Thursday, July 24, 2014

Back to School In Style

Mid-July is here.

That means that while summer vacation only just started for us in the north, the back-to-school merchandise is already in full display on store shelves.

If you are like me, the sales are too tempting not to take advantage of, especially with Naturally Sweet Sisters that love to shop, even for school supplies.

Not to mention, that waiting also means the high probability that nothing is left in September when school actually begins.

As I shop, I like to look for ways to blend t1d into school.  This is the PERFECT time to look for all of the cute and functional holders for holding t1d gear.

In no specific order, here is a list of things that I like to grab when the prices and the selection are good!

1.)  Plastic Tubs for Locker, PE Locker, Classroom, Office, Bus:

These handy little tubs can be personalized with a label maker, address label or even a sharpie pen.  On this box, I chose a piece of Washi craft tape and wrote on top of it.  We put these everywhere our child will be throughout the school.  As a gesture of t1d community spirit, I also tell everyone that this is not just for my child but for anyone with t1d needs.  One year, a type 2 teacher felt low after a long day of teaching and wrote me an email telling that he had been ever so grateful to have the 'low box' nearby.  He replenished the supplies and it made us all feel a bit more united in our efforts to keep everyone safe.

On another note, I tend to add what my child likes and also what can be stored for at least a school year.  While we will still pack juice boxes, I find that the expiration dates are only good for a few months.  At Christmas vacation time, we often remove and restock the older items.  Candy like this could survive an Apocalypse and still  be a-ok!

2.)  Binder 3-Hole Pouches:

A mom gave me this tip last year.  Ironically she had been using this method for years with her non-t1d children but after her youngest was dx, this became her perfect solution on how to keep mobile glucose and supplies on her child at all time.

Simply take all of the items that your child would take to class and place them in a three-ring binder pouch.  We found ours for about $0.70 at Walmart.  For our middle school kids, we buy seven of the pouches and place them in seven different binders - one for each class - and our children use this as homework binder too.

The best part of this system is there never a chance to be without a pencil, eraser, pen, highlighter, sharpener and especially GLUCOSE!

3.)  Magnetic Locker Containers:

If having a plastic tub isn't enough of a reminder for your child, than this is the perfect invention!  Locker containers that have a magnet are great for storing easy-to-grab glucose.  The saying in our house is that if a child only has four minutes in-between classes but feels low, we would rather treat first - than, check later.  With a full year of middle school under our belt, the biggest learning curve we had was our daughter worry of being tardy to class.  Even though she has a 504 plan that excuses lateness due to t1d, she felt awkward arriving late in front of her peers.  Solving that was having her pop a piece of glucose food into her mouth and then check bg at her desk in the classroom.

As another bonus, these little containers work great for the PE locker in storing vitals like deodorant!  The teachers will thank you!

4.)  Backpacks:

Yes, most all parents are already going to be buying backpacks.  I just wanted to mention something that I find helpful in selecting one.  While your child may be looking for a certain character or fashion design, as an adult, I am looking for a special diabetes area.

We love to find backpacks that have a zippered pocket with lots of storage.

Pencil holder bands make great spots for Smarties candy (USA candy) and little pouches work great for fruit snacks and glucose.  I also try to stash some money in the packs for emergencies.  Over the years, there have been times when it has come in handy.  If you buy hot lunch and your account runs out, it is nice for your child to have a little stash of cash.

I also like little zippered carry-alls that I can attach to the backpack.  As you can see, we found this little one on and have it clipped to our daughter's golf bag.  As you probably guessed, it is filled with glucose.  Lows are NOT happening on my watch!  Well, as much as I can help, anyway :)

5.)  Lunch boxes and water bottles:

This is the perfect time to find water bottles to help keep your child hydrated during the school day.  It is also a great time to find lunch boxes.  Lunch boxes work not just for carrying lunch, but for also toting t1d testing supplies to and from school.  We particularly like ones with extra pockets and also, with a long strap.  A bonus pocket to keep water on board is extra nice too.

I hope this was helpful and gave you some insight into what the Naturally Sweet Sisters will be bringing back to school.

And when you are done with your shopping, just pack it all up and forget about it until school starts.

Then, tease your kids about having to write notes about calling mom!

Happy Back-To-School Shopping!!!!


Marjorie said...

Great ideas!
Amy would love the backpacks shown in the picture. We have one more year left at the primary school, then its on to middle school. I'm not looking forward to that at all. Our current school has been so good!

How about a post about lunch ideas kids will actually eat. I get stuck in a rut by October!

Rachael said...

great tips!!! Thanks for sharing.

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

Ha! No promises to get them to eat but I can show you how I pack. Maybe it will help?! Kids are so finicky!

Thanks for the kindness! Glad to be able to share some ideas. :)

Marjorie said...

would love to see what you pack!