Back to School Tips and Treats for Your Kids and Students

School has begun but do you still have some back-to-school errands on your list?

What you’ll find here is a directory of websites offering deals and tips for your family as you scoot your kids back to school in the coming days and weeks.

  • Amazon dedicates an entire page to school supplies you can buy for less than $5. How great is that? They have everything from hi-liters to erasers to clipboards.
  • The Back to School Twitter account, with 377,000 followers, provides do-it-yourself tips for students returning to school. You’ll find tips there every day.
  • Do you have a list of your back-to-school needs? Here’s a nifty spreadsheet from Super Moms you can download and fill out to make sure you get your kids everything they need.
  • Super Moms wrote another great post for parents. This one is 7 Tips & Tricks to Simplify Your Back-to-School Routine. I especially like No. 2: keep healthy snack bins in the fridge for easy access.
  • The National Education Association lists several back-to-school habits that are bad for your kids. Find the list in this Huffington Post article. One major concern is the weight of the backpacks kids carry these days. The Huffington Post wrote,

    A 2010 study using standing MRI with a small number of subjects revealed changes in the lumbar spine curve and disc height with increasing backpack weights. A larger survey of 3,500 students revealed that 64 percent admitted to having back pain at some time with backpacks, and 17 percent reported seeing a doctor for low back pain. Yet this is a problem for which, reportedly, very little has been done to effect change in actually removing the weight, rather than merely redistributing it.

    Make sure your child’s pack, according to Kids Health, is within 10% to 15% of your child’s weight. Before you purchase a rolling pack, check with your child’s school because they can cause tripping in crowded hallways.

  • Here is a fun story about how students can receive a free haircut courtesy of a barber, Courtney Holmes, of Iowa. Do you think you can get this tradition started in your community?
  • If you have children about to enter high school, you’ll want to see Newsweek’s ranking of America’s top high schools.
  • Has your elementary school-aged child been anxious about starting school? Here’s an article on this topic.
  • Edutopia suggests that if you want to get to know your child’s teacher, you might want to ask some or all of these 19 questions.
  • The U.S. government wants your kids to be and feel safe during an emergency. That’s they created a fun-looking, two-page form you can download, fill out, a tape to the refrigerator door and include in your kids’ lunchbox or backpack. It includes space for numbers for parents, neighbors and family members, and spaces for you to designate exits. 
  • The Tchers’ Voice Blog offers these tips for building relationships with students. I like tip No. 6: Designate a star student of the day. 
  • Edutopia offers tips on how to strengthen partnerships between students and parents. I like tip No. 2: get to know the values of the family. That’s so important.
  • Here’s a fun post from BuzzFeed: 16 Lies All Teachers Tell Themselves At The Start Of A New School Year. Enjoy reading it.
  • Finally, who doesn’t like peanut butter and jelly? Here’s a recipe your children will be sure to love from Everyday Savvy: Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars.


Back to School Tips and Treats for Your Kids and Students by Elizabeth B. Smith, Author & Illustrator

Elizabeth B. Martin is the author and illustrator of six picture books for children. You can view her books here for free.











Need Help with Your Classroom or Preschooler? Check Out Pinterest

Social media experts refer to Pinterest as a social media network.

The developers of Pinterest, however, don’t agree. They say it’s a browser, similar to Chrome and Safari.

What do I think? I say it’s a wonderful resource for parents and teachers.

Why? Because if you visit this website you’ll find a plethora of information that parents and teachers can use.

Well, first you’ll see images. But the images are primarily from informative blog posts with wonderful tips that parents and teachers can use with their families and classrooms.

If you’ve never used it, don’t worry. It’s easy. Just open an account and start searching for topics you’re interested in by typing certain words in the search bar.

Then you can find images you like, visit the website for the information, or simply start gathering the images into groups called pinboards.

My Pinboards Organized for Teachers and Parents

Here are some of the pinboards I have that might appeal to you:

Discover New Resources Though Pinterest

Why types of blog posts have I discovered. Let me just name a few.

Meet This Reading Mama: A beautiful image that I added to my How to Teach Kids to Read led me to This Reading Mama’s blog. Becky Spence homeschools her four kids and writes about literacy as well as provides free reading curricula. 

