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Back to school with a DIY pencil holder

DIY pencil holder - the gingerbread house

This is a funny time of year. My 4 year old is going through his last week of Nursery and we have 6 weeks of fun before he starts Reception. It’s both exciting and sad as we start a new chapter as a family.

With him starting Reception we have a list of essential items to buy. I have really happy memories of the start of a new term. Do you remember shopping for a new school bag and lunch box? My favourite part was always shopping for new stationery, nothing beats the smell of a brand new pencil case, pencils and those strange mathematical things like a set square, which I’m sure I never actually used!

I love buying stationery which is why I was excited to hear that Ryman have launched a brand new website. You can take a look here Our local high street is pretty poor for shops so I do a lot of shopping online. Ryman have all the essential stationery that you could need for study, the office or your home. They also sell office furniture and technology, with everything from digital cameras and tablets, to printers and shredders.

Starting school family traditions

I’m thinking perhaps the Back to School Fairy could make a visit over the holidays with some #brandnew essentials for my sons’ school bag. I also thought it might be fun to start some of our own family traditions to commemorate his first day of Reception. So far I’ve come up with :

special back to school breakfast

recording his height

drawing round his hand

asking him a couple of questions – such as favourite film/food/toy

take a photo of him in his nice, clean uniform (because I have a feeling those crisp white shirts won’t last very long!)

Easy DIY pencil holder

We’ve also been trying out some back to school crafts, our favourite was making a pencil holder. We just raided our recycling box for a tin can, made sure it was clean and dry and decorated it with some road track washi tape. Couldn’t be easier!

DIY pencil holder - the gingerbread house

Let me know if you have any back to school traditions as I’d love to hear them.


  • Reply
    Amy Squires
    July 17, 2014 at 10:07 am

    My twins have their last day tomorrow and I’m so emotional about it. I can’t believe they will be at primary school come September! It’s a lovely idea about to do back to school traditions! I may steal a few!

  • Reply
    Jen aka The Mad House
    July 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    So simple, yet so effective. My boys have passata tins in their room as pencil tins!

  • Reply
    you baby me mummy
    July 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Lovely ideas for traditions. I hope the transition to school goes well x

  • Reply
    Ness (@jibberjabberuk)
    July 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    When I was a child we always went to Wimbledon Common on the Sunday before school restarted. We would pick blackberries and have a picnic tea. Inbetween we would go searching for Wombles. We try to do this now but this week the blackberries are already starting to ripen!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    We always do the photo at the front door too, just to see how much they’ve grown each year. I should actually take a photo on the last day too with how grubby and small the school uniform now looks!!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I remember my mum taking me out to get all my stationary when I first started school and being really excited about it. I don’t think we had any other traditions though. X

  • Reply
    July 17, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    love repursposing tins! I used to love stationary shopping ready for the new school year!

  • Reply
    Hannah Staveley
    July 17, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Harrr just love it , what a good way to save money .x

  • Reply
    Nayna Kanabar (@SIMPLYF00D)
    July 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    This looks really smart and stylish.

  • Reply
    July 17, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I love the idea of back-to-school traditions. May well have to try and think up some of our own

  • Reply
    Joanna Sormunen
    July 18, 2014 at 1:08 am

    What a great DIY pencil holder! I always take my son to have his photo taken with his new school uniform and the hair cut. Getting the uniform and the hair cut are also part of start of the new school year. As well as choosing his school supplies and getting them all ready.

  • Reply
    Rachel (@Parenthoodhighs)
    July 18, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Love the pencil tin!

    My eldest starts nursery in September so we will hopefully start some back to school traditions – love these ideas!

  • Reply
    Zena's Suitcase
    July 18, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I didn’t with my son but I don’t think he’ll turn down pancakes on his first day in 6th form.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Back to school already?
    Let’s enjoy the holidays for a while… this said, the holder will make for a perfect holiday craft project.

  • Reply
    Helen Dickinson
    July 21, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Great post. Cheap and easy idea which will look great in kids playrooms. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Helen @ Witty Hoots
    July 22, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    There seems to be quite a lot of us waiting for our little ones to start Reception – I hope that we can have a fun packed few weeks before the school run re starts! I like the tin can pencil holder!

  • Reply
    Kim Carberry
    August 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Aww! What lovely ideas! I love the idea of the Back to School Fairy. So sweet x

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