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Summer is almost over and we are all geared up to welcome another academic year here. As I sit and sift through her books, clothes and stationery for the new phase, I go back to what I do best. And if you’re in the back to school phase too, I’ve got you covered!

If you’ve visited me before, you’d know what I adore. I make a list. Yes, people. Checklists are my life breath. They calm me down, they keep me sane and help me work around a schedule. I know it’s fine to let go and be crazy when it comes down to it, but for some things, lists do help- a lot!

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6 Tips for Parents making a Back to School Checklist! Click to Tweet

1. School Clothes

Depending on your child’s school, you will either have a custom vendor affiliated with the institute or you will need to reach out to tailors/ vendors who deal with good school uniforms. Most vendors come with pre-ordered sizes and we need to try out the ones available and go with the best fit. Even if you’re reasonably sure about the size, ensure that you do a trial fitting. Kids are notorious for growth spurts and what fit them 3 months ago would not necessarily sit well on them now.

If you’re in the US or outside India, I recommend Amazon for some lovely back-to-school outfits!

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Keep in touch with your school to be updated on the Uniform distribution dates. 

If you school leaves the choice of vendor open to you, a good option in Bangalore is Threadworks. All you need to do is upload your child’s measurements and they will arrange for delivery of the uniforms.

Standard Uniform check list:

  • Shirts/ Blouses
  • Pinafores/ Skirts (girls)
  • Shorts / Pants (boys)
  • Sweatshirts
  • Pullovers
  • Sports Gear
  • Tie
  • Belt
  • Socks ( regular and sportswear)
  • Shoes ( regular and sportswear)

Swimming gear (if mandated)

2. Stationery/ Craft Supplies

Any parent would know the feeling of buying pencils, crayons and paints, ad infinitum. 
Here is a list of items which are a must-have for young kids (6 to 10 years):

  1. Pencil box/ pencil pouch
  2. Pencils
  3. Ruler (15-inch/ foot long)
  4. Erasers
  5. Sharpeners
  6. Colour pencils
  7. Oil pastels
  8. Crayons
  9. Paints/ paintbrush
  10. KG cardboard/ styrofoam sheets
  11. Glue/Scissors
  12. Files for storing worksheets/ assignments
  13. Labels for books/ bags/ clothes

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If you are looking for customized labels that can be used across your child’s belongings, a good site to check would be Smile Labels. They offer you the chance to opt for packages, based on your needs.

 3. Books

 School books and textbooks would be typically supplied by the school. Do check with the supplier on the book- distribution dates and plan for it accordingly. Make sure you have at least 3 days before school re-opens, so that you may cover the books, label them and check to see if there any items in the pending list. 

Involve the child in the process, since it helps them get a sense of responsibility with respect to their things. Use old, unused notebooks from the previous year for rough work/ handwriting practice.

4. Bags

Now that you have the books and the stationery, it’s time to invest in a good bag. Aim for ones which have a waterproof lining, since cleaning them becomes easier.

While most schools may not allow it, kids are fascinated by bags which have their favourite cartoon characters. Go for a dark- coloured bag, since maintaining them becomes easier on the parent.

5. Boxes for Food

Lunch/ snack time is an integral part of the daily timetable. So it makes sense that the boxes and bottles that you pick out should be of a durable and lasting nature. Typically, the popular choice comes down to Tupperware, since the leak-proof feature prevents any accidental spills during the day.

Have four boxes ( two for snacks/ two for lunch time) which you can rotate on alternate days. 
 This allows time for the mother to clean/ air-dry and sanitise the boxes for the following day.

6. Bottles

Similarly, have two bottles for the child to use, which she can use alternately. I purchased a Tupperware one and a rubber-sealed steel bottle. Both of these are leak-proof and are ideal for children who are comfortable with unscrewing bottle caps on their own.

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Include a cloth napkin/ a spoon in your child’s lunchbag.

* Some schools have meal plans provided on campus (Daily/ Monthly/ Yearly). If the concept suits you, opt for one of them and see how the child adapts to this.

General Tips:

  • Iron the uniforms sets on Saturday/ Sunday
  • Try and keep at least 3 pencils, duly sharpened, at the beginning of each week. Check for re-sharpening mid-week.
  • Rinse out bottles with warm water and soap twice a week. Air- dry them in the sun.

BAck to school: A checklist for parents and students

Have you made your checklist yet?
Do you have any items to add to this one?

*Featured and pin images: Shutterstock

Click the links below to get supplies relevant to school items and stationery items straight from Amazon!

This post contains links to the Amazon affiliate program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read my complete Disclosure policy here. 

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


Vinodini Iyer · May 28, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Omg Shailaja…you seem to be such a super organized mommy! This list would be so helpful for parents with kids of the particular age group.

Threadworks sounds like an interesting concept!

