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6 Tips for Starting School
20 January 2020

6 Tips for Starting School

If your child is starting school this year, you’re probably starting to think about how to get organised.

Lunchboxes, drop offs, pickups and homework are about to become a major part of your daily routine and this can be a little overwhelming for first-time school parents.

Having a child at school can seem a bit daunting but it needn’t be. With a little bit of forward planning organisation, plus some secret school hacks, we’re here to help you feel less swamped and more confident as you start the new school year.

Our back to school tips will help you to make starting school easier and stress-free, so that you can relax and enjoy this exciting new chapter in your family’s life.

Here are our top tips to be organised when you have a child starting school:

1.       Have a plan

Many schools provide new school parents with a welcome pack and we recommend you take some time to read it from cover to cover. Then, read it again and make notes in your planner!

This pack, or in your orientation meeting at the school, will explain information such as:

  • the dates and times your child is expected at school

  • correct school uniform

  • equipment they should take with them

  • lunchbox and canteen info

  • school holidays

Invest in a wall planner that the whole family can see and mark up any important dates on that at the start of the year.

Then, whenever you’re informed of new school activities, excursions and events, add them immediately.

Get the whole family used to checking the calendar each week and month to see what’s coming up to lessen the chances of forgetting things or any unwanted surprises!

2.       Select the right seat

If you’re planning to take your child to school in the car, see if their car seat needs an upgrade.

If they have outgrown their harnessed car seat and you haven’t already done this, it might be time to upgrade to a booster seat.

The Australian laws relating to car seats say that depending on their seated shoulder height, by approximately the age of four, a child must be sitting in a forward-facing approved child restraint, such as a booster with an inbuilt harness, or an unharnessed booster seat with a properly fastened and adjusted seat belt. 

Our booster seats are a popular choice for Australian families! They are specifically designed to protect children in the instance of a crash, with world leading safety technology Air Protect™ to protect your most precious cargo.

Maxi-Cosi booster seats are also intelligent with expandable side wings, a customised harness and comfort features such as our world first “Cool Baby“ wicking fabric. This clever tech actively draws moisture away from their skin, keeping kids cool, dry and comfortable all year round.

You can see our range of booster seats here.

3.       Practice the school run

Before school starts, give your new morning routine a test drive!

You don’t need to go as far as dressing your child (unless you really want to!) but give the school drop off a practice run so that you can see how easy or challenging it is, in advance.

Bear in mind that when school does start, the traffic will probably be slower, so you’ll need to add in some extra time.

Doing a practice trip is also a great way to get your child used to their new routine and destination and will give them confidence for their first day too.

4.       Stock up on essentials

Set aside some time to tick off your uniform and equipment lists well in advance of school starting.

Make a note of any sales around Black Friday and Boxing Day and grab special offers while you can.

Don’t be tempted to leave purchasing these essentials to the last minute as store supplies could well be dwindling!

When you’re buying school uniform items, try them on before school starts and if possible, buy sizes that are a little bigger than your child currently is.

Our children grow so fast and you’ll be surprised how quickly that ‘too big’ shirt suddenly becomes ‘too tight’!

5.       Plan lunches

Lunchboxes are the bane of some parents lives and the joy of others! The goal is the same for all parents: we want to provide our children with a healthy and nutritious lunch that they will love and enjoy.

We want them to come home with empty lunch boxes!

Get your child involved by asking them to make suggestions for the healthy foods to include in their lunch and snack boxes.

You might also like to get them involved with preparing the lunches too as they might be more inclined to eat lunch that they’ve helped to make.

If you want to plan ahead to save time in the future, there are many lunch box foods than can be made ahead and frozen.

These include sandwiches, fritters, pancakes and muffins. Simply make a batch in advance and pop them in the freezer. The night before school, take out a portion for the lunchbox and you’re good to go.

Many fruits and veggies can also be chopped and used a few days in advance.

6.       Enjoy the holidays

In the weeks running up to when school starts, plan for lots of play time!

Your child is about to embark on one of the most exciting chapters of their life and they’re probably filled with a muddle of excitement, nerves and anticipation.

Burn off some nervous energy at the park or with friends and treasure this time together.

Finally, don’t worry. Starting school is just as daunting for parents as it can be for little ones.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, know that you’re not alone. Reach out to the school with any questions or concerns at any time and remember that all school parents are in it together.

Your child is about to make a whole classroom of new friends and you might end up hanging out with potential friends for you at the school gates too!