Back to school tips

Welcome to September, and Back to School season! Not sure where to start? Read on to find out our top tips for making the new term easy for all.

Back to school

Whether it’s back to nursery, or you’re getting ready for your child’s first day at school, there’s no escaping the summer is coming an end. Are you ready for it? September is always a bit of a milestone for many families, no matter how old the kids are- here at Cuddledry HQ, our little ones are older now, but we’re still busy preparing for a new term!

We know how hard it can be to juggle it all- early mornings, change of routine and not to mention the empty house after weeks full of fun… So we thought we’d share some tips we’ve picked up along the way, to make your back to school just a little less stressful, and a little more peaceful.

School morning routine

The first thing you need to get straight is your school morning routine. And if you don’t have one, you need one! Our top tip here is to do as much as you can the night before, so there’s less to do the next day. Make your morning as simple as you can.

Things you can prepare the night before include:

  • Lunch boxes and water bottles in the fridge and ready to go
  • Clothes laid out for the morning- for you and for them
  • Bags packed and ready to go by the door
  • Breakfast laid out ready to go
  • Shoes by the door

Help your child learn to tell the time

The new term is an ideal time to give your little one some more age appropriate independence. Learning to tell the time is a great way to help them understand the new routine too.

 We LOVE the idea of creating a colour coded clock for children who are still too young the tell the time! All you need is a cheap clock that you can remove the front from, giving you access to the clock face. Then colour the sections of the clock according to your timetable.

This is such an easy way for children to quickly see what’s happening and when.

Help your child learn to dress themselves

Once your child starts in reception at school, there will be an expectation that they will know how to do the basics when it comes to getting changed for PE and so on. Start early!

Doing up buttons can be tricky for small hands to master, so let them practise as much as you can. And although ti can be frustrating waiting for a small child to dress themselves, you won’t be able to do it for them forever, so allow enough time for them to learn.

Have the uniform laid out ready to go the night before and make sure it’s easily accessible for your child. It’s a great idea to have a school sock box too- keep it by the door near the shoes to avoid last minute dashes back upstairs.

Another great hack we recently discovered for children learning to tie laces:

  • tuck the ends of the laces into the holes found on either side of the shoe, at the top of the laces.
  • Your child should now have two large loops that they can tie in a knot.
  • Your child then ties the two resulting loops into another knot- and hey presto! The laces are tied.

This is honestly a real game changer when it comes to teaching kids to tie their laces!

Help your child pack their own lunchbox

Another task that can be easily passed on to your child to help with. Packing their own lunch helps with little ones who like to know what they’ll be eating at school, and goes towards that new found independence too.

Back to school tips for parents

The new term is a huge learning curve for parents, too. Th!re’s a lot we need to get to grips with when it comes to releasing our children into the world! These are some of the best back to school tips we’ve tried.

Back to school bedtime routine

We cannot say it enough. You need a good solid bedtime routine, and that routine probably needs tweaking up before the new term starts. Lots of parents swear by tightening up in the first week of September so that everyone is rested before school returns.

If you need to, start by bringing your child’s bedtime forwards by ten minutes each evening, and do the same with wake up times too. Hopefully, this will make the first school morning a lot easter to manage. And don’t forget that this goes for you too- you’re going to need plenty of sleep to get through the transition too.

Speak to teacher before school starts

If you’ve got concerns about back to school get in touch with them before the new terms starts. This will help you sail through the first day without having to queue up to speak to the teacher on what is likely to be a very busy morning.

Organise a group WhatsApp chat to stay connected with other parents

Getting to know the other parents in your child’s class can be invaluable, and if there isn’t already a WhatsApp group set up, then make one. You never know when you’re going to need a hive mind, or a reminder for events at school.

Organise before/ after school care

If back to school coincides with your return to work after maternity leave or holiday, then it’s a really good idea to get your before and after school care sorted early. Give your child plenty of notice about it too.

Let your child chill out after school

We get it, and we’re guilty of it too. We want to know EVERYTHING about their busy day at school or nursery, and we’re always disappointed when they just don’t want to tell us. Our advice? Don’t push it. Your child will be exhausted after school and will appreciate some down time to chill for a while.

A good tactic for approaching this situation is to play the ‘Three things about your day’ game over dinner. Take it in turns to tell each other three things that have happened that day, and hopefully your little one will offer some gems about their experience.

Stay on top of school admin

Back to school brings a lot of admin, that really does need to be dealt with. We recommend reading emails and letters as soon as you get them- and use your whatsapp group to help you remember it all!

File letters from school

Letters, letters, letters. There is likely to be a lot. Whether they’re emailed or sent home in book bags, you’ll need to file them. Have one central place to store them so you always know where they are should you need to refer to them again.

Use a calendar for term dates and events

Remember to add dates to your calendar as soon as you get them. Either on a paper calendar that everyone is able to see, or on your phone where you also share with other family members if you need to. A great hack here is to take a screen shot make your calendar your look screen, so that you can be constantly reminded of important dates.

Use a family planner with visual aids for kids

Kids need a little organising too, and lots of families swear by having a bright, colourful family planner displayed at home so everyone can stay up to date. Use photos of thee various activities or younger children.

Label everything

Trust us, you really don’t want to spend a fortune on uniform only to send it out of the house without a label. Even if you just use a sharpie to write your child’s name on it, label EVERYTHING.

Back of the door checklist

One final tip we love, and have used since day one- a back of the door checklist. It only needs to be a piece of paper stuck to the front door- but make sure it contains all the things that need to be done before you leave, and make sure you and your child check them off before you go. Such a simple but effective tip!