Hints from Heloise: Kindergarten primer

By Heloise

Dear Heloise: My twin grandchildren will be starting kindergarten in August. The school gave me some tasks to practice with the twins so they will be ready:

▪  We practice writing letters and words outside using sidewalk chalk.

▪  I make sure the kids can follow step-by-step directions.

▪  When they are telling me about their day, I ask them what happened first, then next and then last.

▪  I have the twins practice taking care of their books, art supplies, sweaters, etc.

▪  They play with the neighborhood children.

▪  I tell them that school is a place to have fun, learn and grow. But it’s not all playtime. They have to follow the rules and listen to the teacher.

▪  If they have any fears about school, I listen to them and reassure them.

The twins are eager to start school! — Mary P., Joliet, Ill.

Fabulous! Some other hints: Make sure the children can tie their shoes, write their names and pay attention for 15-20 minutes. I wish them all the best in their school career. Developing a love of learning is critical to success! Oh, and one more thing: read, read, read! Read to them; have them read to you. — Heloise

Let’s face it

Hello, Heloise: While spring-cleaning, I discovered I had way too many small bath towels, and I was getting low on face cloths. I decided to cut the towels and make face cloths.

I found I can get six cloths from one towel. I just whip the edges, and I’m done. No waste! — Sheila in Maine

Every last bit

Dear Heloise: When you get to the bottom of the toothpaste tube, get a clean pair of scissors and cut the top off the toothpaste tube.

You will find that there is a lot of toothpaste left in that area!

You can use a plastic picnic knife to scoop it out and put on your toothbrush, or you can dip a dry toothbrush into it to put it on your brush. — Margaret Ann H., via email

Inside the box

Dear Heloise: My linen cabinets were full and in disarray. My hint solved this. I used attractive hat boxes for storing full sets of bedsheets — one hat box per set. I stacked them on the floor of each bedroom. Handy and decorative! Now my linen closet is roomy enough for towels, blankets, etc. — Russell in Washington

One and done

Dear Heloise: I like single-serving packaged fruits, but the nutrition information is not printed on the individual containers.

To help me keep track of my carbohydrates, I write the carb info on each individual container with a black pen. That way, I have the info, even if the other packaging is discarded. — Y.N.K., via email

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.