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Mum's Guide To Hertford Blog

Tots100

What have we been up to recently? Have we a new family recipe we've loved we want to share? Do we want to highlight a particular area of Hertford? From National Make a friend day to pizza dough recipes you can find it here. We are specialist days out bloggers and when it comes to days out with the kids locally we aim to give you the lowdown. So do head over to our tried and tested pages too. 

From Hertford's Number 1 mummy blogger (in google search results- last updated 24/9/21) and Tots100 chart featured parenting blogger and one of the leading mummy bloggers in Hertfordshire (Rank 3 in Google searches 24/9/21) and rank 4 in google searches for "Hertfordshire bloggers" (11/21). #kayleigh&theboys

 

 

Is your little one starting school in September? Read our top tips to help you prepare .

Published:

Our top tips to make back prepping for starting primary school a breeze. 

I know you have only just found out about your childresn school places but i also know many of you have started to panic about all the time they need for the start or term, and thats without the worry of are they ready? Can they dress themselves for PE etc etc.

For the first two years of my sons primary education I would run around like a headless goose in the final weeks of summer , queuing for hours to have feet measured and making sure we had everything we needed, it was stressful and rather took the shine off the summer for us. So when my son was due to head into year 2 (now approaching year 5!) I took a different approach. As my youngest heads into reception this september I am feeling much calmer and confident about the situation but thought that i would pass on some tips i'd picked up along the way. 

Uniform 

So this is a big one, and it can be rather costly. Your new school will provide you with a list of uniform and where to get it from (usually this is Kids Connection in Hertford Town- near sainsburys). First things first - don't over buy, for some reason parents, myself included previously, would go into a mad panic thinking that uniform is only available to buy in the summer and i needed to buy everything he would possibly need then and at no other time. I mean this is clearly rediculous. You can purchase uniform anytime you need it, so if you buy two jumpers and realise they really need a third you can order it at a later date no problems there. It's also worth contacting the school to see if they have a preloved uniform sale, you can pick up some big bargains this way, or post on local facebook groups to see if anyone has any uniform in the size you need for sale. Likewise visit the local charity shops they often have school trousers and skirts in etc. If you can pick up a bargain do so.

My sons school have the option of either branded polo shirts or plain ones, each year i buy one branded one (for school photos of trips etc) and the rest plain (usually from the supermarket) again i only buy one pack because if i need more i can easily order more online. 

Check with other parents already at the school whether specific uniform items are actually needed. For example in my sons reception year i purchased a rather expensive fleece for his pe kit. I later found out it was optional and literally he wore it once. After speaking to other parents I realised we had all done the same thing and essentially wasted £15 in doing so! Once you do know exactly what uniform you need  get those ordered online from Kids Connection as soon as finances allow (they usually offer a click and collect service) trust me youll thank me later in the summer when you arent needing to do a frantic last minute visit to the shop. The staff in Kids Connection are lovely however so if you are unsure on sizing or need any help they are always happy to offer some assistance. Do check the webpage before visiting however and remember they have no parking on site (park at hartham or sainsburys and walk there).

Label Everything

Kids tend to lose stuff, a lot! One year my son lost three schools jumpers in 3 weeks. Save yourself the hassle of ironing on names and either buy a stamp or the stick on labels (we use my name tags) they are just so easy to stick on to EVERYTHING including water bottles and lunch boxes - the works!

Shoes glorious shoes

Now as of yet I havent mentioned shoes, there is a good reason for this! My sons feet never seem to grow that fast and so I find its fine for me to measure in the first week or so and buy his shoes, if needed and he won't outgrow them that quickly, for others I know this isnt always the case. My top tip for feet measuring is to buy a clarks foot measuring gage and do it at home. Even if you subsequently visit a store to buy the shoes it will save you queuing to be measured and also means that you can measure whenever you want to. I brought the toddler and the adult one when my son was about 2 and they have been invaluable. We usually order a couple of pairs of shoes in the right size online for home delivery and send back whichever we don't want, which makes the whole shoe process a lot less painful. I would always recommend going for sturdy shoes over fashion. Honestly these shoes are going to be put through a lot in this reception year. For shoes like PE trainers or wellies which may not get so much use its well worth checking the local charity shops, or preloved pages to pick up a bargain for trainers if you can.

Another top tip i was given by a teacher to help children put their shoes on the right feet is it get a large sticker or a recognisable image (for example PJ Masks) and cut it in half sticking half in each shoe, the children will know which shoe goes on which foot by lining up the pictures. 

Practice makes perfect

If this is your first experience of the school run its well worth having a few practise runs in the summer. Perhaps there are several different routes to try, or perhaps you want to test if its better to walk or scoot to school for example. You can reduce your stress levels significantly by doing so and you can make it lots of fun for your child by doing so, plus it will make the whole process more familiar. Personally I suffer from high functioning anxiety so being uber prepared helps me to manage that. 

If you are particularly worried about your child dressing for PE you could do fun little games to practice too, can your child beat the clock for example? However in my expereince a lot of schools don't do full PE in the first term anyway, or don't fully get dressed in their PE kit for it, instead they might just wear their trainers etc, to build up to it slowly. I promise they will be fine. 

Networking

Now don't panic too much about this one, your child will make friends. But my son is actually the only one going to his school from his nursery setting (thankfully due to his elder brother we know a lot of the other children anyway) so I am going to arrange a few playdates over the summer with some of his new classmates. Most reception intakes will have a facebook page, or whatsapp group or similar. If you are able to and you feel the need to a quick visit to the park with a few of your childs new class mates can work wonders to reduce any nerves. It always helps to have a friendly familiar face to see on that first day.

And breathe

I aim to have everything done for both my boys, uniform, shoes, homework (sometimes the school will set a welcoming activity for over the summer), any supplies sorted, washed, labelld and packed and ready by the second week of the summer holidays. For me this means that we can get on with our summer plans without the thought of uniform and school shoes hanging over us and the night before school we can all go to bed safe in the knowledge we know where everything is and its all ready. 

Obviously I am aware that what works for me may not appeal to you, perhaps you revel in being lastminute.com and thats fine too, but if this helps anyone then its been very worth a write.

When my eldest started school I was so very worried about everything, would he be able to carry his tray for lunch? Get changed for pe? Would he make friends? Would he be ok? The answer to all of those questions is yes. He coped with all of those things, he loved school and still does and all those things i was worried about now seem a distant memory. Your child is going to be ok and so will you. 

What if I fall?
There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, "What if I fall?"
Oh, but my darling,
What if you fly?
- by Erin Hanson

Lots of love 

Kayleigh & The Boys

Xxxx

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