Magnetic Lunch Chart
A kid may be more likely to eat her lunch if she helps choose the menu. When she uses this magnetic chart to map out her meals for the week, it saves time and helps make grocery shopping easier.
Just download and print a magnetic chart onto a full-size magnet sheet. Then print the food name label onto a second magnetic sheet and cut it out. Together, come up with a variety of sandwiches, fruits, healthy snacks, and desserts; then print them out and let the child fill in the blanks.
Roll-Up Pencil Kit
Our organizer safely keeps pencils together in one place and rolls up, too, making it compact enough to tote to school and back. We used an old place mat for extra sturdiness and a cheerful design, and added shoelaces instead of ribbons for the ties.
Place mat (approximately 18 inches wide)
Sewing machine or needle and thread
Lay place mat facedown; fold the right edge over to be 2 inches short of the left edge. Pin in place. Use a ruler and a washable marker to draw parallel lines perpendicular to the fold, about 1 inch apart. Fold a shoelace in half, and tuck its fold between the layers at the midpoint of one side. Next, sew up the two sides of the pouch — the shoelace will be sewn in — and along the parallel lines. Slide pencils into the compartments, and roll the case toward the shoelace side, then tie the laces.
Cover Those Books
Sturdy road maps make fitting covers for geography and foreign language textbooks. Cut a piece of map large enough to wrap around a closed book, leaving at least a two-inch border on all sides. Once the book is covered, tie a ribbon to a paper clip; slide the clip onto the cover’s spine for a bookmark.
Label to Avoid Lost Items
Keep better track of children’s clothing, school supplies, and gym equipment with a personalized rubber stamp and permanent ink pad made for fabric. Iron-on fabric tape can be stamped, then affixed to the inside of clothing. Personalized ribbons work well as bookmarks or tags. If the name is visible, use pale ink and small type to protect your child’s identity.
This pretty satchel is a cinch to put together, and it takes only about an hour. Choose fabrics in colors that coordinate with favorite outfits.
Preshrunk cotton (one 14 1/2-by-32-inch rectangle)
Nylon (one 14 1/2-by-32-inch rectangle)
Cord (two 4-inch lengths, plus two 50-inch lengths)
Stack rectangles of cotton and nylon, right sides facing each other; pin and sew shorter ends together, leaving a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Turn inside out to hide seams. Stitch across ends again, leaving a 3/4-inch seam allowance to create a channel on each end. Fold end to end (nylon side out); pin left and right sides. For bottom loops, fold both 4-inch lengths of cord in half; place inside the bottom corners, ends aligned with fabric edges. Stitch sides, catching ends of loops (do not sew channels closed). Starting on the left side, thread one end of one 50-inch length of cord per channel so both ends meet on the right side. Repeat with other length, starting on the right side and ending with ends on the left side. Turn bag right side out. For straps, thread an end of each drawstring through the loop below it; tie ends.
Organize with Jars
Don’t lose art and school supplies in the tangle of a junk drawer. Sort and store them in handy desktop containers made from jars of various sizes. To cushion the glass and protect scissor tips and pencil points, place a round of felt in the bottom of each jar.
To create a round of felt, trace the container’s bottom onto felt; cut just inside the circle with pinking shears, since pinked edges allow the rounds to fit smoothly without buckling.