School’s In Session with Snapfish and HP

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Last month I was asked to be part of the Snapfish School’s In Session program where I was introduced to a whole new side of Snapfish and HP. The kids are all back in school and while I thought I was completely done and over with all of the school shopping and organizing, I quickly found I was wrong. It didn’t take long before I found myself in the middle of some learning experiences of my own that I thought would be helpful for other parents.

AVOID THE LOST & FOUND

The dreaded lost and found bin. I’ve had more visits than I’d like to count to that bin because my son, now in 6th grade, has butter fingers when it comes to holding onto his stuff. We’ve found backpacks, lunchboxes, jackets and even his gym shoes there before. It’s a tradition I don’t want to share with my daughter who just started Kindergarten. Rather than waste time digging through that bin I’m big into labeling this year. A Sharpie marker is great for labeling tags in clothing and lunchboxes but there are also some unique ways to label your child’s school stuff.

The 3D and Animated Backpack Tags made by Snapfish are fashionable and functional. I visited Snapfish.com where my daughter and I picked out a floral card design and uploaded two similar photos for her tag that not only make it easy to identify who owns the backpack but create a really cool effect.

With the card in one direction you see the first picture and angle the card another direction you get to see the other picture. She was completely mesmerized by this little picture card and quite happy to tie it to her backpack.

Back to School Backpack Tag from Snapfish

GET ORGANIZED

After the bus schedules finally get organized, there’s more work to be done. My daughter made it very clear that she enjoyed the school lunch sometimes and wanted to bring a homemade lunch other times. Knowing how confusing this would get for me I used a Large-sized combo dry erase cork board with magnetic labels to get our lunch schedule in order. On the white board I marked out a calendar labeling hot lunch days and eventually filled in the blanks with different cold lunch ideas.

Using the HP Envy printer I printed some lunchbox notes on plain paper to drop her in box and bring a smile to her face each day. I also used the extra space for created shopping lists as we ran out of items, a copy of the school lunch menu and brainstormed some snack/breakfast ideas.

back to school lunch organizer

PRESERVE SUMMER MEMORIES

For us, back to school season isn’t just about saying goodbye to summer, it’s about preserving the memories we made as a family. In the weeks before school started we took a family vacation to Disney World so the girls could spend some time together before they got separated for 8 hours a day.

I used the Snapfish website to create a collage of picture memories all printed on a canvas to hang on our wall. Every day we get to walk by it and remember the great time we had together. Even if a canvas print isn’t something you’re looking for, making a photo book, framed art print or photo calendar would be an easy way to hold onto the best days of summer.

snapfish canvas print of disney vacation

GET TECHNOLOGY TO TACKLE THE HOMEWORK

We also found that with the HP Envy Printer, homework doesn’t have to be boring. It wasn’t a week into school before my son needed to create a school project featuring a poster that was all about him. I was able to let him get creative with printing his own photos, printable stickers and even use the built in printer apps. The Dreamworks app let him choose his characters from his favorite movies and print out project sheets to fold 3D characters.

For even more creative ideas be sure to visit the School is In Session pin board from HPCreate on Pinterest. I hope you’ll find my own personal experiences to be helpful for your family but I’ve also got a giveaway package that should make it even easier. This back to school kit includes:

  • Large-sized combo dry erase cork board with magnetic labels
  • Bedside caddy – perfect for storing notebooks, remote controls, cell phones, etc.
  • Waterproof outdoor blanket (perfect for sporting events, picnics, and beach days)
  • $50 Snapfish gift card where you can purchase customized last minute back-to-school essentials and gift items

GIVEAWAY

Use the form below to enter. Open to US residents, one entrant per household.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* As part of the Snapfish School’s In Session Program I received a printer, gift package and one to giveaway. Opinions expressed are based on my own personal experiences.

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  1. It’s all about motivation, organization, and teamwork. Do as much as you can ahead of time, and limit choices in the morning to hurry things along.

  2. Betsy says:

    Organization- without that things are sure to get chaotic. And as mentioned before- doing as much as possibly ahead of time.

  3. coupons and deals!

  4. Auri Lae says:

    We have a weekly “meeting” with the whole family to plan things out, discuss possible problems and remind everyone what’s on the schedule

  5. latanya says:

    communication and organization so you know what needs to done

  6. a dry erase board is my secret, with a daily to do list – don’t what I would do without it!

  7. Debbie Jackson says:

    my tip is to make a pact to make the year great
    debbie jackson
    djackson1958 at hotmail dot com

  8. D Schmidt says:

    Be organized, plan and lay everything out the night before!

  9. Cindy B says:

    We stay organized with a large family calendar where we mark school and sports schedules as well as other appointments.

