I have a little confession to make. It’ll make me sound horribly lazy. Maybe even a bit cheap.

Holly has never had her own childcare name labels.

The poor child has spent a year in childcare under the guise of “Ella’’. Her clothes, her drink bottle and even her bag all have “Ella’’ printed on them. It’s become so bad the child carer admitted to often accidentally calling Holly by her sister’s name. Time to make a change, I think.

With some help from Stuck On You, Ella has scored the most beautiful school library bag as part of the Stuck on You Book Pack (discontinued, but you can get the new Kids Designer Book Labels instead).

Stuck On You AustraliaAnd, more importantly, Holly has a whole selection of labels to make sure she doesn’t start calling herself Ella.

Here’s what I went shopping for:

Stuck On You Australia

Pack 0-5: These gorgeous packs include various name labels and a bag tag. What I love is how personalised you can make each item from colour, font and image selection. You can also match across different products. ($49.95)

Stuck On You Smock

Art Smock: Made of 100% sturdy cotton canvas, the Art Smock for Kids is exactly what we need for messy painting. With cream curtains, lounge suites and carpet, I’ve been making the most of messy summer days. Waterproof smocks tend to be too light and, therefore, fly about in the wind – often ending up IN the paint. This one is thick enough to protect the clothing and includes long sleeves with elastic around the wrists. I adore the image (we selected the cute ballet slippers) on the handy front pocket. ($34.95)

Stuck On You Apron

Apron: One of the girls’ favourite activities is cooking with mum. Ella has long had her own little apron, but it’s getting a tad small these days. So Holly gains the old apron and Ella a new one. Again, they’re made of 100% cotton canvas to protect clothing. Similar to the smock, we’ve included the ballet slippers on the cute front pocket. ($29.95)

It means we now have a happy household. And we’ve decided it might be nice for you to have a happy one too.

We’re giving away a $150 Stuck On You voucher, which will get you an awful lot from the Stuck On You Australia site. All you need to do is tell us a favourite school tip – whether for lunch boxes, covering school books or getting organised in the mornings. Let us know in the comments below.

Terms and conditions: The Stuck On You competition will be judged on creativity and originality. The competition opens Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 9pm AEST and closes on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 7.30pm AEST. One entry per person. Australian entries only. There is one prize winner. The winner will be notified via email and name published here. Entries remain the property of Three Li’l Princesses and may be republished.

If you would like to learn about more of our giveaways, make sure you sign up to our eNewsletters. You’ll also find more giveaways in the Aussie Giveaway Linkup.

DISCLAIMER: I received all the items mentioned above. I have not been paid to write this post. All opinions expressed are purely my own.

PS. Kellogg’s has partnered with Stuck on You to offer parents a $5 voucher when they purchase a range of Kellogg’s products.

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57 Responses to A back to school confession: Giveaway closed

  1. Debbie Mowatt-Gee says:

    Community service announcement about Lunchboxes- Its a GREAT idea to tell your little ones that putting half your left over ice block in your lunchbox will NOT keep frozen until you get home that afternoon. My daughter did this. We explained it all to her. All good, until a month or so later she does it again lol! So I now remind her every few weeks, just to be on the safe side so I’m not having to destickafy her lunchbox etc! So that’s my tip to new kindy parents, or even parents of kids going into year 1 like my twins lol!

    • I am fortunate to live 100 metres from the school, and I’m up at 6:15am making my hubbies lunch, his Travel Mug of Tea and his breakfast, so while I’m on a roll, I get the girls lunches made, their fave sandwiches or Cruscuits, a home baked cake, and a few healthy snacks. This year I have even bought Miss 6 and Miss 5 school shoes with Valcro so they can put their own shoes on in the morning, one less thing for me to do. Over the Holidays I have also taught them how to do eachothers hair.. so genius!! Counting down the days until back to School. This pack would be great for both my Grade 2’er and Preschooler, Love to win it, Love the ever practical MUM.

  2. tracy martens says:

    I make a whole weeks worth of sandwiches and store them in the freezer. By the time Curly has lunch, the sandwiches will be defrosted and fresh.

