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


  • Early starts no problem, the other hints/tips are handy too. My main problem is getting my youngest son off to school and for him to stay there. His twin sister has talked up how much fun she has at school, telling he needs time away from mum and that so many things happen each day while she is there.

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  • The pyjama day described here made me laugh so much.

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  • getting up early is going to be the big one!

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  • I like the idea of having an adventure.

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  • Great tips and a great informative read.

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  • the waking up early is a big one, that is my focus

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  • This is a great list – practical and fun.

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  • We\’re enjoying PJ day today, then Australia Day tomorrow and the school bus starts again. I thought I had finished all the school books some weeks ago. I realised with a fright yesterday I had somehow missed text books for one of the kids but a mercy dash to the newsagents found them IN STOCK on the shelf – YES!!!! So, PJ\’s today, lunch boxes tomorrow night, and two nights of early to bed, and the excitement of another school year begins again.

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  • Great tips. We also start wearing in new shoes in the final week also. Wetting the leather around the heel really helps.

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  • Trying on shoes and uniforms is a must before the first day, just in case something doesn’t fit properly anymore.

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  • Tip number 2 is the best! ;) Definitely empty the school bag!

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  • Pyjama day – what a fab idea! My mum worked shift work when I was growing up so school holidays were bo-ring as had to hang around the house while she slept during the day. I always loved going back to school to see my friends and do things.

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  • Yes always good to get organized ! I like to put the list with school supplies in my handbag and buy something of the list weekly so by the end of the holiday I don’t have to get everything.

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  • Great tips thanks for sharing

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  • I have noticed the last couple of years that the school shoe shop always have a sale on school shoes a week before school goes back!

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