Back to School Tips, Tricks, and Traditions... and a great giveaway from Sharpie and Paper Mate

Back to school is a busy time for families, but with a little planning, it can be stress-free and a lot of fun! Today, I am sharing some fantastic back to school tips, tricks, and traditions. I am also sharing FREE printable gift tags and a fun contest from Sharpie* and Paper Mate*.

1) Shop early, and let the kids pick out their own school supplies. Shopping early will ensure you get everything on your list, and children will be excited to fill their backpacks with their favourite items. Make sure to pick up some Paper Mate Ink Joy gel pens in fabulous colours. (My boys LOVE them!) Also, keep things simple by shopping all in one place. Chances are Walmart* will have everything you need at great prices.


2) Get organized. My secret weapon is this wonderful homework station that hangs on the back of the door leading down to our basement. A clear shoe rack full of school supplies doesn't take up much space and keeps everything handy and easy to find. Using colourful pens to make lists and update family calendars is also a great way to keep things organized and fun. 


3) Prep for first day of school traditions like: special photos, treats for classmates, and a little gift for the teacher. Sharpies in a cup make a perfect first day of school teacher gift. I found this super-cute mug at Walmart, I filled it with assorted Sharpie markers, and I added a fun "A little something to keep you sharp on the first day of school" tag I designed. (24 Sharpie Fine or Sharpie Ultra Fine markers fit perfectly in a mug.) I know my boys' teachers will love these colourful, fade and water resistant markers!


You could also forgo the mug, and just attach a tag to a package of markers. Check out the tag I designed that says, "MARK my words. We are going to have a fun year!" Cute, right?


To download the tags I designed: right-click on one of the tags below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.



I love the idea of kids bringing a gift on the first day of school. Teachers and students spend a lot of time together, and giving a gift to a new teacher is a nice way to start off the school year.



And I know how you might be able to create these fun first day of school gifts for free! Just take a moment to enter a great contest for a chance to win one grand prize of a $250 Walmart gift card and Sharpie & PaperMate gift pack (ARV $315). You also have the opportunity to win one of three Sharpie & PaperMate gift packs (ARV $65).

For all the details and a chance to win, check out the Sharpie and PaperMate Back to School Giveaway here.

♥ 
Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)


*Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Sharpie/Paper Mate and have received compensation for this post. All opinions in the post are my own.

34 comments:

  1. Awesome BTS idea! Amazing prize! And I LOVE the Wake Up & Be Awesome mug. I will definitely be copy-catting you! ;)

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    1. I love the mug too! Walmart has a whole wall of awesome mugs. You should totally check them out.

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  2. I have 3 kids & always checking your posts for unique & practical ideas -this is wonderful, and the prize is a bonus!! Thanks Gina. from Cecilia

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    1. That's so lovely, Cecilia! I hope you enter the contest. Good luck!

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  3. Love the sharpie gift idea, tags are very cute!!!! Thanks for an awesome giveaway :)

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  4. My granddaughters who are 12 and 14 would use theSharpie and PaperMate products to get ready for Back to School by personalizing their school supplies.

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  5. Wow , great contest!!
    Love the tips as well

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  6. Love all the colours!

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  7. This would be a great help for preparing both my own kids and my classroom for back to school, everyone would love the colour selection of the sharpies!

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  8. The sharpie gift idea was great!! Thanks for the chance. I have 3 kids eith two of them going to school this year this cerainly would be a help and a blessing.

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  9. Awesome prize - thanks for the opportunity!

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  10. oh my gosh I LOVE your organizational idea of hanging a clear shoe rack on the back of a door WOW! with all those sharpies and bits and pieces that come with school, that is such an amazing and useful idea. Definitely keeping this in mind!

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  11. I love the clear show organizer and the way you have made everything accessible. I had no idea there were so many Sharpie colours! And the PaperMate colours! Oh my!!!

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  12. All of these tips are awesome to organize my daughter´s school supplies, I do use the mug trick and for sure I am buying one of those shoe bags!!!

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  13. These are really great tips. I love the idea of bringing a gift on the first day... brownie points off the bat for sure ;)

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  14. I am a InkJoy hoarder and have packages hidden in cupboards 'just in case" One can never have too many Sharpies or Pens :) These would continue to help me stay organized and keep my to-do lists bright and fun

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  15. Fantastic .....The sharpies are a fantastic addition - thanks for the tip on the Giveway.

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  16. Ooo I love sharpies (so do my kids but at 6 and 2 I hoard them for myself - for obvious reasons) :)

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  17. this post is so colourful! what great ideas!

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  18. As a teacher, I would love this gift! Never too many sharpies! I go through a lot every school year (mostly purchased from my own funds...)

    I also love the Ink Joy pens. Makes marking more colourful! :)

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  19. With two boys heading to college/university this will really come in handy!!!
    Thanks for this great giveaway!!!

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  20. We gave sharpies to the teachers one year as a back to school gift! Sharpies are always appreciated!

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  21. How sharp! ;)

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  22. Great giveaway! Thanks for opportunity! I am a middle school teacher and a mom of 3 so Sharpies are super!! :-)

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  23. We have donated some materials for back to school with our youth in the community and also for teachers in their staff workshops and conferences for the school year.....livivua

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  24. LOVE the tags! I always make the teachers a first day of school survival bag including water, chocolate, pens, and other essentials - but I love the sharpie idea! THANK YOU! Kristy Lauriat

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  25. Love the back of the door clear work station!

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  26. Great ideas! Such a cute idea with the mug!

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  27. Those sharpies are great.

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  28. Some fabulous ideas. I need to hunt down that mug to give to someone special. I also love the idea of a small gift for the teacher on the first day....getting off on the right foot. Love it. Thanks for the tags too. And you can never have enough Sharpies right?

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  29. Put you mark on your prized possessions and stuff you don't want to loose.

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  30. I would use this to label everything

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