  10. Deborah says:

    Keep everything on iPad all appointments etc…lay out kiddos clothes the night before. Stay organized….

  11. Patricia Wojnar Crowley says:

    My best tip is to set aside 15 minutes with each child every evening to go over their homework, sign any papers, etc. It’s all about routine!

  12. happi shopr says:

    We keep things simple and work as a team. We pick out clothes the night, pack lunches and backpacks the night before to make things easier in the morning.

  13. Lori Z. says:

    Patience. Eventually you’ll make it into the routine, but with LOTS of patience you can have much more relaxed mornings.

  14. deb c says:

    Keep a calendar with all the back to school meetings, field trips, things to remember, and homework projects. The key is to be organized.

  15. Cynthia R says:

    Pick out lunches and clothes the day before, keep them excited about school

  16. Tabathia B says:

    I have a set schedule for homework time, snack time and dinner time which includes bonus computer/tv/game time if everything is successful

  17. Barbara Platt says:

    Letting the kids be involved in the decisions so they take ownership and more responsibility

  18. Regina says:

    Routine is a key around my house. Early to bed and no cell phones on at night.
    tarter95 at hotmail dot com

  19. Annette D says:

    Plan ahead, never, never wait until the last minute to do something.

  20. Denice P says:

    I think participation is one of the key factors . My nephew is home-schooled and I have him a about once a week. I sit with and have him read to me. We go outside and do activities . It keeps him positive .

  21. Katharine Davis says:

    Organization is key to a successful back to school time for kids. Also making sure they stick to the sleep schedule so they are well rested from day one.

  22. clare rey says:

    follow the same routine and pattern everymorning–

  23. Melissa Orland says:

    Just came across your blog- love it! :)

  24. Jessica says:

    Always use a planner! I started using one in 4th grade it was MANDATORY at my school. It has made my life so much easier and I dont forget to do my homework ;) (in college)

  25. Cassandra says:

    By being as organized as possible!

  26. Nicole L. says:

    Create and maintain routines throughout the school year.

  27. ryan minton says:

    i would say a good tip would be to stay on top of homework…work with your child and do it once they get home from school if possible

    rypm25@aol.com

  28. renee walters says:

    Lay everything out the night before!

  29. Kristi C says:

    I start waking the kids up earlier starting two weeks before school starts just so they get used to being up so early.

  30. Cynthia C says:

    I think organization is the key. Everyone needs to know their roles and what is expected.

  31. Elizabeth Young says:

    I work with my kids throughout the summer to keep them fresh on math and reading. School is less overwhelming when they are confident.

  32. Linda G. says:

    We plan and lay out thing the evening before and make sure they get plenty of sleep, start going to bed earlier a week before school starts

  33. Caryn S says:

    You have to stay organized with designated spots for backpacks, homework, forms to sign, etc.

  34. edq143 says:

    sounds amazing

  35. PinkySwayers says:

    When my daughter was in school, it was a good idea to always have poster board on hand for school projects as well as generic birthday presents for last minute party invitations. Thanks for the giveaway!

  36. Katherine says:

    Prepare early and let everyone know what is going on~

  37. Tari Lawson says:

    I find it helps to pack up their backpacks the night before so everyone isn’t hunting for things just before heading to the bus.

  38. Jennifer says:

    Once a week, we sit down and create a plan! Usually, we hit the library once a week. The park four times a week. We ride our bicycles about 5 times a week…. and so on!

  39. Get a good night’s rest! And get all bags packed the night before.

  40. My tip – write everything down on the calendar!!

  41. I take pictures and motivate them to move on ahead and face the day.

  42. Shop the sales to save money and continue teaching at home.

  43. sheila musselman askins says:

    i have found that sticking to a schedule really helps..that way my daughter knows what to expect and when!

  44. Susan F says:

    Pack lunches, layout clothes, and get backpacks ready the night before.

  45. Suzanne M says:

    We organize everything the night before so there is no confusion the morning of school.

  46. Monique Rizzo says:

    We have a big wipe board calendar in a central location…we write everything down on that.
    Thanks for the chance.
    mogrill12@gmail.com

  47. Jessica Rose says:

    BEst way to make back to school easy, prep ahead of time! Prep lunches the night before, plan your schedule, and have everything ready to go

  48. Kristy Thiel says:

    definitely getting back to the early-to-bed times!

  49. jessica edwards says:

    set everything out the night before

  50. JoAnn F. says:

    I keep myself organized with a day planner
    jofo120 at yahoo dot com

  51. harolde says:

    Get the kids get to bed early, makes it easier to wake them up.

  52. Erica C. says:

    We do a lot of preparation on the weekend before each school week and the fridge calendar helps a lot.

