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First Day of School: 6 Need-to-Know Tips for Parents Doing their First School Run

07 August 2020

For most parents, the start of September kicks off a well-trodden routine of sandwich making, school uniform shopping (or stitching) and pencil-sharpening…everything to prepare the kids for going back to school.

But for parents sending their child to school for the first time, it can be an uncertain time. So put your mind at ease with our list of handy tips and advice for new parents.

Set alarms…lots of alarms

As with any change to your usual routine, there can be an adjustment period to deal with. No one plans to be late, but accidents happen: what if there’s a power outage? What if you forget to plug your phone in before bed? We’ve all slept through an alarm or two!

So it’s best to set a few alarms on your phone, as well as using one on a clock or radio as a backup. This Goodmans Wake Up Sunrise Alarm Clock is an LED lamp that gradually increases its brightness, waking you up more gently. You can even get the kids in on the new routine with our Learn to Tell the Time Alarm Clock – nothing beats retro!

Build excitement - take them to pick their own stationery

The first day of school can understandably be a bit scary for new-starters, and even kids who don’t express any anxiety may be feeling a bit nervous.

Taking them to pick their own school stationery will add to the excitement for that first day. Tell them that they can have that new set of coloured pencils, but they’ll have to wait until their first day of school to use them.

Plus you’ll have a lot of fun taking your little Einstein to your nearest B&M store, and browsing the Back to School shop for all their stationery essentials! Pens, pencils, erasers, pencil cases and notepads. Not forgetting a big range of lunchbags and backpacks, from Marvel and Toy Story to Disney Princess and L.O.L Surprise! branded merchandise!

B&M Top Tip: you can build up the excitement and sense of responsibility with a simple hanger or two! Get their uniform ready a couple of days before their first day, and hang it up on their own special school uniform hanger. They can hang on their own Metallic Overdoor Hooks too!

Do a practice school run

Whether its school or work, no one wants to be late for their first day! This tip is as much for you as it is for your little one. You’ll have enough to think about on that bleary-eyed Monday morning, you don’t need the added headache of getting lost or stuck in traffic on the way to school.

Take the time a week or two before their first day to take them on a dummy school run. Whether you’re walking, dropping them off or taking the bus, it will make the experience less scary and ensure you know what time to leave the house.

Discuss school rules & expectations

School will provide your child with a very different environment than they’re used to, and with that that change of space will come new rules and expectations.

So take a moment to explain to them that they will have to listen carefully to their teacher, be respectful of their classmates and take care of the stationery and other equipment that they come across in the classroom.

It’s worth asking yourself the following questions:

  • Can they go to the toilet and wash their hands by themselves?
  • Do they know they’ll need to ask for permission to go to the toilet? And can they ask nicely?
  • Can they change in and out of their PE kit?
  • Can they put their own shoes on, or tie their laces?
  • Are they used to saying “please” and “thank you” to new people?

Wear your best smile

It might not just be the kids feeling a little nervous for the first day of school. It’s a milestone occasion for parents as well, and as such a potentially tear-jerking moment!

But you should try your best to keep smiling when you drop them off for the first time. Kids tend to follow the lead of mum and dad, so if you’re smiling when you wave them off then they’re more likely to be beaming back.

Read lots of books with them

It may seem obvious to say, but literacy is going to be a massive part of your child’s day now they’re at school. Many parents will already be in a story-time routine, making time before bed to read to and encourage early learners to read back to them.

The more used to reading before their first day the better, and will help give them a head start against their classmates. Books about school are a great way to settle any nerves about their first day too!

You’ll find a whole library of fun books at B&M, from new That's Not My... titles to classic tales like Beatrix Potter's Tales of Peter Rabbit! We've got lots of educational books too, to help them outside the classroom. Try the First Time Learning Spiral Book, Leap Ahead Workbook English & Maths 5+ or Junior Brain Bending Workout Book - the're full of fun and engaging exercises for primary age pupils, right up to secondary students.

B&M Top Tip: Check out our Back to School Bargains blog for some great stationery ideas!

Have we missed anything? Share your own first day at school tips for new parents over on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

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