  3. Danielle says:

    Buy uniform items as you see them they disappear so fast in the shops especially in the size you need and buy them with some room in them so they will last 6-12 months. You can always stagger buying other school items like lunch boxes and stationary, school bags, labels etc can be purchased in October or November to ease the financial burden especially if you have more than one child.

  4. Kim m says:

    I spend half a day with the kids who love helping me cook, and we make tonnes of muffins, savoury and sweet, and heaps of sandwiches. We wrap them individually and freeze them, it saves heaps on time and tuckshop/canteen costs, and the kids love helping too…

  5. Elise says:

    New stationary is fun, but definitely not cheap,
    But theres ways around it, this tips one to keep!
    Each year empty bags, and review what comes home,
    Check ink levels for textas with a fine tooth comb,
    Throw out what is broken, and match up what still works,
    Saving money on old stationary is one of the perks!
    From the old, sets of pencils, crayons and texta’s should be made,
    Add only whats missing, keep the rest for the next grade.
    Clean and label everything meant for school,
    It will all come home again, which is pretty cool!
    Elise recently posted..Personal-Planner: A Review & A GiveawayMy Profile

  6. Michelle van Schouwen says:

    In my house, school socks used to go missing! Each morning we would be almost ready to leave until my son would point out – ‘Mum, I can’t find any socks to wear!’

    So to make things easier for my kids (and maintain my own sanity in the mornings) I have set up a little school area in my garage with hooks for the school bags and a big basket to hold all the clean school socks (and another for their school shoes).

    My tip for others is to look at any recurring issues in your school routines and look for ways to address them. Avoid yourself the frustration of dealing with the same issues over and over again by trying a different approach and always make things as simple for the kids as possible! 🙂

  7. Kaz Purtill-Wright says:

    My older children are old enough now to manage to get their stuff together on school mornings but when they were younger we needed far more organisation.

    To make school mornings easier to manage for us and the kids, we decided to create each child their own little cubby space that held all their school gear. There was a hanging space for their bag, hat and a space for their school shoes and all the bits and bobs. To make it even easier we created a daily checklist of items they needed to make sure was packed in their bag. Each child had a different library day, a different reader day, a different PE day etc so the daily checklist made things so much easier for me and for them. As well as the one off check listed items each week, the check list also included things like Hat, lunch box, recess, drink etc. I found a visual display was much easier for them to remember what was needed and they also got ready in the mornings much quicker.

    We’ll do the same again for my son when he starts school.

  8. Michelle V says:

    What I don’t like, because it’s not very nice
    Is the possibility of the kids getting head lice!
    We’ve already experienced one infestation
    Oh, the nuisance, and sheer devastation!
    I try to maintain a positive perspective
    But even the products are often ineffective!
    Not to mention the time and cost
    And combing guarantees patience will be lost!
    So, my top tip for back to school would be
    Tie hair up, and use a defence spray with tea tree
    Hopefully this will be enough to stop the nits
    Because they really do give you the sh… sads!!!

  9. Melissa o says:

    Sit down on a Sunday with your child and help write and organise a menu for each days lunchbox. It helps get your child interested in eating healthy and creates a better relationship with food. Making it fun with food themes is also a great idea.

  10. Kara Beal says:

    Home made, budget school lunch snack:
    A quick school lunchbox snack that is far cheaper than buying it at the shops, popcorn. Buy a 99c bag of corn kernals and a packet of brown paper bags.
    Place a small amount of popcorn in a brown paper bag, fold over the open end of the bag and tape it down. Place it in a microwave oven for 2 minutes and its done.
    Just place it in a small reuable container and your done. So easy even on busy weekdays.

  11. CrystalB says:

    Have a dedicated basket/tray in your child’s room to have their uniform, socks and shoes etc all ready to go for the morning rush!

  12. Mary Preston says:

    We organise everything the night before.

    It takes half the time then trying to do it in the morning.

    Lunch boxes packed & in the fridge, uniforms laid out, socks tucked into shoes, school bags ready to go etc.

  13. Leesa says:

    MONEY SAVING TIP! School is exspensive!