  53. Leslie Luke Stanziani says:

    I home school my 4 and my best tip is to have a written plan and try to be organized(which I am not as organized as I need to be).

  54. Start switching kids back to school sleep schedule a couple weeks before school starts, to make the first couple weeks easier.

  55. Kris I says:

    I try to get up early so I’m not running around the house crazy and I try to organize the night before

  56. Tonya Dean says:

    Make sure they have their clothes picked out the night before.

    tdlsfm(at)yahoo(dot)com

  57. s riches says:

    Meet your children’s teachers as son as possible

  58. Melodic Mom says:

    Packing backpacks the night before.

  59. Heather H says:

    Routine! We have one and stick to it – without it we’d be lost

  60. Valerie Taylor Mabrey says:

    Take lots of pic because the time is sooo short they are that cute and they still care that you think so. lol
    vmkids3 at msn dot com

  61. Jill L says:

    Get into a routine and make sure the kids have some downtime.

  62. Jammie says:

    get on a schedule before school starts back in.

  63. jeannine s says:

    Make meal plans, have a board with schedules up

  64. Karen Gonyea says:

    Take action on every piece of paperwork that comes home immediately !!! File or Toss everything that you don’t need to look at anymore or that you don’t need !!

  65. Amy Lee says:

    Lots of communication and ORGANIZATION!!

  66. Be prepared for anything and take it all in stride. Also, make friends with the teachers. We don’t bite!

  67. Organize everything the night before so that there’s no hassle the next morning.

  68. Jennifer Reed says:

    My tip for making back to school more successful for families is to plan early, get supplies early, and avoid the last minute rush that makes everyone feel anxious.

    reejen at comcast dot net

  69. Amy DeLong says:

    it has to be routine,then everyone gets used to it and can get through the year!
    ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

  70. Alicia Ponce says:

    orgaanization and communication is key in my home.

  71. Kerrie Mayans says:

    About a week before school starts, I start making them go to bed earlier and get up early so that they won’t be tired and grouchy when school starts and will be used to waking up before seven again.

  72. Richard Hicks says:

    Set up strict guidelines for going to bed, getting homework done.

    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  73. kelley c says:

    My tip is to buy extras during the BTS sales so later in the year when you need a folder or more paper you have some handy.

    kelleyc76(at)live(dot)com

  74. Jenny says:

    My best tip for back to school success is to volunteer at your child’s school…it helps with knowing what is going on in the classroom if you can see yourself.

  75. Jennifer Peaslee says:

    Having a white erase ‘activities’ board can help you keep track of everyone’s events each week :)

  76. Rochel S says:

    Being organized!! Plan out lunches, clothing etc the night before!

  77. Melanie Montgomery says:

    I make lists and plan for just about everything.

  78. rebecca day says:

    being as organized as possible!

  79. Lynde F says:

    Plan ahead! We start our kids a few weeks before school starts going to bed earlier, limiting tv & video games on week nights, having them read for 20 minutes, etc..

  80. Samantha says:

    Look for back to school deals and buy at the best time! Everything goes on sale after school starts, so anything you can wait out on, definitely wait!

  81. Kirsten says:

    Get them ready for school by adjusting bedtimes BEFORE school starts…the hardest part for my kids is getting up early after late nights/late mornings in the summer.

  82. kathy pease says:

    I get supplies and clothes throughout the summer so that I am not running around last minute to get things done

  83. christal c w says:

    I dont really have any tips, I look for tips to help myself. The only thing I can think of is to have a schedule and try to stick with it

  84. susan smoaks says:

    for me making a list and checking it twice helps me get everything done in time

  85. Lisa L says:

    I think having a family calendar in the kitchen makes everyone more organized & aware of each other’s schedules. Organization is key!

  86. carol lewis says:

    Be involved and stay involved. Ask your kids every day what they learned, what they need to study or do for the next day or week, ask if they need any additional help.

  87. trixx says:

    I think the key to success is open communication between you & your kid(s) so problems can be resolved quickly! trixpixel[at]gmail.com

  88. Nicole Larsen says:

    I get organized for the whole month prior to back to school—back to school supply shopping, clothes shopping, setting out our outfits, etc

  89. jeanne conner says:

    We always have lunches, backpacks and clothes ready the night before,,

  90. Lisa Garner says:

    My tip is to relax and realize that it may not all go perfectly and enjoy the time with your children before they head back to school.

  91. heather c says:

    A good homework spot, organized school folders and NO DISTRACTIONS!

  92. Patrice says:

    We start getting up early Mon-Fri a few weeks before school starts.

  93. Amy Lynn Desrosiers says:

    Placing important papers, and dates on the fridge is key for me. :)

  94. Wendy S says:

    The kids help pack lunches and we organize the notebooks and book bags together.