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Mumsnet users share their back to school tips with Tesco F&F

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EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Jul-18 10:23:10

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We know many of you are currently on your knees with end of term shenanigans, and the summer hols are looming ahead....but in the spirit of being organised way ahead of time we would love to know your tips on being prepared when the back to school period comes. With the return of routine comes the return of 6am starts and mornings spent throwing together lunches while throwing the right uniform on the right child - so Tesco would like to hear your tips for ensuring your family are prepared for school each day.

Tesco F&F say: "All kids come home with stains - it's the sign of an active day. But thanks to Tesco school uniforms special stain-repel technology and 100 day guarantee you can be rest assured that your kids will look as good on the first day everyday."

How do you save yourself time and unnecessary stress during the week? Do you have a go-to routine to ensure you’re prepared the night before? Or maybe you rely on a handful of hacks to keep your mornings running smoothly? Are your children’s uniforms kept in good nick for the whole year thanks to a perfect after school formula?

Whatever tips you follow, Tesco F&F want to hear them. Share them below to be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 Tesco voucher for a store.

Thanks and good luck!

Standard Insight T&Cs Apply

edited by MNHQ

fontofnoknowledge Wed 18-Jul-18 11:06:53

My top tip is for commercial agencies to stop creating doom and gloom about 'return to school ' or 'as summer ends' .. BEFORE most schools have even ended their term !!

Smacks of desperation and unbridled commercialism to 'get on to the next money maker'. No different to Christmas Decs up in October.

Stop it. Let people have a bloody summer first.

Pascha Wed 18-Jul-18 11:09:43

As September rolls around? Bloody hell, thats depressing. Some of us are still at school til next week.

MrsPMT Wed 18-Jul-18 11:22:08

Agree its a bit early for this thread but will comment anyway

I make sure I have enough uniform to last several days without having to do a wash. So at least 3 of everything.

Also check my DS bag the evening before to save time in the morning, and check his shoes are somewhere obvious, no running around in the morning looking for lunch passes or shoes.

Not sure what else but am few weeks into holidays already (Scotland) so probably out of practice!

MaggieMagpie357 Wed 18-Jul-18 11:30:46

My top tips are:
- Check school bags as soon as they get home if possible. Retrieve letters etc and complete any reply slips straight away before it gets forgotten! And have a pin board or similar for all school letters.
- Get uniform out the night before. We have two or three of most items in case there's no time to do a mid-week wash.
- Pack any non-perishables in lunchboxes in the evening - crisps, cereal bar, apple etc. Saves lots of time in the morning!
- A shoe cabinet has been a lifesaver for us. Ikea do a great one, takes up little space and each person has their own "drawer" so no lost shoes! We also keep school bags on a hook in the under stairs cupboard so everyone knows where they are.

ButterflyOfFreedom Wed 18-Jul-18 11:31:31

As previous posters have said, it's a bit too early for this sort of thing!!
Agree with fontofnoknowledge - totally commercial / desperate/ putting a negative spin on going back to school (some people like it you know?!).
And it seems to be happening earlier & earlier (similar to Christmas) - my DC haven't even broken up.for the holidays yet!!!!

Top tips:
Pack bags the night before
Put out uniform the night before
Stick to the same routine - in our house it's breakfast/ dressed / teeth / hair / shoes / go!
And just leave plenty of time - I know a family who are ALWAYS 10 mins late for school. Just get up 10 minutes earlier!!!!

sunshinewithabitofdrizzle Wed 18-Jul-18 11:50:23

My dd is doing A levels now so it's been a while since I had to do anything, but I always used to make sure her school bag was packed and actually zipped up, the night before. School uniform was laid out the night before too, so no rushing around looking for socks or jumpers etc. That's about it really.

sharond101 Wed 18-Jul-18 12:19:35

Prep prep and more prep. I am ultra organised but would like to be more ad hoc but suppose the preparation prevents chaos.

EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Jul-18 12:43:46

eek, we totally get where you're coming from @fontofnoknowledge @Pascha @MrsPMT, thanks for pointing that out. We'll be amending the opening post blush


Pigeonpea Wed 18-Jul-18 12:44:48

I'm the Prep Queen!
Each night, uniforms are hung on wardrobe handles with underwear, socks, cardigans, etc that are needed
Bags are left in the hall way ready for the next day
6.45am - lunch boxes made and left in hall way, husband does water bottles and on-the-go hot drinks for us
7.15am breakfast plus school reading
7.35am stair chase to get ready
8am School run

Caribbeanyesplease Wed 18-Jul-18 13:07:53

Set alarm for before children wake
I use that time to her everything sorted.
Serve a really good breakfast, mainly cooked, so I know they are set up for the day
Encourage independence in getting ready from an early age

shouldwestayorshouldwego Wed 18-Jul-18 13:19:59

Photograph all letters/ party invites / homework as soon as you get them so you have the information to hand. Return consents asap or even better persuade the school to do electronic consents.

BaconCrispsGone Wed 18-Jul-18 13:40:15

deal with lunchbag, bookbag conents as soon as you get in from school

asuwere Wed 18-Jul-18 13:44:50

I've never found school mornings stressful, it's just another day!
I usually make packed lunches in the evening so they're in the fridge ready. Kids get their own clothes out their wardrobes and dress themselves. They also make sure they have what they need in their bags.
Basically, I've tried to encourage independence for my DC.

