Back-to-school season is here! Whether your child is starting kindergarten or going into their senior year of high school, there's much to do to prepare for the new year. This ultimate back-to-school checklist for parents will help you stay organized and on track.
We've included everything you need to consider, from getting school supplies to ensuring your child has everything they need for a healthy and happy school year. So whether you're a first-time parent or a seasoned pro, this checklist is for you.
Let's get started!
1 Month Before School
Review and Sync Calendars.
Don’t let important dates catch you off guard! Take a moment to check out the school calendar for those key events and sync them with your family’s schedule. By doing this, you’re setting yourself up to be on top of things right from the get-go.
Schedule a Health Checkup.
It’s that time again – a back-to-school health checkup. Schedule appointments with your kid’s doctor and dentist to make sure everything’s in order. It’s the perfect opportunity to address health concerns you might have. Also, make sure their vaccinations are up to date.
Schedule a Playdate.
Starting the school year can be less daunting when familiar faces are around. Set up a playdate with your kid’s classmates to help them reconnect with their friends. This simple step can go a long way in making those first few days at school more comfortable and enjoyable.
Freshen Up Your Kid’s Wardrobe.
Sort through your kiddo’s wardrobe. Donate clothes that no longer fit and add some new essentials for the school year ahead, like jackets, raincoats, and other weather-appropriate clothes.
You can also buy your girls trendy and fun hair accessories, like Make-Your-Own Headbands and Clay Create Pro. These craft kits will keep their hair out of their faces and keep them busy while you prepare for back-to-school!
2 Weeks Before School
Stock Up on Supplies.
It’s time to gather all the school essentials your kids will need. From notebooks and pens to art supplies, make sure you’ve got everything covered. And don’t forget to buy lunchboxes and water bottles!
Here’s a basic list of everything you’ll need:
- Pens and pencils
- School bag
- Gym bag
- Sketchbook or drawing paper
- Set of colored pencils, markers, and crayons
- Watercolor paints and brushes
- Construction papers
- Craft items like assorted stickers, scratch paper, and wax craft sticks.
Checkout Purple Ladybug’s craft collection:
- Scratch Paper
- Wax Craft Sticks
- Decorate-Your-Own Water Bottle for Girls
- Decorate-Your-Own Water Bottle for Boys
- Color-In Messenger Bag
- Drawstring Bag
Set Up a Homework Area.
Designate a specific area where your kids can hunker down and work on their homework. Consider personalizing it with comfy seating and ample lighting, which can make studying a more enjoyable experience.
Equip their workspace with all the necessary tools, like pens, highlighters, and paper so they won’t have to interrupt their workflow searching for supplies.
Bedtime and Wake-up Routine
Helping your kids ease into the school routine is a gradual process. Start adjusting bedtimes and wake-up times a week or two in advance.
This gentle transition ensures they’re well-rested and ready to embrace the school day with a clear mind. Consistency is key, so this routine helps establish a healthy sleep pattern.
Plan Your Family Meals.
Planning a varied menu with fruits, veggies, proteins, and whole grains ensures a well-balanced diet. Get creative with meal options to keep their taste buds excited and energy levels sustained throughout the day.
Here are some meal-planning tips for your family:
- Set a weekly schedule to plan your meals.
- Involve the family. Ask them for their meal preferences!
- Make a balanced meal with proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits, and veggies.
- Assign themes to different days like Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays.
- Cook in batches and prepare larger quantities of dishes that you can use for multiple meals throughout the week.
- Prep your ingredients in advance.
- For hectic days, include quick and easy meals like sheet pan dinners or one-pot dishes.
- Keep all your favorite recipes in one place.
Here are some pantry staples for meal planning:
- Canned goods
- Nut butters
- Canned fish
- Frozen fruits and veggies
- Dried herbs and spices
- Nuts and seeds
- Pasta sauces
- Whole-grain bread
- Dried pasta
1 Week Before School
Do a Morning Dry Run.
Practice the school morning routine to give your child a sense of what to expect. This rehearsal minimizes first-day jitters and sets a comfortable pace.
Make Transportation Plans.
Sort out transportation details ahead of time, whether it’s the school bus, carpooling, or walking. Having a clear plan avoids any last-minute rushes and ensures your kids get to school on time.
Attend Orientations and Meet the Teacher.
