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The ultimate back-to-school checklist for busy mums and dads

We all know the drill: as the summer holidays come to a close, it’s time to get the kids ready and organised to begin a new school year. The good news? Your local Westfield is a one-stop-shop for everything they’ll need for the first day back - from lunch boxes and labels to hair ties and shoes. Here's your official checklist to help you on your way.

Fresh stationery

Depending on their year level, your child may only need a few new pens and pencils, or the works: a diary, calculator, index cards, notebooks and several A4 binders. Sit down with them to make a thorough shopping list - starting with checking what’s in their pencil case to see what may need replacing - then head to Kmart, Whitcoulls, Smiggle, Typo and grab it all in one go.

Image source: @fabercastellaustralia also available at Whitcoulls.

Upgraded gadgets

If they use a device at school, ask them to check on it - you may find the charger or carry bag needs to be replaced. If your kids use smartwatches or child-friendly mobile phones, consider treating them to a fun new band or tech case for the year from Noel Leeming.

Smart school shoes

If they’re due for new school kicks, head straight for Farmers or Hannahs. Footwear plays a big role in healthy development for kids, so make an effort to have them fitted professionally every year. Some stores, like The Athletes Foot, offer online bookings for in-store fittings so you can choose a time that’s convenient for you and your little one. No waiting in long lines? You’re welcome.

Image source: Shoes & Sox

Backpack basics

Here’s a list of things you (hopefully!) won’t have to replace every single year, but might need upgrading this year: their drink bottle, lunch bag, library bag and backpack. Older kids will likely have an opinion on what they would prefer you buy, so ask ahead of time - but don’t forget to check school rules for any colour or style restrictions. Head into Smiggle, Typo, Kmart or Farmers.

Image source: @smashproductsau available at Farmers

Essential accessories

They’re easy to overlook, but day-to-day basics like hair accessories (that match school and house colours), school and sports socks and even spare undies never fail to go astray. Stores like Farmers, Cotton on Kids or Kmart will have you covered on all counts. If your children are prone to misplacing things (whose aren’t?) invest in iron-on or sticky labels and attach them to everything in their bag.

Home study fundamentals

Home offices aren’t just for grown ups. A dedicated study area can go a long way towards promoting concentration and encouraging them to get their study on. Keep the set up simple - all they really need is a desk, a comfortable chair and possibly a lamp - then invite them to decorate. Check out Kmart,Farmers or Bed Bath N' Table. Add storage space for school texts and notes and a wastepaper basket and they’ll be ready to crack the books.

Image source: David Jones

Back-to-school services

Once you’ve ticked off everything you need to buy, think about which other tasks you can get done before the school year kicks off and time gets increasingly scarce. Get ahead of the reminder texts and book them in for a dental checkup and eye test at OPSM or Specsavers. Reckon they could use a haircut? Get it done at Just Cuts, Kess Hair & Beauty or Rodney Wayne Hairdressing.

## Is your little one a fussy eater? Here are 4 healthy and easy summer snack ideas they'll love >

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