I may write this with a small tear in my eye as my big little girl starts school in September. How on earth did that happen? She surely can’t be ready to go quite yet. However, this is post is not about me getting all emotional but is instead about getting myself organised.
I’m pretty sure I will be doing another post on how I’m feeling sad/nervous/old now I have a little one at school/excited about this next stage but for now I am putting my practical head on and I’ve been trying to think of everything she will need for those first days in her new classroom and wanted to share a list for all the other mums who are preparing to wave their little ones off on their new adventure. These items are geared towards first school so I know the list for older kids would be quite a bit longer. See you in the queue at the shoe shop.
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This will obviously be dependent upon each individual school but as a guide you will probably need the following items.
2 x Trousers or Skirts/Pinafores – These will be in the specified colour but I definitely think I will need at least two skirts, possibly three, for Molly. She’s a pretty neat little girl but all it takes is one blob of paint or one dropped lunch. Go for machine washable, hard wearing, the works. I’ve purchased mine from M&S when they had 20% off but I also really rate the supermarkets, especially Sainsburys, for good quality at a low price. I opted for pinafores as Molly is so skinny the skirts just fall off her!
3 x shirts or polo shirts – At Molly’s first school they have to wear the school polo shirt and I think a lot of first schools will be the same rather than little one’s having fiddly shirt buttons. I’ve got two Polo shirts but thinking three may be a better option now…
2 x Jumpers or Cardigans – For when it gets chillier (um, that will be all the time then) a jumper or cardigan is required. Again, Molly’s is a school sweatshirt or sweat cardigan (is that a thing?) and I’ve opted for two.
Waterproof Coat – It seems these kids aren’t lightweights when it comes to the rain and are out in all weather. I’m opting for a pack away mac that she can easily store in her bag. Probably not school regulation but how amazing is this flamingo mac from John Lewis?!
Socks and tights – Many schools will have specific colours of socks and tights that the children need to wear so it is worth checking. I thought Molly’s was grey then recently found out (after making the purchases) that it is navy. Oops.
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School Shoes – This is going to possibly be my biggest challenge with Molly. There is no way that girl wants a pair of black shoes. I also have the whole issue of when to buy them. I don’t want to leave it till the end of the holidays when it will be crazy but equally if I buy them now will they still fit her in September? And do I go for Clarks or Startrite or another brand altogether. Basically what is going to be the most hardwearing?
Wellies – Molly does Forest School every week plus goes outside whatever the weather so a pair of wellies is essential. I normally grab some from the supermarket or really rate the Crocs wellies. They are so lightweight and easy for the little ones to pull on with the handles.
Shorts – The littles will probably be starting regular PE lessons so gym kit will be needed. This will most likely be a pair of shorts for the majority of indoor lessons. I’ve grabbed some from M&S but a lot of schools will allow them to have sports shorts.
Tracksuit Bottoms – For colder days or outdoor activities a pair of tracksuit bottoms is a good idea. Again, just in a plain colour.
T Shirt – This may be a plain white polo shirt or in Molly’s case a rather fetching bright green school t-shirt.
Plimsols – Who remembers those lovely black PE plimsols? Yep, that is what I am now back to purchasing.
Gym Bag – I need to get Molly a small drawstring bag for her PE kit. She could have had a school one but I thought she would like a pretty little one like this Joules one. There is a severe lack around at the moment so hoping a few more will pop up.
2 x Summer Dress or Shorts – IF it ever warms up then a summer dress or shorts will be needed. Often those first few weeks of September can be quite warm so you may find they are heading back in these. One word of advice on the summer dresses. I opted for the cute traditional style from M&S but my god it creases. Go for cheap and cheerful non-iron every time. The £4 one from Sainsburys was excellent.
Sun Hat – For those sunny days. You could opt for a baseball hat or a nice floppy number. I think a cowboy hat may be pushing it a bit though…..
Suncream – I’ll normally apply suncream before the start of school but if it’s a hot day then a bottle of named suncream in their bag is a good idea.
Hats, Gloves, Scarves – As they will be outside a lot then warm hats, scarves and gloves are excellent ideas. I probably wouldn’t go for your favourites as if your children are like Molly they will either get lost or end up covered in mud.
Winter Coat – A nice warm coat for those chilly walks to school is a must. I picked up two amazing bargains in the Boden winter sale last year. A gorgeous pink duffle coat for £20 and a super cosy fleece lined anorak for £12. I was impressed with my thinking ahead skills.
Bags & Stationery
Rucksack – I’ll be letting Molly choose a little rucksack for her school days. I’m guessing it may well be a princess one if she has her way!
Book Bag – We also have a little school book bag which they use for bringing back, well, books as well as paintings and homework.
Lunch Bag – I am yet to buy Molly’s lunch bag. She currently has a little Skip Hop monkey bag but it’s a bit tatty now and I wanted to get her something new for starting school. I have my eye on this Joules hamster one or a cute owl from Boden.
Water bottle – Molly has to take a in a bottle of water each day. We recently bought these Camelbak flasks and they are the best. More pricey but super hardwearing and they have a range of cute prints on them. We obviously have the unicorn one but also a shark too.
Pencil Case & pencils – I’m a little bit gutted that Molly doesn’t need a full on stationery set with protractor and ruler. That was one of the the most fun parts of going back to school. I don’t think she actually needs a pencil case in reception class but we may get a little one to keep in her bag.
Name Labels – This should probably have a category of its own given the importance of these bad boys. Label, label, label is the mantra where school is concerned. I can’t guarantee you won’t still loose things but it will help. Long gone are the days of having to sew in tiny little name labels to everything. I buy mine from Tinyme.com and I can’t praise them enough. I get the bumper pack which has a variety of stickers in various sizes as well as iron in labels for the clothes. These have been through the wash a lot and have survived copious tumble drying. You can choose all manner of patterns and colours so it’s a fun to get the kids to help create their own design.
Is anyone else’s little one’s starting school this September? Any essential kit that I have forgotten?
Image by Little Beanies Photography