The days of summer are numbered and now’s the time to plan a smooth transition into the new school year. Follow our pointers to make it an easy one.
The countdown to resuming classes has begun. It’s the time when mums and dads review the calendar to check just how many carefree days remain. Or, for that matter, to badger the brain for ways to keep youngsters constructively busy.
Parents and children experience mixed emotions as they bustle about in preparation for the new academic term. While excitement to return to the classrooms is palpable, there are also butterflies in the stomach in anticipation of how the year will unfold.
School supplies, personal essentials and crisp new uniforms need to be bought. Now’s the time to make your lists and check them twice – so you and your kids are in the right frame of mind on the first day of school.
U is for Uniform
The uniform imparts a sense of pride and belonging towards the school community. Children must be encouraged to wear theirs with pride to instill discipline and the importance of good grooming for a lifetime. Marks & Spencer has a great stock of school attire. Box-pleated skirts, blouses, pinafores, hooded sweatshirts, joggers and cardigans are up for grabs for girls. Boys’ school wear includes trousers, shorts, cotton-rich shirts and jumpers. Cooler climes will be upon us before we know it, so it might be a good idea to source winter staples for little ones while you’re at it.
Show off your Supplies
When it comes to school supplies, a single trip to Centrepoint will have all aspects on your shopping list checked. The outlets at City Centre Bahrain and at the Riffa and Muharraq branches of Oasis Mall are choc-full of school items under one roof – backpacks sporting various well-known characters and designs, matching pencil cases and snack bags as well as BPA-free lunch-time essentials. The value for money that the brand offers is a bonus.
Cath Kidston is another great option for pouches, satchels and slingbags for boys and girls who prefer a more classic feel to their belongings. Pastel shades, small animal prints and florals characterise the collection. You might be tempted to snap up some pretty paraphernalia for yourself too.
On the Run
Good quality footwear is imperative for young feet to develop correctly. Puma offers footwear that is durable and optimally supports the growth of tender toes. There is a range of running shoes, sneakers and suede classics for boys and girls.
The label’s factory outlet is located at Jannusan and offers exceptional value for money on footwear and other sports accessories.
Yateem Centre in Manama Souq houses a factory outlet for Adidas, which is also a forerunner when it comes to activewear. It might be worth a look-see for shoes that stand the test of time, available at reduced prices.
Centrepoint’s Shoemart, as well as Shoeciti outlets stock well known footwear brands to suit every taste and pocket. And UK favourite Clark’s offers fitting to make sure back-to-school shoes hit the spot for both comfort and style.
We all know how hectic it can get once we plunge in to the regular weekday routine and going out to purchase art and craft material mid-week can eat into precious time and energy. A good idea is to envisage what items the teacher might send for and have them at hand.
Bahrain’s bargain spaces such as Al Anwar Discount Centre and Kingdom Pride are treasure troves of school project requirements. Not only will you have fun trawling their labyrinth of party essentials, daily-use items, handy homeware and art and craft gold, you’ll also be struck with brilliant ideas for DIY projects. All this is available at a fraction of the cost compared to more upmarket outlets.
You’ll also find a collection of organisers – boxes, files and folders in varied designs and sizes to provide a place for everything, and everything in its place. Bid goodbye to misplaced documents forever!
For more product-specific or branded items, Things-To-Do has a range of quality raw materials to fuel hobbies, ranging from pottery and calligraphy to needlework and creative art activities. The store has thousands of top-quality brands and its staff can offer clients advice, too.
All in One
If you don’t want to run from one place to another, check out the major supermarkets, such as Lulu and Carrefour, for school staples, from socks and shoes to sports gear, as well as everything from lunch boxes to pencil cases.
Before Day 1…
- Make your remaining free days count. The next long break won’t be till next year, so try to cram in everything you had set out to do at the start of the holidays.
- Partake in activities with the kids – be it baking, simple DIY or even just a ball game.
- Involve children with shopping for school items. Empower them make a few guided decisions, depending on their age.
- Gently ease into the school day routine two weeks before school starts.
- If it’s a new school, a trip around the campus can familiarise them with classrooms and pick-up points to ease the jitters.
- For kindergarteners, incorporate a positive idea of school in stories and conversations to lessen the first-day intimidation.
- Set aside time for reading and creative writing; it gets kids into school mode easily after a long break.
- Set agendas for homework, play and gadget time beforehand, to ensure a smooth school year.
- Designate a place for school items and homework to encourage kids to be organised.
- Make meal plans for the week ahead and shop for ingredients well in advance.
- Jointly discuss breakfast ideas to avoid morning melt-downs.
- Be ready for the run two nights before – iron uniforms, label books and keep identity cards handy.
And on the first day back, wave them off with confidence and head to the spa!