Support for Middle-Grade Teachers: I found an infographic on Pinterest that I thought was interesting. The theme is how not to let the kids in your classroom sabotage your day. Jennifer Gonzalez is the author of Middle Web, which focuses on helping middle school teachers. 

Crafts for the Younger Set: Stacey (no last name provided) is the author of Glue to My Crafts blog. One day she provided the idea and steps on how preschoolers or kindergarteners could use a paper plate and colored paper to create seahorses. It’s a pretty cool activity for young tykes in your classroom or family. 

More Projects for Toddlers: I found images on Pinterest that led me to the blog called Lil’ Scholars University’s Blog Spot. You’ll find all sorts of activities here from torn paper rainbow to learning how to count with colored cheerios.       

If you’re looking for ideas for your students or young family members, you are bound to find activities and support on this colorful website.

Illustration by Elizabeth B. Martin

Elizabeth B. Martin is the author and illustrator of six picture books for children. You can view her books here for free.

How to Have Fun While You Teach Kids about Climate Change

Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, I have a bevy of information for you to apply in your classroom or family.

We all want to teach today’s kids about the importance of being responsible and taking steps, however small, to protect the environment, right?

And we want our children to understand the importance of supporting efforts to reduce additional environmental damage caused by climate change.

Well, I have resources for you today that will make your job a little easier.

Below you’ll find a list of websites that are designed for children to engage with and learn from.

Educational Videos for Your Kids to Watch and Enjoy

The videos listed here are primarily for pre-K to early elementary school-aged kids.

Climate change: This is what the creators of this video say about it: This video is part of a teaching material about climate change for the younger children. The film is rather long [5 minutes], and the reason for this is to give the teacher a chance to explain the content to the pupils, and to discuss with them what is happening throughout the film.”

Environmental protection: Using the soundtrack to Lord of the Rings, this video features children talking about steps kids can take to protect the environment. This video has 269,047 views so far.

Water conservation: In this fun little video, two boys get together for a sleepover, and one teaches the other about water conservation. If you live on the West Coast, this would be a great video to show younger kids.

Trees: This is the creator’s description of the video: “Albert is a curious three-year-old boy who relies on his best friend, Junior, to answer all the questions he has about the world. When Albert's mom suggests something – he begins to wonder ... why does it rain; what is the biggest animal in the world; what is the highest mountain? When his buddy Junior responds, the viewers are taken on a journey of discovery as the answers to Albert's questions are revealed by the always smart and investigative, Junior.”

Websites that Promote Environmental Protection And Teach Kids about Climate Change

NASA’s Climate Kids: This website provides information and games for children. It also provides resources for teachers on how to teach kids about climate change.

Environmental Protection Agency: This website is dedicated entirely to teachers to help them learn more about environmental issues. This website is conveniently divided into sections for kids between the ages of K-5 and 6 – 8. It also has resources specifically for teachers and parents.

Eeeko World: The website has information about the environment, in general, garbage and recycling, air and water issues, and plants and animals. There’s also a future virtual field trip. The logo is a talking, animated monkey. I found him to be quite annoying, but your younger kids might think he’s cute.

Tiki the Penguin: You can tell by the website’s name that this is a website for kids about climate change. The website endeavors to teach kids various issues affecting climate change through the use of comical drawings,

Children of the Earth: This is what the creators of the website say: “At this time of global imbalance, we believe it is imperative that the children of the earth join together to create a healthier planet. We believe that an effective way to make this happen is to educate the general public on ecological concepts and to provide a forum for people to share their knowledge and ideas with each other. Children of the Earth United aims to accomplish these objectives through a free comprehensive, interactive educational information system accessible through the Internet and through specific educational programs geared towards mainstream society.”

Energy Kids: This is a wonderful website that has a fun design (no annoying monkeys that talk) and is informative. There suggested games and activities, a section for teachers, and tips on how to save energy. It even provides an energy calculator for teachers to use.

Flying Wild: This website is targeted for a middle-school audience. The site includes hands-on classroom and outdoor field experiences and project-based classroom applications. It’s perfect for teachers.

Environmental Science: If you have a high-school-aged daughters or sons, this is the perfect website for your kids. The website discusses career options and information on scholarships. It’s a comprehensive website for the college-bound student.

Teach Your Kids about Climate Change by Elizabeth B. Martin

Elizabeth B. Martin is the author and illustrator of six picture books for children. You can view her books here for free.