You can’t believe summer went by so fast… but yes, it is that time of year again. Back-to-school madness has begun! Whether it is your first time sending your little ones off or you’ve done it over and over again, all the preparation seems overwhelming. We’ve compiled a Back-to-School Checklist to help make getting your kids on the bus a (relatively) stress-free experience. Any tips or recommendations from those experienced Hong Kong Moms out there?
Wardrobe Basics: Tees, check; underwear, check; socks, check.
Old Navy: Standard issue separates on the cheap
Zara: Leggings, jeans, shirts — both plain and with a stylish edge
Land’s End: All the essentials in a wide range of sizes
Marks & Spencer: British basics
Giordano: Boxers, sweats, socks et al
H&M: Underwear and basic tees and leggings
New Shoes: A must for back-to-school. Velcro or laces?
Geox: High-tech trainers in funky styles
Stride Rite: Multiple feet-friendly brands in cute cuts
Dr. Kong: Black leather uniform standards
Wing On: Huge selection of shoes from sporty to sparkly
GigaSports: Athletic shop stocked with brands like Nike, New Balance, Asics and Adidas
Nike: Large range of styles for all-purpose use and specific sports
Kong Kee Sports Co.: Sneakers, cleats, flip-flops of all types on Stanley Main Street in Stanley Market
Backpacks: Do your kids want a new one every year?
Pottery Barn Kids: Various shapes and sizes in the ubiquitous rainbow, butterfly, and Star Wars patterns among others.
LL Bean: Old-school classic with a few updated looks
Fjallraven: Basic packs for the mini-hipster
Lane Crawford: Offers limited but supercool styles
Labels (for everything!): We are not losing anything this year!
Blank Sheet: Embroidered name patches, stickers and sew-on labels in both Chinese and English
HK IOU Labels: A huge variety of inexpensive label and stickers in all shapes and sizes
GM Labels: Many sweet, customizable styles of labels (you can even add a photo!)
UR Photo: Low-priced Standard stickers and labels
** Ask at your local stationery store if they make labels! Or buy a box of blank label pages and print your own!
Lunch Boxes + Water Bottles: Can’t leave home without them!
Bumps to Babes: A cute selection geared towards the nursery set
Little Whale: Many food storage solutions in adorable motifs
City Super: The grocery store has almost everything for a well-accessorized kid’s lunch!
It’s for My Baby: Online shop delivers Yumbox lunch boxes
Smiggle: Water bottles and lunch boxes galore
OmieBox: Hot/cold bento boxes; order via Amazon.com
Bentgo: Leakproof and easy-to-clean bento boxes; order via Amazon.com
Pottery Barn Kids: Lunch bags water bottles to match the backpacks and pricey bento boxes
LL Bean: Practical lunch boxes and accessories
School supplies: Pens, pencils, notebooks…
Muji: Stationary supplies in cool, minimalist styles
Bookazine: Books, markers, crayons, notebooks and many educational workbooks
Artland: This megacraft shop has large selection of stationary items
Smiggle: Everything in tween-friendly colors and styles
Local stationery shop: These small boutiques are usually jam-packed with all the desk gear you need for school, office and home.
Activity Planners for Mom and Kids: Stay organized!
Parteez: The party store has colorful chalkboard pens
Artland: The store has a large selection of white boards and dry erase pens and markers
MomAgenda: Desktop planners, meal calendars, and everything a parent needs to keep everyone on task.
Don’t Forget to…
- Schedule a checkup with the doctor and update the health forms with the school nurse (if required)
- Update your “emergency contact” list and post it in an obvious place
- Get the kids’ hair cut
- Sign-up for after-school activities and prepare specific necessary gear (leotards, instruments, equipment, cleats, etc)
- Menu plan: Gather meal ideas for the school year and put it up on the fridge so, you don’t forget!
- Make “reminder” lists for the kids and put by the door
- Get camera charged and ready for the “first day of school” picture!
- Stock up on the coffee and wine — mom has her needs too!
- Book a massage, spin class, a yoga lesson or go for a hike.
- Plan a ladies’ lunch and catch up with your friends.
- Above all, celebrate! Your kids are occupied for a few hours!