The late August Bank Holiday weekend is symbolic of the end of the kids summer holidays, with only a week left. It’s also the time I start worrying that I’ve forgotten something in the back to school prep – and I can’t be the only one! So here’s my essential Back to School list!
Most kids need new uniform after the summer holidays, so even if you think they haven’t grown it’s worth a double check! Now’s a great time to get it as most shops have the uniform on special offers, so if you have the money to buy the next size up as part of a deal it works out cheaper in the long term. Don’t forget socks and shoes!
It’s also a good idea to have a look into the PE kit requirements for your kids schools, mine has recently switched to plain white tops and plain black/navy bottoms, and many secondary schools now insist on a specific embroidered PE kit.
Most schools will have the option to purchase school uniform pre-loved, which is a great idea if you are concerned about the cost or environmental impact of school uniform, especially if your kids are growing very quickly.
Getting the equipment sorted is a great idea. I’d really advocate for an appropriately sized backpack, as the dual straps balance the weight of the bag across the body, rather than a cross body bag. Before buying pencil cases and stationary, have a look into if your kids school requires specific things like clear pencil cases or specific colours of pens before shelling out on things that won’t get used.
While you may have got your everyday childcare options sorted, it’s a good idea to have already decided what to do in an emergency. While you may have a plan for your kids after school, have a discussion now about emergencies like snow days, illness, and teacher strikes.
Extra Curricular and After School
After school clubs are a great way to get your kids to explore new hobbies, meet new friends and socialise with existing ones, and they’re a great way to teach discipline and commitment. Find out what clubs are on offer and see if they appeal to your kids. Usually there are sports clubs, drama or choir, and homework clubs or catchup sessions for specific subjects. Regularly attending these clubs can really help to boost your child’s confidence and learn new things.
If you’ve got older teens who are interested in making money, ensuring they have time alongside their studies, a part time job or tutoring could be encouraged. Once they’re old enough, getting your kids involved in household chores like loading the dishwasher, making their sandwiches, laundry, hoovering, etc. can help them learn life skills, independence, and help you gain some time for yourself!
You should have decided by now if your kids will be having packed lunches or school dinners, or a mix of the two. Make sure that you’ve got suitable lunch boxes, sandwich bags, and water bottles – and that what you’ve got is clean! It’s a good idea to give any Tupperware a swish around with food-safe disinfectant.
If you’re doing packed lunches, make sure you’ve got a few different options on rotation to stop your kids getting bored of the same old sandwiches every day. Make sure you know the rules for school lunch boxes as many schools are now nut-free to avoid allergens, and many advise against packing chocolate or crisps. Involving your kids in packing and making their own lunches (with supervision, if needed)will help ensure they actually want to eat the food, and avoid waste.
New School or Changes
If your little ones are starting school or going off to school by public transport by themselves for the first time, it’s a great idea to do a practise run. This not only will help to build their confidence and reassure you as a parent, but check that your timings are all correct before the first day!
This is an especially good idea if your child doesn’t do well with change to their routine, as if you start doing this now there’s more time for them to adapt to the change.