Before attending orientations or meeting teachers, prepare a few questions to ask. This helps engage in meaningful discussions and gather important information.
You can ask questions about student support, extracurricular activities, communication and parent involvement, safety and security, technology and resources, homework and expectations, future planning, and more.
Update Emergency Contacts.
Keep an updated list of emergency contacts and medical information handy. Make sure both you and your child are familiar with it. Accurate and up-to-date details are crucial for your child’s safety and well-being.
Connect with Teachers.
Exchange contact information with your kiddo’s teachers and join the school’s communication channels – whether it’s emails or apps.
Explore Extracurricular Activities.
Plan and register for extracurricular activities that pique your kid’s interests. This enriches their school experience and introduces them to new passions.
3 Days Before School
Schedule a Haircut Appointment.
Scheduling a haircut for your child before the big day isn’t just about appearance – it’s about boosting their confidence! If your kiddo has specific preferences or if the school has a haircut policy, share these details with the hairstylist.
Prepare Their First Day Outfit.
Having everything ready eliminates any morning scramble, allowing your child to begin the day with ease and positivity. Involve your kids in selecting their outfits. Their input can make them feel more in control and excited about what they’re wearing.
Check Their Backpack.
A quick backpack check ensures that all school supplies are neatly packed and ready to go. Make a checklist of essential supplies and cross-check it with what’s in the backpack to make sure nothing is overlooked.
Revisit the Morning Routine.
Taking a few minutes to review the morning routine with your child is a simple yet effective way to build comfort and confidence. Create a visual chart or checklist for the morning routine. This can help younger children follow the sequence independently.
Here’s a sample morning routine you can copy:
- Eat breakfast.
- Brush teeth.
- Shower or freshen up.
- Get dressed.
- Comb and tidy hair.
- Put on shoes and coat.
- Grab their backpack and lunch.
- Go to school!
Stock Up on Healthy Snacks.
Nutrient-rich snacks keep hunger at bay and contribute to better focus and concentration. Prepare small snack packs the night before to make it easy for your kids to grab and go in the morning. This also encourages mindful eating.
Here are some snack ideas you can try:
- Frozen fruit snacks
- Trail mix
- Crispy chickpeas
- Sweet potato fries
- Veggie-based chips
- PB&J sandwiches
- Cheese sandwiches
- Cheese and crackers
- Turkey roll-up
1 Day Before School
Talk to Your Kids.
Take a moment with your child to discuss what’s ahead. Asking how they feel about it and addressing concerns opens a space for conversation.
Share your own experiences about starting something new. It reassures your kids that it’s normal to have a mix of excitement and nervousness.
Confirm Transportation Arrangements.
Avoid last-minute surprises by confirming transportation details and timing. If possible, do a practice run of the commute to school. This helps your kids become familiar with the route and eases any apprehension.
Encourage your kids to take charge of their preparations by packing their bags the night before. This simple act empowers them with a sense of responsibility.
Make it a game by timing how quickly they can pack their bag with everything they need. This can turn the task into a fun challenge.
On the Big Day
Start the Day Early.
Start the day a bit earlier than usual. Your enthusiasm sets a positive tone for the entire household. A calm and unhurried morning helps everyone begin the day with a smile.
Make Your Kid’s Favorite Breakfast.
Whip up your child’s favorite healthy breakfast. A familiar and comforting meal adds an extra touch of positivity to the morning. If time allows, have a special breakfast together as a family.
Before heading out, do a quick inventory to make sure your kids have everything they need for the day. Create a small checklist and hang it by the door. You kids can tick off items as they pick them up, making sure nothing gets left behind.
Take a First-Day Picture.
Capture the excitement by snapping a first-day-of-school photo. Adding a unique back-to-school sign makes it a tradition that builds beautiful memories over the year.
As a gift for you, our dear read, here’s a FREE back-to-school printable signs!
When sharing the photo on your social media, remember to refrain from disclosing any specific details about their school or teacher, prioritizing your children’s safety and privacy.
Arrive to School On Time.
Plan to arrive a bit earlier than necessary. This buffer time ensures you’re not rushed and can give your child extra moments to settle in.
After the drop-off, take a moment to celebrate this milestone with your child. Share their excitement, reflect on the journey so far, and offer a sense of accomplishment.
And there you have it!
We hope you found our ultimate checklist for back-to-school helpful. Do you have any additional tips in mind? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below!