With the holidays behind us and a fresh year ahead, it’s nearly time for the kids to tie up their laces, pop on their backpacks and head back to school. And getting them prepped with some simple back to school items from your local Stockland centre is a great way to make sure they start the year strong. Not to mention give you some peace of mind amidst the uniform fittings, reading list, and lunchbox prep!
To help you put together your checklist, we sought the help of primary school teacher Marianne, who shares her essential items along with some clever tips for a smooth sailing start to 2024.
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According to Marianne, while many little ones start their preschool year with a fully prepped backpack including all the essentials like sunscreen (we love Priceline's Sun Bum Premium Moisturising Sunscreen Lotion), glasses, a water bottle, and change of clothes, as the year goes on these bits and pieces tend to grow legs and disappear.
“To help their belongings return home with your children, make sure each item is labelled clearly with their name. This includes any spare clothes in their backpacks,” Marianne says. “It’s also a great idea to attach a laminated picture list to their backpack of the items your child needs to make sure they bring home each day.”
Other items to consider adding to your back to preschool checklist are eco-friendly plastic cutlery, non-slip Tupperware (so it doesn’t fall off the table while they munch their lunch), and a Dymo labeller!
Primary school checklist
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The first day back to school can be a daunting one for both parent and child – especially those starting school for the very first time. So, to ensure your little one feels comfortable, happy, and independent, try these clever suggestions.
“Before they start school, make sure your child can open and close their lunchbox and water bottle independently,” Marianne says. “And provide your child with opportunities to go to the bathroom by themselves in their school uniform. This will help them learn how to undo and do up buttons, zips, or drawstrings on their shorts.” The Big W Mambo Lunch Bag 5 Piece Set has an easy to use zipper to open and close the lunchbox.
Another special way to prepare them for their big day is to read them a book like ‘First Day’ by Andrew Daddo and Jonathan Bentley in the days leading up.
“Read these as part of regular discussions with your child about what school will be like,” Marianne says. “This can often help with their overall confidence in what could be an overwhelming situation for them.”
And when it comes to finding them a backpack, Marianne suggests picking a sturdy one that’s large enough to easily fit all the items they need for school each day. Just make sure they can carry it! The Mambo Tie Dye Backpack from Big W has just the right amount of pockets for everything.
“Separate sections are a good idea for spare clothes and their hat, with pockets on the side for water bottles in case they leak,” Marianne says. “And again, make sure your child can undo and do up any zippers and clips on their backpack!”
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Instilling healthy habits in tweens is integral in helping them to concentrate and make the most of those important foundational years. This is why Marianne suggests letting your tween decide on their own lunchbox ‘menu’.
“Allow them to be involved in preparing their lunch and snacks and do this the night before,” Marianne says. “So many times tweens open their lunchbox at lunchtime and say, ‘I don’t like this’ and don’t eat what’s packed.” If you are looking for some lunchbox suggestions to share with your tween, checkout our back to school lunchbox ideas.
A weekly desk planner is another fantastic way you can encourage your tween to organise their study for the term and studies have shown that once written down, there is a higher chance that the task will be completed.
Whether you wish to boost their confidence on their first day of school or you simply want to prepare them for a healthy and happy 2024 – consider adding these back to school essentials and clever tips to your checklist.
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