Shailaja V · May 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Thank you Vinodini. I am not sure about 'super-organised' but I do make lists 😉 Guess that's in the blood. I hope this list will be useful to most parents. Thank you for visiting 🙂

Shilpa Garg · May 28, 2014 at 1:50 pm

I am a list person too. Learnt it from my father. He would make such lists before the schools re-opened too. And I did the same. Now that A is in a Boarding School, I dont have to make any list, as the school gives a BIG list and we just have to furnish everything in the list… not an item more, not an item less! 🙂

Shailaja V · May 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Lists calm me down, Shilpa 🙂 They make me breathe. I actually made a list for Gy when she went on an overnight camp. She studiously checked everything on the list the next day and brought it all back. Was so heartwarming!

ovengoodies · May 28, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Wow, Shailaja. You are super efficient. 🙂 Love the lists. Same pinch, I have listmania too.
Your post made me smile thinking of my school days. I used to wish that someone would make slip on brown covers for my books (similar to the plastic ones we used to get). I hated having to spend the last few days of hols covering books. 😉

Eli Z · May 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Yup- I also make those lists – very useful and organized- great Shailaja:-) In my house the kids are starting summer vacation in a few weeks – so the going back to school lists will rest peacefully in my drawer until august:-)

Unknown · May 28, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Omg Shailaja, you are super-mom! On the first day of school at my house, bus is honking downstairs, uniforms are flying on, pencil shavings flying around the abode with the force of sharpening, half bitten eraser hastily shoved into side pocket of bag, one white sock one husband's, lunch dabba with dhokla splits open right at the doorstep and falls on the she-crocodiles' shoes, I scream, he-Calvin wipes milk moustache on his blazer, I scream again and throw them both out – PHEW!

And 5mins later they ring the bell and come back in. Why? Cos school starts TOMORROW! 🙂

Poornima Jakaty · May 28, 2014 at 5:59 pm

That ^^ was me btw. Forgot to add my name before publishing comment. See what I mean? 🙂

Vidya Sury · May 28, 2014 at 6:40 pm

🙂 How did you leave out glue, scissors and files to store projects?

I'd be non-existent without my lists!

Cathy Graham · May 28, 2014 at 9:19 pm

My, you are organized to go with those pointy boots, aren't you? *Trembles with fear* Fun to read about school prep stuff for you. Ah, the memories. My boys are in post secondary now and take care of most of their own stuff now though I still have to make sure they're on track. Funny to think of you starting the school year and summer being over when here in North America they are winding down towards summer vacation. I enjoyed reading this as I could relate and yet it was also very different which is what I am enjoying about having all your Indian bloggers in Write Tribe. So fascinating.

Kathy Combs · May 28, 2014 at 10:24 pm

OMG, you are getting ready to go back to school??? My kids are counting the days till summer break!! Their last day is June 4 and believe you me, it will not come soon enough for me or my kids! We will be worrying about all those lists in August.

Ananya Tales · May 29, 2014 at 4:44 am

You are so well organized, Need to learn this from you !

Sreeja Praveen · May 29, 2014 at 8:15 am

I just went back to my schooldays and returned in time to post this comment 😀 That's such an exhaustive list. Of course, I too thought of glue and fevicol. Isn't it fantastic to have a list and 'tick' the things done ? That leaves you feeling efficient, and full with a sense of achievement.
I used to make lists while studying and mark against the chapters I had completed. Looking at it at the end of th day was such a motivation, that , Yay I have studied this much 🙂

Now its grocery lists and ' to do 'lists 🙂

Aparna · May 29, 2014 at 10:21 am

Super checklist Shailaja.. I make lists only under pressure and usually after making one don't remember to follow it anyway :P.. yes it must be obvious I'm not looking forward to the schedules!!

Swathi Shenoy · May 31, 2014 at 6:03 am

I never was this organized!! I used to forget things and then make my mom run an extra errand!! Even now I forget to take hall tickets to exams! Donno how it happens! My mom makes sure to ask me if I have taken everything necessary before I leave 😀

Swathi Shenoy

Shailaja Vishwanath · May 25, 2015 at 4:10 am

I have no option. Nobody else will do these things for me 😉 I hate covering books too and have found no way to escape it 😉

Shailaja Vishwanath · May 25, 2015 at 4:12 am

He he he, I know. Pain in the butt, I am at the organising 😉

Shailaja Vishwanath · May 25, 2015 at 4:13 am

Ha ha ha, how do you manage to turn everything into a laugh-fest? You crack me up 😀

Shailaja Vishwanath · May 25, 2015 at 4:14 am

Ah probably because those only started from last year 😉 Good point! Yes, me without my lists is like a puppy in the rain.

Shailaja Vishwanath · May 25, 2015 at 4:14 am

True, Cat! The school year starts at different times, but the tension is the same 😉 Thanks for reading 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · May 25, 2015 at 4:18 am

So did you find the lists useful? 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · May 25, 2015 at 4:18 am

Thank you Ananya 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · May 25, 2015 at 4:19 am

Yes our lists do tend to undergo a change, don't they? Sigh, life happens 😀

Shailaja Vishwanath · May 25, 2015 at 4:19 am

After all my training, tsk tsk! You better start them now 😉

Shailaja Vishwanath · May 25, 2015 at 4:20 am

We do take our moms for granted eh? In my case, it was my dad though, the super organised one 🙂

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