lunch boxes with the spot for drink bottles, and I LOVE ALL the designs! The things I need the most help organizing before school goes back are school lunches (my son is fussy and is not a fan of sandwiches or fruit… when I do find a winning combo thats is healthy enough for me and tasty for him he gets "sick" of it so I need variety too) and school night dinners things that leave me free enough to help with homework and bath time!

Michelle January 8, 2011 - 2:13 AM

I love the Penny Scallan Overnight Bag ~ Navy Star.

As far as helping with back to school – I find the first couple of weeks stressful juggling all the after school activities that start back too, along with meet the teacher / information nights. Utter chaos for a working mum.



P.S. Liked on FB too 🙂

Tanya January 8, 2011 - 2:56 AM

Thanks for a helpful blog from a chronically disorganised person. Do you know, I have admired other peoples apples bag but never knew who made them or where to get them- so thank you for introducing me to Penny Scallons site. I LOVE that apple backpack, actually every single apple thing in her store. Thanks for a great giveaway.

Tracy Williams January 8, 2011 - 3:11 AM

I just love Penny Scallan lunchboxes, the apple and monster designs, with three at school, Gr6, Gr3 and Gr1, I just can't do it but still dream 🙂

I love your site, blog and facebook page. I have been trying to organise my house again after working full time for 2 years, I am now part time so I have more time to catch up on all the "stuff" that gathers when you just don't have time to sort it! Plus more time to kiss and hug and stare at the gorgeous children i have! The most difficult thing to organise when going back to school is covering and labelling the school stuff. I try to make them lovely and special so they know which is theirs but now I have THREE lots to do, so I am a bit daunted. Do you have fabulous simple ideas of how to do this? You seem to be so creative and thrifty….. please please please do a blog on this if you have some ideas!!!!


Tracy 🙂

Emma Watts January 8, 2011 - 4:31 AM

Yay! I figured out how to leave comments!! I have a 7yo son and 3yo daughter. The 7yo is loving the Navy Star drink bottle and the 3yo has taken a shine to the mini shoppers, which I think is a great idea because then she can carry her own toys around the shops 🙂 Re back-to-school help I'd like new ideas for lunchboxes (things that don't go blah by lunchtime)

Thanks, Emma

Jo January 8, 2011 - 7:15 AM

Hi – I am loving the Penny S Overnight bags and for my little boy the new car design would be an absolute winner!! I have a 3 year old heading off to Kindy and a 1 year old. Both sleep in until 7:30 or 8am so getting out of the house to be at kindy by 8:45am is going to be our biggest challange esp when Miss 3 does has the words 'quick' and 'fast' in her vocabulary confused with 'slower' and 'procrastinate'. Sorry no FB – am trying to cut down on my own procrastination sources!

Beth Prismall January 8, 2011 - 7:49 PM

My baby is going into grade 2 now, and I am still procrastinating about the book list. I am a part time parent, and this is my first year doing it! So I am an amateur!!

I AM going to cover them all prettily for her. I am flooded in right now, but she needs a new schoolbag and drinkbottle.

I LOVE the cupcake range they have. She has the lunchbox because my mum bought it for her.

Alicia Ilievski January 9, 2011 - 12:41 AM

I looove the navy star range for my little boy (2) and the apples for my girl (about to turn 5).

My girl is starting big school this year! Eeek! I always thought I would be the champagne kids have started school Mum. However as time gets closer the lump in my throat is getting bigger *SOB* *SOB* Not a baby anymore.

I was wondering if you have a organisation folder or board for all the kids notes, canteen lists etc. I loooove hearing about the way people organise.

Janine January 9, 2011 - 3:20 AM

Hi Kat,

Loved the Girly bird and simply daisy range. The overnight bags would be great for my girl to take to her after school activities as she thinks she needs her independence these days (so she thinks!!)

Would love to see some more ideas on lunch box suggestions, but also some after school snacks whilst on the run to sport etc. Easy to pack ideas that are healthy???

Love your work!! 🙂

Kerrie M January 9, 2011 - 3:48 AM

Oh no, you want me to choose one!! Okay… Currently, it's the swim bags as I just bought one for my daughter and it is brilliant! As for what I need help with, then it would have to be some great (and different) lunch box ideas!

Jasmine January 9, 2011 - 6:57 AM

Love Penny Scallan Overnight Bag ~ Blue Spot $59.95.

I find it expensive

Like FB

Barbara January 9, 2011 - 7:09 AM

Love the overnight bags

I need another pair of hands

Like on FB

Shar January 9, 2011 - 7:36 PM

Love the chocolate spot overnight bag! Not only could my daughters (13, 12 and 4) use it, but I'd definitely use it as well.

Back to school organising – I'm hoping to start meal planning for lunches which means things suitable for me at home (or uni depending on the day), hubby's work lunches, two high schoolers plus kindy or home lunches for my youngest as well.

Liked on FB

Kristine January 9, 2011 - 9:20 PM

forgot to add, i'm already a Liker on FB 🙂

Monique Follett January 10, 2011 - 3:29 AM

I love the Penny Scallan Stainless Steel Drink Bottles – It is great to see these bottles in such bright child friendly designs.

As a fulltime working Mum, morning routines are a nightmare for me, I really need to do more of an evening to free up time in the morning. Lunches that can be pre-prepared and waiting to load in the morning would be a winner in my book!!

I have one son, so the star lunchbox would be marvellous!

Once I found this wonderful site, I have added it as a "like" on facebook!

Thank you for putting the time in to this website, and for sharing your wonderful organisational tips. Thanks also for all the wonderful giveaways you share:)

Katrina January 13, 2011 - 12:03 AM

that's so sweet Monique, thankyou!! I'm hoping to do a lunch post soon, stay tuned!!

Karen Hancock January 10, 2011 - 11:06 AM

I love the penny scallan wallet set in the super pink girly pattern! They would be so handy for so many uses, popping change in the kids school bags, bits and pieces in my hand bag, even things in the car!

Hmm the thing i need most help with is myself! I really need to get up and have half an hour on my own in the morning to start getting ready… but i just dont seem to be able to get it done! Oh another thing i need help with is storing all the paper and stuff that comes home from school!

Thanks so very much for such a fantastic blog, i really enjoy it.

Oh and i have liked your facebook page.


Lani January 11, 2011 - 8:28 AM

What? I only get to tell you ONE favourite Penny Scallan item 😉 It'll have to be the Apple Wine Cooler! Though I do know my Miss 5 would love the Girly Bird Lunch Box for school.

Like nearly everyone else, I think the hardest thing to organise with going back to school is creative and nutritious lunches.

Off to like you on FB

Katrina January 13, 2011 - 7:56 AM

Lani, I'll be doing a lunches post next week, so keep popping back!

Trish January 15, 2012 - 9:11 AM

I am loving browsing your old posts. Especially since I know you had twins too. Thanks Katrina.

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