    Who hands their child’s school book list in to be filled without looking at exactly what’s on it because it’s faster, easier, more convenient to just say “everything please”? LOOK AT THE LIST!! I don’t necessarily hunt madly around for cheaper items.. I save by NOT buying certain items. THINK!! Does my child really need ANOTHER 12 coloured pencils? ANOTHER calculator? ANOTHER ruler? ANOTHER sharpener? ANOTHER clipboard folder?.. Just to name a few! I’ve saved by NOT buying on auto-pilot but checking first what he has left from last year and also checking what we have around the home.. who cares if all the pencils aren’t the exact same length on 1 day? Who cares that the biros you send are a stack of promotional pens you’ve picked up free from local businesses and are currently scattered uselessly around the house anyway? He had 2 unused scrapbooks from last year. Check your child’s books.. there may only be 6 pages used out of them – take those pages out and reuse the book if it’s on the follow years’ list!… and bloody GLUE STICKS!! Seriously I’m not buying 4 glue sticks… He still has ¾ of 1 left from last year! Yup, that’s the one he’s starting this year with and when it runs out, then I will buy another 1 for him.

  14. Di says:

    Colour code lunch boxes, drink bottles and even bags and folders so each child can easily recognise which is theirs by the colour & not take someone elses. It’s great to include Dad too, so he never again has do endure the humiliation of having a hundreds & thousands sandwich with the crusts cut off ever again!

  15. Belinda Drane says:

    I’m rather daunted at the thought of everything I need to do to prepare my 5 year old for Kindy every day! Not to mention no more “sleep ins” Sheesh! My tip? Hire a nanny!! 😀

  16. Rebekah says:

    I get as much as possible done before my husband leaves! If I delay we get WAY behind!

  17. Anita Pender says:

    As a past teacher my top school tip is to double name everything. Label clothing items especially with a name on the collar and then one on a seam or something, there are some people that will remove names so it’s always good to label in a less obvious spot also.

  18. Leila says:

    Pre prepare. I sort the children’s lunch boxes as I put away the nights dishes. I make their sandwiches and pack recesses. Usually this is followed by ironing school uniforms (if needed) and having them all ready to put on in the morning.
    Oh and don’t forget the coffee ready for hot water and milk in the morning in our travel mugs because someone always runs late lol

  19. Amie says:

    Hi! Not sure I am experienced enough to be giving school tips but I love the frozen squeeze yogurts for lunch boxes and my girls also love fresh dates as a sweet alternative!

  20. Sonia El-Sheikh says:

    Always prepare the night before therefore you have that extra few minutes of trying to wake the kids up in the morning 🙂

  21. My kids would ADORE their own aprons! Love them!

    My tip is to put the kids’ cereal on the table before I go to bed, then put some milk in mini milk bottles in the fridge. They ‘get their own breakfast’ in the mornings by simply grabbing the milk out and pouring it on. They feel ‘responsible’ and it’s one less task to ask them to do over and over in the mornings

  22. Jenny says:

    With 3 kids, my top tip is to have a check list for them to see what they have to do next otherwise you are repeating for every child what they have to do next. I love Michelle V’s poem! I’m still trying to evade the horrible headlice!!!!

  23. Natalie says:

    My back-to-school tip would be to create ‘social stories’ to help with whatever situations your child needs assistance with. The ways that they can be used are only limited by your imagination! From organisation to emotions, social stories help young children to process their thoughts and feelings about what’s to come as they begin a new year in education. For instance, they can be used to facilitate the internalisation of what the back to school routine will involve, such as “This week, school begins. Each week day morning, you’ll get dressed in your uniform, do your hair, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, put your lunch box in your bag and your shoes on and head off to school”. Another example might be “At school, you’ll sit at your desk and listen to the teacher. At lunch time, you get to eat your yummy food, then play with your hat on. After school, I’ll be waiting to pick you up, looking to see your beautiful face!”. I love the concept of social stories, as they can prepare children for so many different events, and when they’re repeated over and over, children know what to expect, and situations become familiar before they’ve even occurred. Visual learners may love a corresponding picture story or chart to match up with what they’re hearing. It makes it so much easier to just say “So after we have breakfast, what are we going to do?”, and have your child respond with “teeth, hair, bag and shoes!”, with them feeling like they’re leading the way and in control of their preparation.

