Back To School Checklist


Getting ready for that all-important first day at school can be a headache for busy moms. It’s good to start early with preparations to avoid doing everything in a rush just a few days before school starts. Here’s a week-by-week countdown of things you need to do to make sure that your child’s first day at school goes smoothly.

Four weeks before school starts

  • Buy the school uniform. It’s good to buy a couple of spare tops to avoid stressful late night laundry when accidents occur. Skip the shoes for now.
  • Put name tags on EVERYTHING! Jerseys, coats, shoes, socks and bags can be expensive if they have to be replaced. By stitching or ironing a permanent name tag into each item, lost items may be returned to you. No label – no chance!

Tip – Look into the availability of second-hand uniforms to save money. The school is a good place to start, or ask other mothers.

Two weeks before

  • Buy new school shoes. Badly fitting shoes can cause lasting foot problems so make sure the shoes are flexible and fit comfortably.

Tip – Don’t buy school shoes or sandals too far ahead of time as kids’ feet seem to grow overnight at times!

One week before

  • Enroll your child in some after-school activities
  • Buy a Week-at-a-Glance planner and put it on the fridge. You can note all your child’s activities on it, such as swimming and sport days. Include holidays, play dates and birthday parties so you know exactly where you should be and when.
  • Invite school friends around so your child can get excited about attending school with friends they already know

Tip – Extra activities outside school help children develop new skills and make new friends. Discover whether your child is sporty, musical or good at drama and the arts by joining some extra-mural activities and groups. But beware: it’s good to limit your child to one or two activities. It can be very costly and time-consuming if they participate in everything. Better to learn how to do one thing well than do several things badly.
The night before

  • Prepare a packed lunch box with non-perishable items
  • Fill juice bottles and refrigerate ready for the morning
  • Lay out the uniform and make sure nothing has been forgotten
  • Pack everything into the school bag, including pens, notebooks, crayons
  • Check there are no extra activities such as swimming or PE that may need extra clothing
  • Sign any paperwork and put it inside the school bag on top of everything else so it won’t be forgotten
  • Make your child a special hot drink before bed and read them a story to relax them ready for a good night’s sleep

Tip – Set the alarm clock – you don’t want to oversleep!

On the day

  • Prepare a nutritious breakfast early to allow extra time for unforeseen emergencies
  • Make sure your child is washed and dressed before sitting down for breakfast so you know you are on target time-wise. If your child is a particularly messy eater, you might want to start with breakfast to avoid spills on uniforms
  • Add a drink and freshly made sandwich to the prepared lunch box and you’re good to go.

Tip – Take a photo of your child dressed and ready for their first day at school. It’s an historic moment for both mom and child!

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