The back to school crib sheet

Try these top tips for school-term success that will get you into your kids’ good books

The start of the school term is always a hectic time – there are school uniforms to sort out, lunchboxes to prepare, and sleepy kids to rouse and dress in time for the school run.

Just like schoolwork, preparation is everything, so with this in mind we’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you ace that back-to-school test. Your kids should even enjoy the process thanks to a few sneaky cheats – just don’t tell the head teacher!

1. Make labelling fun

Kids lose things. It’s simply a part of childhood. Which is why labels are so important – it’s your only way of recovering those wayward lunchboxes, books, and even clothing.

But it doesn’t have to be a dreary task – get the kids involved and help them unleash their creative juices while practising their handwriting. This way, they’ll take more care not to lose their belongings because their very own masterpiece is proudly displayed on them.

2. Hold a pre-term fashion show

We often forget how quickly kids grow. School uniforms that seemed baggy a few terms ago can become unbelievably short and tight in a blink of an eye.

Don’t wait until day one of the school term to realise that your child is dressed inappropriately. Instead, set aside an afternoon for a school uniform fashion show to see if you need to alter anything or buy new uniforms. Make it a fun occasion by playing music and getting them to ‘walk the catwalk’ and strike poses.

Their school sweaters may be smelling a bit musty too, so freshen them up with a spritz of Febreze fabric refresher – it’ll eliminate those mothball odours to leave them smelling fresh and clean, and it even works on fabric backpacks. It’s quick and easy, and a spritz is all you need to get those uniforms and fabric backpacks smelling fresh.

3. Treat them to something new

Kids love showing off anything new, and they’ll be much more enthusiastic about their first day back at school if they’ve got a new pair of shoes or school bag to show off.

If you haven’t got the budget, a new pencil case or notepad will do it. Take a shopping trip and let them pick it out so they can get their favourite design.

4. Make the school run a breeze

The early morning school run can be a stressful time if you’re not well prepared.
Keep a copy of your kids’ timetables on the fridge so you know what lessons they’ve got and what books they’ll need. Pack their lunches and make sure their uniforms are ironed and laid out for the morning. Ask them to show you their homework so you can check it’s all done and ensure there are no last-minute panics.
If your children are old enough to organise themselves, encourage them to do so – and if they need a bit of bribery, say it’ll give you more time to make them a nice breakfast or hot brew in the morning. See our article on 5 healthy family breakfasts for inspiration.
If you drive your kids to school, a car air freshener is a good idea as it can help lift everyone’s mood and keep their clothes smelling nice. Try one of Febreze's scents to eliminate any musty, stuffy scents that could be lingering and replace them with a light, fresh fragrance.
For more tips, see our article Don’t be late! Tricks for a stress-free school morning routine.

5. Avoid the snooze factor

Corralling bleary-eyed, grumpy school children into the car and to school can be a nightmare, especially when you’re still half asleep. Just like your children, your sleep routine may be all out of order after the holidays, so you’ll need to get back on your regular sleep schedule.
Start the kids’ “sleep training” a week before school begins and you should fall back into the same schedule too.
If you find yourself struggling to unwind for an earlier bedtime, try using a soothing scent from Febreze’s Sleep Serenity range. Its calming fragrances create a soothing atmosphere that’s ideal for sleep, eliminating odours and filling the bedroom with long-lasting, relaxing scents.
In the mornings, put some lively music on to get the family singing and bopping at the breakfast table. This will help wake everyone up and put them in a good mood ready for the day ahead.
What’s your secret to success when it comes to going back to school? Share your tips in the comments section below.