  24. Deb K says:

    Pack bags the night before
    And keep them ready by the door
    Shoes and uniforms all ready on beds
    And keep hair tidies ready for “brushing heads”!

  25. Kimberly Featherstone says:

    Best Tip.. don’t pack too much lunch.. they will be so excited they won’t eat anyway… I make sure she has a sandwich, a snack, and fruit a plenty – which won’t go off if it doesn’t get eaten…

  26. Narelle Rock says:

    I get my daughter to draw pictures as covers for her school books, then use the clear plastic sleeves, saves the hassle and pain of trying to use contact, plus they are different from all the other kids, so easy to spot, hard to lose!

  27. April Jane says:

    My best tip is getting my children to change out of their school uniforms as soon as they get home (it doesn’t take long for them to get them dirty, it saves on washing, water and time 🙂

  28. Simone Richards says:

    I’m a first timer at the whole school thing with my daughter starting preschool this year – so I am noting the comments made already with interest! My lil princess has been in daycare for quite some time though, and we have found that such an independent little Miss loves having clothes laid out the night before to put on “all by myself”. Undies may occasionally be on backwards – but no matter! A sticker chart for jobs done has also been great – and the Grobag Groclock to keep her resting/sleeping in bed until a reasonable hour in the morning has been a lifesaver!

  29. Melinda says:

    I have no tip!

    I need the tips as I am always running out the door late, forgetting the fruit snack, forgetting the library book and the readers. Although I am never late for pick up because that all important chat with a fellow mum is what I look forward to everyday!

  30. Renee Ballantyne says:

    There is nothing good about being stress and grouchily running around trying to get ready for school in the morning. Allow plenty of time for breakkie and getting ready, your kids will love you and after they are at school you won’t look back with regrets at all.

  31. I find it very helpful to get as much ready the night before as possible. I make sure homework is done, signed off and packed away, the school bag is by the front door, lunchbox is cleaned out and uniform is clean and folded. School mornings are hectic; any preparation that can facilitate a smooth-running, stress-free pre-school routine is a good idea in our house!
    Di @ Max The Unicorn recently posted..GIVEAWAY: Win a Personal Planner!My Profile

  32. Suzi C says:

    My favourite school tip came from my aunt who told me that “No fairies died when I didn’t cover my kids school books. Don’t fret about it and go and have a glass of wine instead”

  33. Suzi C says:

    My favourite school tip came from my aunt who told me that “No fairies died when I didn’t cover my kids school books. Don’t fret about it and go and have a glass of wine instead” Love it

  34. Leonie McCallum says:

    My tip is to organise a ‘school info’ folder to put all the newsletters, documents, order forms etc into so they all stay together. Also get your partner/husband involved as much as possible so not everything is your responsibility or job!

  35. As all 3 of my Monkeys are now in school. (Little guy just started kindergarten)
    The best tip i have found so far, is to get as much done the night before. This yr we are trying out frozen foods.
    I have made a bunch of sandwiches, cakes, banana bread, & muffins then put them all in the freezer.
    Its working better then i thought making mornings so much more pleasant.
    Me N my Monkeys recently posted..Big changes in 2013My Profile

  36. Morena Howe says:

    Find the routine that works for you and stick to it. This year I’m going to try lists with my kids. They are only at daycare and pre-primary – so I will put pictures of what they have to do before we need to get in the car and go. I’ll laminate them and put them on the fridge with a whiteboard marker to tick off their tasks. I might even add a little incentive for them 🙂

  37. Michelle Gray says:

    Mine involves morning organisation (I’m not a morning person so this is very important), I have a cupboard in the hallway exclusively for school stuff, uniforms, socks, shoes, school bags, even undies. The kids know this is where all their stuff is, so there’s no confusion as to where the correct school items are. Makes mornings so much easier for me.

  38. Carla Trudgett says:

    I have to have bags packed the night before and clothes layed out ready, otherwise we are
    guaranteed to be late including mum for work

  39. Billie MacGinley says:

    I love putting little notes in my Kids lunch boxes. Not everyday but as a surprise every now and then. Just a little note to say I love you! The kids love it and it makes them feel special even if it is a bit dorky!

