School milk bottles from Ella James, Not on the High Street
If you are anything like me, you will be ready for the kids to go back to school next week, but also a bit sad that the holidays are nearly over.
Often, our routines will have changed over the summer and it can be hard getting back into a rhythm, but there are lots of ways to help you feel organised and school-ready.
So today I’m taking a look at some of my favourite tips for starting the new school term in the best way possible.
Check off Uniform – With a few days to go, do a quick inventory of their schoolwear to make sure you are not missing any items of uniform or PE kit and ensure it is hung up ready to wear. Some websites have a uniform checklist like this one at Netmums to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, or the school may have supplied you with one. Even if your child wears badged school uniform, it’s a good idea to have a spare supermarket school outfit for emergencies.
Label everything – yes, it’s a pain but you’ll be glad you did when they go and lose a brand new jacket or school jumper in the first week! (You will earn extra brownie points from the staff too who spend far too much time trying to reunite stray uniform with the correct owners.) Luckily, you don’t necessarily have to sew labels in these days; there are name stampers, iron-on or adhesive labels that do the job and you can often write names on with a laundry marker pen – no excuses!
School bags – remember they will need a bag for school work such as a satchel, messenger bag or backpack, but also a lunch bag if they’re not having school dinners and a PE kit bag.Even if they won’t be taking a packed lunch to school, it’s a good idea to pack a water bottle so they can grab a drink if thirsty.
Pencil case – as a girl I used to love shopping for a new pencil case, pencils, erasers etc. My sons just don’t have the same appreciation for a nice new pencil case and would happily make do with a chewed, stubby pencil borrowed from a friend! But it is a school bag essential – and I happen to think that having a smart pencil case, pens that work and sharp pencils to write and draw with can help them take a bit more pride in their schoolwork. Shoddy tools = shoddy workmanship! And I can’t recommend enough getting an automatic pencil sharpener. Believe me, you will thank me. You can find lots of good value back to school products at The Works right now.
Getting Organised – they key to a less stressful start to term is getting organised at home. A noticeboard or wall planner can be invaluable in helping you keep track of what day they need to take a PE kit, any afterschool clubs, cookery ingredients etc. Plus, by putting it on the wall for everyone to see, each person can take some responsibility for remembering. But if you prefer to write everything down on paper, there are lots of desk diaries, calendars and planners available on the high street and online.
We have found that a wall-mounted letter rack near the door, with a section assigned for each child has been helpful in keeping school letters, homework, reading books etc. organised and within easy reach. But a file folder for each child, kept in a designated spot can also work really well.
Also try and find a space for school bags and school shoes to live in which will avoid floor clutter and tripping hazards. Wall hooks for coats and bags and a crate or storage box or basket for shoes can be invaluable and save a mad dash around the house in the morning, looking for errant shoes.
Organise breakfast the night before; get the kids to lay the table with breakfast things such as cereal containers, bowls and spoons, glasses for juice. It will make the kitchen much less chaotic in the morning and the kids will have a better start to the day. Don’t forget to set your alarm the night before, too!
I recommend doing some batch cooking in preparation for those busy evenings ahead when you may be dashing in from work and out again to an after school activity. It is really easy to make up some freezer bags of slow cooker meals that you can defrost overnight and cook slowly the next day while you are out and it will be ready to enjoy when you walk through the door. There are lots of crockpot recipe ideas on Pinterest.
Have you got any more back to school ideas? If you have a routine or a tip that really works for your family I’d love you to share it in the comments below!