The ultimate back-to-school checklist for busy mums and dads


The ultimate back-to-school checklist for busy mums and dads

We all know the drill: as the summer holidays come to a close, it’s time to get the kids ready and organised to begin a new school year. The good news? Your local Westfield is a one-stop-shop for everything they’ll need for the first day back - from lunch boxes and labels to hair ties and shoes. Here's your official 2021 checklist to help you on your way.

Fresh stationery

Depending on their year level, your child may only need a few new pens and pencils, or the works: a diary, calculator, index cards, notebooks and several A4 binders. Sit down with them to make a thorough shopping list - starting with checking what’s in their pencil case to see what may need replacing - then head to Smiggle, Typo or Target and grab it all in one go. For added cool cred, stores like kikki.K and Mimco also offer personalisation with you're child's name or initials. If you need further convincing, monogramming items means it’s less likely they’ll end up lost!

Image source: @typoshop

Image source: @targetaus

Upgraded gadgets

If they use a device at school, ask them to check on it - you may find the charger or carry bag needs to be replaced. If your kids use smartwatches or child-friendly mobile phones, consider treating them to a fun new band or tech case for the year from JB Hi-Fi, Apple, Fone King or T Shine.

Smart school shoes

If they’re due for new school kicks, head straight for Mathers, Spendless Shoes, David Jones Rebel or Myer. Footwear plays a big role in healthy development for kids, so make an effort to have them fitted professionally every year. Some retailers, like Shoes & Sox and The Athlete's Foot, offer online bookings for in-store fittings so you can choose a time that’s convenient for you and your little one. No waiting in long lines? You’re welcome.

Image source: @theathletesfootaustralia

Image source: @shoesandsoxau

Backpack basics

Here’s a list of things you (hopefully!) won’t have to replace every single year, but which might need upgrading for 2021: their drink bottle, lunch bag, library bag and backpack. Older kids will likely have an opinion on what they would prefer you buy, so ask ahead of time - but don’t forget to check school rules for any colour or style restrictions. Head into Strandbags, Big W, Smiggle, Cotton On Kids or Seed Hertiage.

Image source: @smiggle_

Image source: @bigwaustralia

Essential accessories

They’re easy to overlook, but day-to-day basics like hair accessories (that match school and house colours), school and sports socks and even spare undies never go astray. Stores like Best & Less, Kmart and Target will have you covered on all counts. If your children are prone to misplacing things (whose aren’t?) invest in iron-on or sticky labels and attach them to everything in their bag.

Image source: @kmartaus

Home study fundamentals

Home offices aren’t just for grown ups. A dedicated study area can go a long way towards promoting concentration and encouraging them to get their study on. Keep the set up simple - all they really need is a desk, a comfortable chair and possibly a lamp - then invite them to decorate. Check out kikki.K, Typo, Bed Bath N' Table or Adairs. Add storage space for school texts and notes and a wastepaper basket and they’ll be ready to crack the books.

Image source: @bigwaustralia

Image source: @typoshop

Image source: @kikki.k

Back-to-school services

Once you’ve ticked off everything you need to buy, think about which other tasks you can get done before the school year kicks off and time gets increasingly scarce. Get ahead of the reminder texts and book them in for a dental checkup at National Dental Surgery, Bupa Dental or Tooth Booth Dental Lounge and eye test at one of our nine optometrists.

Reckon they could use a haircut? Get it done at Just Cuts, PC Hair Salon, Stefan or 2 Brothers Traditional Barber. It’s not a bad idea to book your car in for a pre-emptive service too at My Car or Ultra Tune while you're in the life admin mood, with all those school drop-offs ahead.