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Whether you love school holidays or find them a drag, they will eventually end. It’s pretty common for the final week to come around so quickly you realise you are not at all prepared for the kids to return to school.

The final week can be a mad rush of trying to get organised, so to make it simpler – here is a list of seven essential things you need to do before school goes back:

  1. Check your kid’s uniform: There is nothing worse than realising on the first day back at school that your child’s only school dress has a massive tear they ‘forgot’ to tell you about, your child has grown a foot over the holidays or they ‘lost’ their school shoes on the last day of term. Prise their sports uniform off the floor where it was thrown last December, get them to try on their shoes and sneakers, check they have a hat and make sure everything is washed before the big day.
  2. Empty their school bag: Ideally this should have been done last year, but it is entirely possible that there is a mouldy mandarin peel lurking in the bottom of a bag, or a crusty water bottle that needs an industrial wash. Make your kids go through all the pockets and empty everything (including the piles of sand). With any luck they will find some toys that will amuse them for a few hours while you scrape melted crayon off their lunchbox.
  3. Get them used to waking up early again: If your kids are the type to sleep until 10am during holidays, start setting an alarm and get them prepared for early starts again. If you have been letting kids stay up later during the holidays then it’s also time to bring their bedtimes forward.
  4. Have a pyjama day: If your kids have started whinging that they don’t want to go back to school, then you need to make it look more enticing by boring them silly for a whole day. Make it ‘seem’ like fun and call it a pyjama day. ‘Accidentally’ pull the cord out of the TV so it can’t work, and change the WiFi password so they can’t get on the computer. Have your pyjama day the day before you do the food shopping so there is nothing interesting in the house to eat. Pull out some old photo albums and a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle or make them clean their rooms.
  5. Buy new sunscreen: Sending kids back to school in the hottest month of the year is always a worry, but a fresh bottle of sunscreen (plus some ‘purse packs’ for their bags) is an easy way to get peace of mind. Sunscreen does expire, so if you have been using the same bottle for the past few years, it might be time for a new one. It’s also a good time to check stationery supplies and make sure calculators have fresh batteries.
  6. Plan a new schedule together: A new school year means a year of new responsibilities. Now is the time to sit down and agree on chores and pocket money, home work schedules, screen time, after school activities and other ‘rules’ for term time. Get the kids to brainstorm lunch box ideas and remind them of issues such as road safety, stranger danger and what to do in an emergency (do your young children know their full name, your name and address? Do older kids know who to call if something happens to you?).
  7. Have an adventure: Whether you take the kids camping under the stars, spend the day riding the trains wearing crazy hats or let them make the decisions for an entire day, by giving the kids one big adventure before school goes back, it will make the entire long hot summer worth it (and give them a great story to tell friends when they get back to school).

Do you have any other tips to add to this list? Please SHARE in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • I like these ideas – such a nice way to get back into routines

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  • So many things to get done before kids return to school. So much work

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  • I always discuss my kids goals for the year, and work out an incentive for completing it.
    They’re usually reading or maths goals, but those goals are honestly based on the efforts they put in.

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  • Add to that list to try their shoes so you don’t leave school shoes to the last minute when popular sizes are sold out.

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  • Such great tips! As a Mum of 5 I can definitely relate to being organised!

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  • So glad I dont have kids at school these days. Too many PC peeps around

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  • Great ideas. Emptying the kids school bags can leave you with a few suprises so its better to do it sooner rather then later.

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  • Good list for parents to refer to. Hopefully school bags have already been emptied so no nasty mouldy surprises.

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  • Great ideas……I also make a list of snacks and foods the kids would like to have for lunches. That way they’ll have a variety, I know what to buy and hopefully they wont waste any food.

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  • These are some thoughtful ideas and tips.

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  • Have to put this aside for the next return to school.

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  • Setting the alarm during the holidays ? This would be teason for my teen-agers to get very cross with me and rightly so. I feel no need to do this. On time to bed the night before school starts is more something what I encourage

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  • Love these ideas and tips. Very helpful xx

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  • Getting in routine again can be hard

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  • Nice! Practical and fun! I love it

    Reply

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