Are you already stressed thinking about the kids going back to school? Have you a million and one things to do but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered with 21 top tips for making back to school night super easy.
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Getting back to school and routine is always difficult. With our top tips for making back to school night super easy, you will hopefully find that everyone is more relaxed and that easing back into routine is a little easier.
Back to School Night Tips From Parents
About 2 weeks to go…
#1. Check your kids physical and mental health
Book any doctor or dentist appointments and clear up any issues that may affect your child’s ability to return to school on time.
#2. Order or buy all your final school supplies
Check each child’s booklist and ensure you have everything ordered together with the stationery needs. There is nothing worse than realising the night before that they are missing an essential book or tool.
Don’t forget school bags too. Check if your child needs a new one for the coming year or if last years just needs a quick clean. You don’t want to get to back to school night and discover school bags need cleaning or don’t fit books!
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#3. Cover and label the school books
Book covering is a great resource offered by many online retailers. I have often sat on back to school night covering books wishing I had got them covered when I ordered them!
Many books have to be brought to the schoolroom on the first day and left there, so they need to be clearly labelled with the child’s name in advance. Personalised labels are a quick and easy way to label all your child’s books and belongings.
#4. Label belongings
Don’t forget to label or write your child’s name with a laundry pen on all their belongings, clothes, shoes, pencil cases, coats, bags, lunch boxes, bottles etc. anything that can get left behind!
#5. Check the School Uniforms
Check all the school uniforms to make sure you have everything you need. Experience tells me that getting these early is your best bet as you may not get the sizes, colours etc. you need if you leave it too late. Don’t forget the gym gear as well.
When buying your school uniform, look for items with extras as standard. For instance at M&S many of their uniform fabrics are stain resistant, water repellant and crease resistant.
You’ll also find innovative sizes and fits including Plus fit (6cm wider in the body), Slim fit (4cm narrower in the body), as well as shorter and longer lengths on trousers and skirts. And clever design features like adjustable cuffs.
#6. Consider visiting the school in advance with your child
This is especially for those first timers. They may be so overwhelmed on the first day that a visit shortly in advance will help demystify the venue and alleviate their fears.
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#7. Freeze a few dinners for that first week back to school
Make a few double batches as you cook the week before and save and freeze the 2nd batch.
This will help you and the family get back into a routine and juggle work and homework commitments.
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2 to 3 days to go...
#8. Re-establish bedtime routines!
During those summer evenings the kids all tend to stay up later and that is fine if they can laze on in the morning. You want to avoid exhaustion and tension on back to school morning so it’s advisable to get those bedtime routines back in place a few days in advance.
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#9. Clear your own schedule
If possible, for those first few days back to school, try and reschedule work travel commitments or meetings so that you can focus on the task at hand of getting the kids back and settled.
Some parents like to get a school year organiser at this time to fill in key dates and keep track of everyone’s activities and schedules.
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#10. Have a dedicated storage area!
Identify an area in your home, hallway, closet where the inevitable back packs, gym bags and coats will go. Make sure everyone knows where this is in advance and ideally give everyone a dedicated spot/coat hook!
#11. Identify some healthy back to school lunch box options
A child’s mental ability will be determined by good, healthy food. So do your preparation for the first week back by stocking up on some healthy lunchbox fillers.
You might find these useful:
- 100 Healthy Lunch Box Ideas Kids Love
- Download this free lunch box planner to help you get organised.
- Our Free Lunchbox Ebook with tips from parents
- Great lunch box ideas for kids
- 9 Fresh New Ideas for Lunches
- Top Tips for Healthy Lunchboxes
#12. Start a checklist
Start putting a morning and evening checklist together and put it on the fridge. This will help everyone know in advance what needs to be done and in what order.
Back to school night…
#13. Lay out the school outfit for each child
This should include shoes, bags, coats etc. This will avoid any morning panics about where everything is and ensure calm is maintained.
#14. Make the lunches!
I know it’s a chore but it will save you time and it’s one less thing to do on the first morning back.
#15. Have a family meal together
Having a family meal together, can be a nice way to welcome the new school term. Get the kids to choose the menu, and even help you prepare the dinner.
Sitting around the table together will allow for conversation, and a chance to discuss any issues or fears about the start of term too.
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#16. Avoid technology
I know this can be a major obstacle in most modern homes – but if you can replace that time with a family meal followed by an activity together, e.g. a board game or card game, everyone will be a whole lot calmer and get to bed on time.
#17. Prepare a healthy breakfast
Breakfast is one of the most important meals for the day for school kids, and skipping breakfast can set them on the wrong track.
Get organised the night before by setting out cereal bowls, chopping up some fresh fruit or prepare your ingredients for a smoothie. Have some cereal bars at the ready in case something does go wrong.
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#18. Set the alarm clocks!
Be school ready. Ideally set 2 alarms in case one doesn’t go off. The last thing you want is to sleep in on the first day back to school!
We set our alarm clocks 15 minutes early during the first few days back just to get back in the routine and not have everyone rushing and stressed.
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#19. Write a “love note”
It can be a stressful time going back to school, especially for the little ones. Write a little note and pop it into their lunchbox telling them how proud you are of them. It’s guaranteed to get a smile and perk up their day!
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#20. Give your kids a hug!
Never underestimate the value of a good hug. I hug my kids every morning and evening and it does wonders for their self esteem – knowing that you are there for them, no matter what.
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If you get stressed your kids will too! Take a few deep breaths and get some fresh air.
However, with your preparation done you should have avoided the majority of potential pitfalls and back to school night and day should be child’s play!
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