Back-to-School Tips and Tricks

Simple things you can do now to avoid a last minute rush

By Sara-Lynne Levine, Publisher of Macaroni Kid Ottawa Capital Region, ON July 18, 2023

We’ve reluctantly switched to back to school mode in our house. While we are enjoying the last few weeks of summer, doing these simple tasks now, will help ease back to school stress in a few weeks.

Back-to-School Prep

School supplies

  • When the school year ended, we sorted through all the “stuff” brought home to salvage what we could for next year. Pencil boxes, binders, scissors, and staplers, last from year to year, so instead of replacing these items each year, we put them aside right away so there is less to buy later.
  • Cross the items you already have off of the supply list - hit the stores early in the morning or end of the day to avoid the crowds.
  • Macaroni Tip: If you anticipate needing presentation boards, purchase one or two tri-fold boards or other type of board now to have on hand to avoid a last-minute trip to the store.


  • Have you ever had to look through the lost and found and are not sure whose is whose? You can order fancy name labels, use a permanent marker or a piece of tape, but whichever you chose label everything your kids bring to school.


  • Take advantage of all the back-to-school sales and pick up key pieces for fall. Take a few minutes with your kids to see what still fits and what is too small so you won’t have any “it doesn’t fit” drama when school starts. 
  • Stores that carry uniform pieces will also have sales.
  • I know it's too hot for a jacket, but get one now while you can still find them, your child has likely outgrown the one they used last year. 


  • Yup, if the kids have grown their shoes over the summer and you need to add new ones to your list. 
  • Make sure they have at least one pair of shoes appropriate for P.E.


  • Avoid the cheap character of the week backpack in favor of a sturdy and durable backpack that you can accessorize with iron-ons or keychains. This will save you money and help you avoid having to purchase a new backpack mid-year when there are none to be found.

Reusable Water Bottles

  • Be sure to get at least one or more, so kids can stay hydrated throughout the day, especially after P.E. Although they are more expensive and a bit heavier, my personal favorite are the insulated bottles especially when it's hot out, they keep water cool and if you add a little ice it will stay cool all day.


  • Pick up a cool lunch box plus reusable bags / containers so your child can enjoy a litter-less lunch. We love lunch boxes that have pockets for the separate nutrition breaks.
  • Think about icepacks to keep food cool on these hot days.

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