Tips to prepare your child for their first day of school

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Tips to prepare your child for their first day of school

The first day of prep is a major milestone for kids and parents.

Your little baby is growing up! It can be a very exciting time, but starting school can cause nerves for little ones and parents alike. Here are our top tips for ensuring a smooth transition for the whole family.

1. Be prepared ahead of time

In the weeks leading up to the first day of school, gather all their school supplies, uniform, shoes, backpack and lunchbox well before the big day. Get your child involved in the preparation process. They will enjoy shopping for a cool new backpack, lunchbox or special pencil case. Choosing the items themselves will build excitement for the adventures ahead.

Your one-stop shop for everything Back to School is at Westfield Helensvale. Here's our go-to list:

School shoes: SportsCo, The Athletes Foot, Spendless Shoes or Williams
Uniforms: Lowes, Kmart or Target
Backpacks: Strandbags, Target or Kmart
Hats: City Beach
Stationery: Smiggle, Golden Lucky News, Fortune News or Wild Cards & Gifts

The calmer and more organised you are, the more relaxed your child will feel about the start of school.


Pictured: items from City Beach

2. Label everything

So you don't end up with a lost hat on the first day, label everything! Fabric labels, stickers or even a faithful sharpie pen will do.

Westfield Helensvale is giving away FREE personalised school labels from Mon 13th - Fri 17th January outside Target. More info here.

It's also a good idea to hang a fun little keyring on their bag so they know which one is theirs to avoid confusion or stress. Smiggle has a cute range that kids will love like this scented unicorn alphabet keychain.

3. Share your own fond memories of school

In the lead up to the big day, tell them about your favorite teacher, favourite subject or friends you made. Do what you can to be positive and optimistic even if you're feeling nervous yourself.

You can make a FREE time capsule memory jar together to remember this special time at our free workshop from 18th - 24th January. More info here.

4. Get the look

Give them the confidence to take on their new challenge. Get a fresh hair cut at F10 Quickcut, Hairhouse, Stefan or Just Cuts.

Have your dental checkup at Pacific Smiles Dental and make sure their eyes are in tip-top shape to see the whiteboard with a checkup at Specavers, LensPro or any of our five optical retailers.

5. Pack a special lunch

Packing their favourite healthy foods, plus a little special treat, gives them something to look forward to later. Leave a picture in their lunch box or draw a smiley face on their banana to remind them you're thinking of them. They'll love the gesture and be excited to show their new friends.

And remember to give your child food that they can open easily themselves. Any ‘strange’ or ‘new’ food should be avoided at first. Keep it familar.

We recommend a compartment style lunch box like this one from Smiggle so they don't have to open any tricky packaging which might stress them out.

6. Keep Calm

Try to avoid the chaos on the morning. Have everything laid out ready to go. If you are calm and relaxed, your child will be too. Once everything is ready for the next day, focus on having a fun and relaxing evening. Make it a family night with a special dinner, a celebratory dessert and some bonding time. Target and Kmart have everything you need for a super fun, family games night.

7. Be On Time

Once the big day has arrived, keep to the schedule, which will be easier if you prepared as much as possible. Arrive early. Give them time to ease into their surroundings before you kiss them goodbye for the day.

8. Reward them (and you!)

Plan something special for after school and tell them at drop off. Plan an after-school play at The Playground, a Happy Meal at McDonalds or purchase a small reward from Kmart or Target. Knowing this plan is in place will help get you and your kids through the initial stressors of that first day. Let them know how proud you are of them. Then treat yourself to a well deserved coffee, you've done it!

Preprations for a smooth school transition starts weeks in advance. Visit Westfield Helensvale today for our free back to school activities and get all your Back to School shopping done in the one place.

We also have a child-minding service which is great for siblings so you can shop with your little prep student just the two of you.

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