20 Tips for Your Child Starting School

Do you have a child starting school for the first time this year? Okay big deep breaths, and relax. It can be a stressful time for child and parent, so we asked our Mykidstime parents for their top tips to make the transition to big school an easier experience for all. Here are 20 Tips for your Child Starting School:

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#1. Label every article of clothing

Check semi-regularly that they are still labeled. Some of the iron-on ones come off after repeated washes and the pens can fade.

#2. Change out of uniform when they get home from school

This will really help save on washing and on wear and tear. Check for any major stains and do a quick rinse that night, rather than discovering at 8 a.m. the next morning!

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#3. Choose a lunch box & drink bottle your child can open and close themselves.

The harder type plastic lunchboxes are easier to wash and keep fresh smelling, but are not as common as the soft style.  Try to pick a drink bottle that has an extra cap over the lid to save spilling.

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#4. Several small containers within the lunchbox or bag are good

For example, have one with a few crackers, one with a few grapes or tangerine segments, one with some carrot sticks, one with cut-up sandwich and a cheese stick.  Or buy a lunchbox that has separate compartments.

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#5. Avoid yoghurt

Avoid sending in full size yoghurts or the corner type yogurts as they  take up space in the lunchbox, plus often the kids don’t have that much time to eat all their lunch and most importantly, yoghurt ends up all over their uniform.  Check with your school on their yoghurt policy as some won’t allow yoghurts or frubes in.

LunchBox_ideas-01#6. Make lunch the evening before

Make up the lunchbox the day before rather than in the morning and pop it in the fridge, you won’t feel so stressed in the mornings when you are busy trying to get everyone dressed, fed and out the door.  A logistical exercise, if ever there was one!

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#7. Check their school bag every night

Check every day for school notes or invitations.  Your child will forget to tell you there’s a note so make sure to ask them if they got anything from their teacher to give to you.

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#8. Put a key-ring on their school bag & coat

Even if they can read their own name, chances are there will be several children with the same brand.

Girls’ bags can have a ribbon tied on the handle to help them pick it out.

#9. Cover books

Cover books with clear film or book covering so they can still identify the book by the front cover.  Label with name on the front cover, so the teacher doesn’t have to open 20 books to hand them out. Most schools keep the books in school so tell your Junior Infant this, otherwise there might be tears when the teacher “takes their books away!”

Often bookshops offer book covering free or at a reduced cost if you order so many books with them. But if you have to cover yourself, then easier to buy the ready-made covers that slip onto the book rather than the roll of covering film which is a bit fiddly.

#10. Don’t dawdle the first few days

Try not to dawdle too much dropping the kids off during their first few days of school, they pick up on Mum/Dad being upset and once one starts usually a few more will follow!


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This website was created by Jill Holtz and Michelle Davitt, both of whom are mothers of young children. Jill and Michelle decided to create this resource themselves, and launched in 2007.


  1. KateM says:

    Velcro !! Velcro straps on shoes rather than laces will save you valuable minutes in the mornings.

  2. jenniferb jenniferb says:

    Practice the “closing the coat routine” over the summer – found my son stuggled with zips for first year, so bought a jacket with zips and popper buttons

  3. fionap says:

    My eldest starts school in September so I have found this article to have great tips-all of which I will be following and no doubt referring back to. Thank you Mykidstime!!