PerfectlySymmetricalButtocks Wed 18-Jul-18 14:02:49

The night before I make sure that uniforms are laid out, PE kits in bags, no packed lunches, but if they're going to childcare/playscheme, packed suppers made and in the fridge.

In the morning we have a strict routine:

Me up, washed, dressed, coffee'd

DD up, dressed

DS2 up, dressed


DD washed

DS2 washed

DS2 last wee

DD last wee

Bags, go

We are never late, and usually can have a leisurely stroll to school.

Imgettingcheesefries Wed 18-Jul-18 14:58:21

I also set my alarm for before the kids are up, have a quiet cup of tea by myself and double check packed lunches are ready, bags done etc. I always make the lunches the night before and put pe kit back in the pe bags as soon as I've washed it so it's always ready to go

CMOTDibbler Wed 18-Jul-18 15:05:03

A secret box with school socks, pe socks, a tie (if they wear them), pens, pencil, rubber, ruler, and £5 in coins - plus any other small things that are likely to disappear and you are told about 5 seconds before they need to leave for school.

And always keep their last pair of school shoes/ trainers/football boots, and a set of outgrown /slightly tatty uniform somewhere you know about for when things disappear totally. Better tight shoes than detention.

shoelaces Wed 18-Jul-18 15:55:00

I buy extra uniform so that I can comfortably have a back log of washing plus a full week ironed in the wardrobe.

I also have 2 pairs of shoes for DS. Identical. blush he came home with only one shoe once day last term, so at least we had another complete pair. The missing shoe eventually returned and we have no stress over where he's left them. We'll always find 2 of the somewhere!

mrsFruitLoops Wed 18-Jul-18 16:19:30

Get everything ready the night before.the last thing you want is having to find a missing trainer when the school bus leaves in 5 minutes.

IToldYouIWasFreaky Wed 18-Jul-18 17:09:32

No screens in the morning! Stick to the same routine every day so there is some predictability. Get kids doing as much as possible for themselves and to help you. DS (10) quite often pegs out the washing while I make lunches and he's really good at sorting out his own bag, I just need to remind him of the important stuff sometimes.

buckley1983 Wed 18-Jul-18 17:30:52

If your school offer a choice.. NEVER opt for a white polo shirt!! I foolishly made this choice this year & must have gone through about 20 shirts & countless stain removers, none of which worked! I still have no clue what most of the stains were, or where they came from!
I totally gave up the last week of term & he had to go in with stained (but clean!) shirts because I couldn't hack replacing them again!
I have opted for royal blue this September & am very excited about this, unreasonably so I would say!!
Don't bother sewing name labels in, I did, thinking I was being the dutiful mother, I'll never get those 4 hours of my life back smile
Get the stick in labels - they're great!
Agree with others in the main - being prepared is the way to go!
However, even with this knowledge, I am still that mother - racing into school at 9.06 with child in tow, gazing in desperation at the receptionist through the door & motioning hopefully for her to let us in before any teachers have clocked us.
I dream of being that organised mother, believe me - I do try!!

torthecatlady Wed 18-Jul-18 19:21:52

All to be done the night before...

Lay out uniform (find shoes and matching socks hmm)
Pack school bag and double check it
Figure out what's going in the lunch box

FreshEyre Wed 18-Jul-18 19:31:12

Very similar to other PPs, get everything organised the night before.

Uniform, pants, socks all go in the kitchen with shoes and bags/sports kit next to it. Check for reading books, homework, letters and anything else. Water bottles ready to be filled next to the sink, breakfast bowls on the table.

When DCs were little I even had a toothbrush/toothpaste in the kitchen so that once they were up they didn't leave the kitchen for anything until they were washed, breakfasted, teeth done and dressed ready to go.

Oh, and absolutely no tv/electronics until ready to go (and sitting in coat if necessary!)

I can guarantee that the one night we decide to leave it until the morning is the day that something goes wrong, we are running late and leave the house in a frazzled mess.

mangomama91 Wed 18-Jul-18 19:59:15

I try and get things ready the night before but that doesn't always go to plan!
I'll be returning to work in September so I definitely will be getting everything out and ready for the morning; breakfast bowls/ plates and cutlery out and ready for the morning, cups out ready.
Uniforms ready. My daughter will only be in year 1 so will have school dinners so I don't need to worry about that!
Hair bobbles and hair brush ready! That's the main one for us in our house!

I do check her book bag as soon as we get home and try to fill out any forms and pop them back in straight away (if I can) and write anything down on our calendar.
I bought a plastic drawers on wheels for my daughter to put her book bag and shoes in and then anything shook related went in there. It worked really well to begin with! So I might have to do that again in September!

daniel1996 Wed 18-Jul-18 20:01:10

My tips are buy 5 of everything, non iron where ever possible, sew in name tapes (I left uniform buying till the last minute last year -only to have a mad dash because I could not get the sizes I wanted). Get feet measured the week before as my DS2 feet grew a size and a half last summer. Final tip buy the winter coats a size bigger in the new year sales for the winter ahead - one less thing to buy at full price.

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