It’s that time again: back to school. For school kids this can be one of the most stressful points of the year and back to earth with a bump after the long summer holidays.
For those of us with kids, it can be even worse. But fear not. If you’re trying to get your head around how you’re going to cope with getting your little ones out of the door before 9am next week, we’ve put together some top tips that should make things go a little more smoothly.
Get the uniform sorted
Kids grow. A lot. The chances are that in the six or so weeks of the summer holidays your little ones will have completely outgrown whatever it was they were wearing on the last day of term. If you have more than one child, you might be lucky enough to be able to repurpose some hand-me-downs.
If you aren’t that lucky, then be prepared for an afternoon on the high street. Most of the big department stores and supermarkets do some decent deals on the essentials which can help keep costs down. Try and go shopping as last minute as possible, so you don’t come unstuck by any 11th-hour growth spurts, and if your kids hate shopping then incentivise: three hours in Marks and Spencer equals a trip to the ice cream parlour.
Stay ahead of packed lunches
While you might come across lots of imaginative lunchbox recipes full of elaborate salads and snacks for the little ones, don’t bite off more than you can chew when it comes to packing lunches. The best laid schemes can often go awry, so if you’re not Nigella then don’t sweat it – just plan to do something you can manage.
Chances are if you go too fancy with the lunchboxes, then your kids won’t want to eat it anyway, so keep it simple. It’s always best to opt for healthier snacks over the sweets and chocolate but remember that healthy doesn’t need to mean boring. Swap out crisps for sweet and salty popcorn, and chocolate bars for hummus and carrot batons to keep up the flavour.
Step up the stationery game
Who doesn’t love getting a whole raft of brand new stationery? We know we still get excited when we open up a new pack of Post-Its, so think about how great it is for your little ones when they get a whole pencil case crammed full of new stationery.
It’s easy to get carried away when buying new stationery, but you don’t have to let your bank balance take a hit. If you want to treat your kid, then get them one or two more expensive items (maybe a pencil case and calculator, if they need a new one) and then stock up on some cheaper alternatives when it comes to colouring pencils, crayons, and biros.
Organise a home inbox
Who doesn’t love bringing the office into your home life? OK, almost all of us. But that doesn’t mean that some office items can’t be great additions to your home to keep things running smoothly.
One such addition is a “home inbox” where your kids can put any permission slips or letters that they get given at school. This way they don’t get lost under piles of other letters, or laundry, or food shopping, or anything else that might be lying around. This can be a great way to keep on top of all that school correspondence, especially if you have more than one child at school.
Sort out the journey
If your kids are starting at a new school this September, one of the best things you can do to help curb any first day anxiety is to have a run-through of the morning journey beforehand.
Whether they’re walking, cycling, or getting the bus, having a trial run can help ease them into the new routine and mean they don’t get lost when it comes to the first day of term. And this can also help if you’re planning on driving your kids to school, as well, although remember that your journey is likely to be a lot busier once term starts.
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