Have your kids had their first day of the new school year yet? Whether your kids’ school starts in September or you are already a few weeks into back-to-school season, read on. We’ve got some time-saving tips to incorporate into your school routine that will give you more precious moments to relax and connect with your family during the school year. You may even have some time for self-care too.

Tip 1: Use Nighttime Wisely

Prepare as much as you can for the school day the night before. Lay out clothes, pack lunches, and gather all the necessary school supplies. You can add some of these tasks to your kids’ bedtime routines if they are old enough. This saves you time in the morning, reduces stress, and avoids last-minute scrambles.

Tip 2: Tune Up Your Morning Routine

Take time to make sure your morning routine is working smoothly for you and your kids. Consider whether it is the right time to have the kids take on more responsibility as the whole family prepares for the day ahead. If they do more, it will save you precious minutes in the morning.

Tip 3: Meal Prep on Weekends

Spend a couple of hours over the weekend preparing meals for the week. Make a large batch of a favorite recipe, freeze it in meal-sized portions, and then simply defrost and heat when needed. Prep your kids’ lunches too! This strategy will save you time during the week.

Tip 4: Organize Your Home

Create designated spots for frequently used items. If your child knows where to find their shoes, backpack, homework, and school supplies, it will get you out of the door faster. They will get into the habit of organizing that will extend to their school desks and impress your child’s teacher.

Tip 5: Create Zones for Homework Time

Designate a specific area in your home where your child can do their homework without distractions. This will help them focus and finish their tasks more quickly, freeing up time for family activities.

Tip 6: Reconnect at the End of the Day

After a long day, take time to reconnect with your family. Ask thought-provoking TableTopics questions to inspire great conversations. Keeping the connection you had with your kids over summer break when things were more relaxed can be tough once the school year starts. Talking with each other is one of the best ways to turn ordinarily busy days into days with quality time spent together. TableTopics is here to make it easier for you to get those conversations started.

Tips for School Lunch

Need some inspiration for making school lunches? Creating a meal that’s not just nutritious but also engaging is key to a great lunchtime experience. Here are some ideas to make school lunches fun for kids of all ages.

Tip 1: Fun Shapes and Sizes

Kids eat with their eyes first. For preschoolers or elementary school students, use cookie cutters to shape sandwiches, fruits, and cheeses into fun designs that’ll delight your little ones. For older kids, switch up the sandwich routine by preparing wraps or sushi-style roll-ups.

Tip 2: Lunch Box Themes

Create themed lunches that will have your child excited to open their lunchbox. Consider a rainbow lunch, with foods of different colors. This not only adds excitement to lunchtime but also ensures a balanced meal. Older kids could have world cuisine themes, giving them a taste of different cultures. Another fun idea is to ask your kids what foods they imagine their favorite characters would eat and use that as a basis for their lunch.

Tip 3: Encourage Them to Help

Kids love choice so allow them to be part of the meal planning and prep process. They’ll appreciate the responsibility and will be excited to tell their new teachers that they helped. For younger kids, it can be as simple as offering them two options for snacks or sides and letting them choose.

Tip 4: Sweet Notes and Surprise TableTopics Cards

Add a personal touch to your child’s lunch by including a note. For an even bigger surprise, add a TableTopics card from sets like Kids, Best Things Ever, and Teen. The questions can spark engaging conversations and make lunchtime way more interesting. They can use it as an icebreaker to help them make new friends or to start great conversations with their new classmates.

Remember, the goal is to make lunchtime enjoyable, and what’s more fun than a lunch packed with tasty goodness, love, and a dash of conversation inspiration? Start incorporating these tips today and transform your child’s school lunch into an experience they’ll love.

August 30, 2023