As the year is quickly speeding toward August, that is usually the time that every parent and teacher is preparing for the return of the kiddos to schools and colleges all around the country.

And while summer is winding down and that tends to mean the kids get even busier with preparations for the start of school, there are actually a few fun crafting projects that you or your kids might enjoy as part of getting into the school mode.

Not that any kid thinks "school mode" is a good thing compared to "summer mode." But at least these ideas can make the rest of summer fun while transitioning into school mode.

Many of these ideas are perfect for school, which can help provide daily reminders of the fun that "summer mode" was, and may make "school mode" at least a bit more tolerable. Check out some of these ideas - have you done any of these yourself, or do you have other ideas that you'd like to share?

Textbook covers

Use heavy construction paper, maps, brown paper bags or similar materials to dress up textbooks and protect them from spills and stains that come from after-school snacks. Or dinner. An extra pocket. Using clear plastic business-card holders, you can attach one to the front of a book or folder to carry small papers like class schedules or small Post-It notes.

Notebook piggyback

A small notebook can be attached to a textbook by wrapping a couple large rubber bands around the front cover of the textbook.

Lunch menu magnets

Your child could pick out lunches for the week; you can make colored magnets, a color for each sandwich, snack, fruit/vegetable and drink or dessert option that week, and the child can fill in the blanks for each day. Save time and money with grocery shopping by planning ahead!

Woven pouches

These can help store your child's electronic device like a cell phone or iPod inside a backpack and lessen the risk of scratching.

Pencil/pen case

Use pieces of felt to store several pencils or pens.

Day planner

Create a neat day planner using pieces of leather. You can find some different colors and create something for less than what a finished item costs in a store.