By: Bryn Huntpalmer
Is there anything as exciting as the first day of a new school year? Maybe that excitement is limited to just us parents! If your kids are grimacing at the thought of trading in days at the pool for trips on the school bus (do they still call it the cheese wagon?), help them get excited for all that the new school year has in store for them. New friendships, after-school sports, new teachers and subjects, and a fresh start academically are just a handful of promises that the new school year holds. At Modernize, we love to update our home decor for holidays and the changing seasons, and back-to-school is no exception. Help ease your children’s transition back to school with these fun and functional home decor ideas that will help them get back into the school mindset.
An Apple a Day…
It’s always good to have healthy snacks on hand for your kids. Whether they’re munching on them or just carrying them to school for their new teachers, apples are a great low-sugar, high fiber snack that are strongly associated with school days. According to the Smithsonian, “Families whose children attended schools were often responsible for housing and feeding frontier teachers. An apple could show appreciation for a teacher sometimes in charge of more than fifty students. Apples continued to be a favorite way to curry favor even after the practical purpose of feeding teachers disappeared.” Get into the spirit of the new school year with a big bowl of red apples. You’ll be happy that you have a quick and easy snack ready for kids who come home from school hungry, plus they make a pretty centerpiece for your dining room table.
Create a Gallery Wall to Encourage Young Artists
If you have young kids, they are probably making a lot of art. Sometimes the sheer volume of their masterpieces can be overwhelming, and a new school year means a whole new batch of artwork. Carve out space in your home to proudly display your children’s artwork, helping to build their confidence and nurture their artistic talents. You can create a versatile “gallery wall” with clipboards instead of frames. Simply hang a handful of inexpensive clipboards on the wall (just like you would frames for a gallery wall) and you’ll have a simple way to make your children feel that their artwork is valued, while also being able to easily rotate in new works as they create more. If you’re unable to paint in your apartment, your children’s artwork will also add a fun burst of color to the space.
Write It Down With Chalkboard Paint
During the school year, it is easy to be overwhelmed with juggling multiple schedules, reviewing homework, and signing field trip permission slips and other documents. Ditch the piles of to-do lists and keep track of everyone’s information in one place with chalkboard paint. With chalkboard paint, you can turn any available wall space or even the back of a door into a command center—a one-stop information zone for your entire family. You can also use chalkboard paint in larger spaces like your children’s bedrooms or the dining room so that you can help them with their homework, giving you a large space to review their work together.
Save Time and Money with a Lunch Assembly Station
Pack school lunches on Sunday and you’ll save precious time during hectic mornings, save money on school lunches, and better control the nutritional quality of your children’s meals. Set aside a small space in your kitchen with portable containers, plastic bags and utensils, and anything else you might need for meal prep. My mom always included a sweet note, too! On Sunday evening, prep sandwiches and snacks that can last throughout the week (hummus and crackers, crisp vegetables like carrots and celery, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, yogurt, juice boxes, etc.). Make sure to talk to your children and solicit their (reasonable) input. You want to make sure that the meals you make are getting eaten! If your children are old enough, have them prepare the meals with you to practice making healthy food choices and improve their time management skills.
Keep Chaos at Bay With a Virtual Foyer
Even if you are working with limited space, you can still create a virtual foyer using a small table and wall hooks. Create a space that is easy for your children to stow backpacks, coats, and umbrellas, and to take off and store their shoes. You prevent a lot of potential messes from coming into your home and it will make heading out to school the next day that much easier! Your children will be used to the concept of cubbies, so this is a great way to mirror what they are doing and seeing at school, while keeping them organized.