  40. Angie Boylan says:

    I always let my kids pick their school stuff, books, lunch boxes, labels, pencil cases etc then they can easily recognise them at school so don’t get lost as easily. And make sure EVERYTHING is labelled!

  41. Jessie Boan says:

    With 4 little ones under 7,
    Colour-coding is my answer to school day heaven.
    Each child knows which coloured items to gather,
    And even dad can manage if I’m under the weather.
    With colour coded labels to match
    We’d make it to school by 8.15am without a catch.

  42. SANDY says:

    FOR LOVES CHILDREN STARTING SCHOOL FOR THE FIRST TIME, UNTIL THEY GET USED TO IT, DIVIDE THEIR DAILY FOOD INTO 2 SNACK TIMES AND PACK EACH SEPERATELY. THAT WAY THEY WON’T EAT EVERYTHING AT FIRST BREAK AND HAVE NOTHING LEFT FOR SECOND BREAK!!

  43. Kathryn Cavalieri says:

    Being organised and staying in routine will help you out. No more tantrums screams or shouts. Lunches made the night before, breakfast rush then out the door!

  44. bubble936 says:

    Get back into a routine – use the last week of the holidays to start waking them a little earlier each day until you’re back to your school term morning routine.
    Don’t buy school shoes at the last minute- don’t leave it too late – you may find yourself stuck in a shoe shop queue ,When you buy new school shoes, encourage your kids to wear them around the house for an hour or two for a couple of days to both break them in and to blister-proof their feet.
    All back packs are not the same -When choosing a new school back pack, make sure that you choose one that fits your child’s back.
    Choose a lunch box that works for your child –
    Label everything – Label the obvious stuff (hat, lunch box, school bag) and the not-so obvious stuff (shorts, tunic, undies)
    Create a School Launch Pad at home.
    Dedicate a space at home where your kids can pack and unpack their bags and where you can get school stuff organised. Got the sports kit organised for tomorrow? Place it in the Launch Pad ready for pick up.

  45. Cate Russell says:

    My tip is simple but effective. Talk to your child/ren positively about school and about their school day. When you pick them up from school ask such questions as, ‘What was the favourite thing you did today?’ It helps to make your child’s experience at school positive and helps them to see the good in things!

  46. Elisha squire says:

    Funny that my number 1 tip would be LABEL IT , don’t lose it ! We spend so much on our kids school items , who can afford to keep replacing them ? I label EVERYTHING ! Right down to socks 🙂 save yourself hundreds over the school years !

  47. Penne Ann says:

    Early to bed, early to rise, makes for happy and healthy children ready to start the day in the most positive, productive way. Being organised and lunches made, no need to rush when you don’t sleep in. No grumpy children, just enjoying the morning moment with their next of kin.

  48. nellbe says:

    Label and name everything, that is including the lunchbox container and lid and ice block and 2 places on the drink bottle – even name the shoes. Put phone numbers in the clothes and hats.
    nellbe recently posted..The Week That Was: Last Days of School HolidaysMy Profile

  49. Amanda Collins says:

    My tip is for covering books….place book onto contact, trim to size allowing a 2 cm overhang, peel half the contact up to meet the back with the other side (fold in half like a book), place spine of book in the centre of the fold of contact and press cover down, trim and fold edges of contact down onto book cover, close book onto other side of contact and gently peel rest of paper off contact allowing book cover to be stuck to the contact, trim and fold edges again, label and you’re done!

  50. Virginia Mason says:

    My eldest has a ‘Things to Pack’ card on the refridgerator,
    it has meant smoother mornings for every one which is what we are after.
    The check list encourages him to be independent and responsible too,
    and is easy really (for any age)to read the picture cues.
    Days of forgetting drink bottles, hats, news folders etc are no more,
    and he is definately proud that he can achieve this for sure!

  51. Rachael says:

    Con your husband into doing the lunches before he goes to work……..

  52. Maree says:

    Covering books – let the kids pick out wrapping paper to cover books with, then plastic marbig cover over top

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