Back-to-school checklist

Getting your child ready for a new school year can take a bit of planning, here’s a quick back-to-school checklist to help get you started.

Things you may need to buy

1. Uniforms
Check your child’s uniform still fits them and isn’t too worn well before the first day of school so you have time to purchase any new items. Typical items you may need to purchase include polo shirts or school shirts, shorts and trousers, skirts, skorts or dresses, bike pants and leggings, and a jumper or jacket. Don’t forget school shoes, sports shoes and the accompanying socks, and of course, the hair ties and ribbons for the girls!

2. Books and stationery
If you need to purchase books and stationery, make sure you organise this early with your preferred book supplier. Remember to allow enough time to also cover the books (if required), and label everything. 

3. Technology
An increasing number of students rely on technology for in-class learning, so make sure your child is prepared. Typical items required include calculators, USB sticks, a tablet/laptop. Ensure all electronic devices are working properly, and are in a protective case.

4. Lunch items
Children need quality nutrition for their daily activity, and for growth and development. However, according to the latest National Health Survey, only five per cent of kids are eating the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables.

An easy way to bolster your child’s intake of fruit and veggies, and other nutritious foods is to include them in their lunchbox. Avoid pre-packaged, highly processed foods and instead opt for veggie sticks with a beetroot or humus dip, pieces of fruit, whole grain breads or crackers, and dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt.

While we’re on the subject of lunch, don’t forget to buy them a lunchbox. One with compartments can help make lunchtime a little more exciting for kids.

Don’t forget their drink bottle, filled with water of course, and maybe also a cooler bag with an ice pack to help keep food fresh.

5. Sun and rain protection
Australia has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world, so your child must have sun protection. A wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. But, don’t forget about rainy days too! Make sure your child has an umbrella or a raincoat tucked into their bag, especially if you live in Melbourne!

6. School bag
If your child needs a new school bag, look for bags that adhere to the Australian Physiotherapy Association recommendations. Bags should have wide, comfortable shoulder straps that sit well on the shoulder, and waist and chest straps to help distribute the weight. Look for padded back support which allows the bag to sit ‘snugly’ on the back, and ensure the bag fits your child. Avoid buying a bag that is too big, or extends higher than your child’s shoulders.

Boy getting haircut

Things you may need to do

Other things your ‘to-do’ list can include:

  • Labelling all items, including clothing.
  • Organising hair cuts.
  • Stock fridge and pantry with healthy lunchbox foods.
  • Ensure all medications your child needs at school are clearly labelled, up-to-date, and have the current instructions for use.
  • Ensure your contact details at the school are up-to-date, including the emergency contact person.
  • Bundle up old uniforms for the second-hand shop.

With a bit of organisation, you can try and limit those last-minute run arounds, and get your children back to school, hopefully relaxed and ready for the year ahead.

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