Even if the end of summer holidays comes with a sneaky sense of relief, there are still certain things all parents dread about back to school.
Stuck on You personalised labels are the colourful, clever and effective way to avoid the universal misery of lost property. Experts in identifying everything from trainers to food allergies, we asked them to name their top eight back to school dreads. How many do you recognise?
1/ End of summer
The end of the school holidays isn’t the end of summer, it just feels that way. Whether you’re a super-organiser, with everything prepped and ready in July, or a top procrastinator; the first week in September rolls round regardless. You can’t avoid it, but you can put up a bit of fight for the last few days of freedom.
It’s not over, till it’s over: make that your mantra, and plan some treats to take the sting out of summer’s end.
Mid to late August is good for family festivals; try The Big Feastival in the Cotswolds on 25 and 26 August; Just So Festival from 18 to 20 August; or hit Notting Hill Carnival – Family Day’s on Sunday 26 August.
2/ Early mornings
Early mornings are another back to school unavoidable, and they’re tougher than ever after a long summer of flexible bedtimes and long lie-ins. Getting into the homework routine probably isn’t filling you with joy either. And all that’s before you even think about the energy that extra-curricular term-time activities involve.
Unfortunately there’s no fun solution, or quick fixes. But slowly introducing earlier nights, and planning exciting reasons to get up at school time for a couple of weeks before the end of the holiday, does work.
Kids are surprisingly adaptable, and if you sneak in some afternoon ‘learning’ time in August, homework won’t be much of as much of a shock come September. As for your own energy levels; early nights are the only answer there too, sadly.
3/ Labelling school uniforms
If it was a fair world, there would be medals for school uniform shopping, handed out to exhausted parents when they tick that final item off their list. Instead, bearing in mind how much everything costs, you’re probably looking forward to sewing on labels rather than doing a victory lap.
Iron On Labels from Stuck on You are a permanent end to lost property, without the need for sewing. Designed to embed into the weave of fabric, they don’t peel, fade or come off in the wash. And dozens of different Stuck on You designs mean kids can personalise their ID, and recognise it right away, even within a sea of other similar-looking belongings.
4/ First day anxieties
By the time kids are seven or so, they’ve got the hang of the idea that a new school year isn’t a whole new world. Younger ones can have a harder time grasping that concept, and it’s not unusual for them to worry about a different year – and teacher – meaning different friends too.
Other parents will have anxious kids too, so organising playtime with some familiar classmates before school starts is usually easy. Don’t over-plan though, the point is to reassure under sevens that they’ll still see friendly faces in the classroom on day one. Even something as simple as an hour in a local park can help.
5/ Packed lunches
No one looks forward to solving the healthy vs yummy packed lunch puzzle every morning. But it’s back with a vengeance first day of school, and the knack of balancing what kids will eat, with what they should eat, is as tricky as ever.
Invented by the Japanese, and made by Stuck on You, neatly divided Bento Boxes convince even picky eaters that lunch is cool.
A zip-in icepack and insulated carry bag means fruit and drinks stay fresh for hours, and kids can even personalise their own designs. Bento Boxes might be minor miracles in world terms, but an eaten packed lunch feels major to most parents.
6/ Coughs and sneezes
After a long summer of fresh air and freedom, sending kids back to school can feel like throwing them headfirst into a medieval plague pit. UK pupils miss an average of eight school days a year through illness, mostly minor, and almost always in autumn and winter. Avoiding every sniffle’s difficult, but try to cut down on the obvious risks.
Encouraging kids to share safely and selectively is almost impossible. To make the distinction a little easier, Stuck on You have labels for everything from drink bottles to lunchboxes. They’re personalised, bright, clear and stand up to dishwashers, microwaves and freezers. Labelling alone won’t kill germs, but it’s a good first line of defence.
7/ New teachers
Getting used to a teacher takes time for younger kids, but they usually come round; occasionally to the point of parental envy – everyone’s been there. Then suddenly, it all changes. A new school year usually means a new teacher and, unless there are older brothers and sisters to pave the way, an easy transition’s down to you.
Familiarising kids with the idea of change is often enough. Find out what fun stuff the new teacher’s class got up to last year, and build a bit of excitement. Talk about pupils you both know who’ve already had, and liked, the teacher. And if it’s the first day of primary one, Lauren Child’s, ‘I’m Absolutely Too Small for School’, is a late summer holiday must-read.
8/ Lost property
There isn’t a child in the world who hasn’t come home from school without something, or with something that belongs to someone else. Strangely enough, they don’t really care about the fortune you’ve spent on uniforms, they just apply the ‘grab anything, ask questions later’ rule, especially in the home time scramble.
If you get through a school year without a single misidentified item, congratulations. But assuming you’re not unique or extraordinarily lucky; Stuck on You Value Packs of personalised labels fit everything from jackets to backpacks, and help fix most cases of mistaken identity inexpensively, and fast.
Stuck on You have fun, personalised labels for every known back to school eventuality. They even point out kids’ food allergies, without the drama, and help spot individuals in the classroom mountain of identical schoolbags. Value Packs are great for multi-uniform families, and there’s free UK delivery on orders over £40.
Find out more about Stuck on You personalised back to school labels.