Back to school sanity savers
By Ella Walsh |

Switching from the zen of school holidays to the chaos of the first week of school can be a rude shock without a little planning. Here's some ideas from Kidspot to stop back to school turning back into a headache.

  • Get back into a routine.

    Sleep routines often drift during the school holidays with your kids sleeping later each morning. To ensure they'll be fresh for the first day back at school, use the last week of the holidays to start waking them a little earlier each day until you're back to your school term morning routine. Good luck!
  • Don't buy school shoes at the last minute.

    While buying new school shoes is a task best left to the end of the school holidays, don't leave it too late - you may find yourself stuck in a shoe shop queue to rival Christmas Eve shopping crowds.
  • Break in new school shoes.

    When you buy new school shoes, encourage your kids to wear them around the house for an hour or two for a couple of days to both break them in and to blister-proof their feet.
  • All backpacks are not the same!

    When choosing a new school backpack, make sure that you choose one that fits your child's back. Even if your child has a heavy bag to carry each day, a bag that is the right size for him will make the load a lot easier to manage.
  • Choose a lunch box that works for your child.

    There can be a bit of trial and error when it comes to finding that perfect lunch box, but you'll fast-track the process if you take the time to find out exactly how your kids eat their lunch. Quiz them on what they like to have in their lunch box. It's better to discover that your child trades her apple every day with a friend at the beginning of the year then at the end!
  • Label everything!

    Label the obvious stuff (hat, lunch box, school bag) and the not-so obvious stuff (shorts, tunic, undies) - you'll be amazed by the ability your kids have to shed their possessions. And if your school has Mufti Days, be especially sure to label the fancy regular clothing that goes to school too. 
  • Have a Back to School fashion parade.

    Spend a morning with your kids and have them try on every piece of uniform they own - it's incredible how much children grow over summer and you don't want to discover their uniform doesn't fit on the first morning back to school. Make a list of items you need to buy then hit the Uniform Shop!
  • Check there are no nasty surprises in the school bag

    A mum who has learnt the hard way will already have thoroughly cleaned out the school bag at the end of the school year, but those of us who weren't that clever should clean it out now to avoid a later run-in with a six-week old banana!
  • With a new school year, come new routines.

    Check you have all the practical details sorted. Do your kids need bus passes? A house key? An updated Important Phone Numbers list?
  • Take the time to talk to your kids about new routines.

    You, no doubt, have everything organised in your head but have you communicated this? Talk through Before or After School Care organisation, new bus routes, school pick-up routines and any other organisational changes they should be aware of.
  • Spend time with a special friend.

    If you've been away a lot during the school holidays, or you're mostly hung out together as a family, your kids may not have seen a lot of their friends during the summer. Organise a play date in the days leading up to the term commencing so your kids can reconnect with friends, which will help them slip right back into their comfort zone in the playground on that first day.
  • Create a School Launch Pad at home.

    Dedicate a space at home (near the front door or your child's bedroom often works well) where your kids can pack and unpack their bags and where you can get school stuff organised. Got the sports kit organised for tomorrow? Place it in the Launch Pad ready for pick up. Easy!
  • Invest in an Inbox at home for each child you have at school.

    This way you can keep school notes and relevant information for each child in one place and separate to the larger pile of general household paperwork. This is also a great place to house homework books and readers - anything that comes home from school and needs to be returned again.

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