Back to school checklist

Getting Ready For Back To School + Clarks Giveaway

The winners were:

Master almost 5 has very strange shaped and difficult to fit feet. Maybe due to his cerebral palsy, maybe not. Either way, add an orthotic to the mix and Clark’s are a necessity for shoes and sandals. We’d love to win a pair.

Amanda Elizabeth from Amanda’s Mummy Jeans
With only the 1 wage BUT 3 kids, we always find the money to put Clarks on all their feet, with width selections, the best quality leather, and half sizes- we are giving their feet a treat, at a specialist store, it would be so hard to choose, the voucher would buy us ONE and a HALF pairs of Clarks Elise Shoes, with velcro straps- I have nothing to lose!

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

While we still have a few glorious weeks left of school holidays, I like to be able to take a calm and relaxed approach to getting ready for back to school.

Years of experience and a couple of cases of running around madly on the last two days before school goes back, has taught me to keep a list of the tasks I need to do, in order to get us ready for back to school and to work through it slowly in the weeks leading up to the kids’ return.

Getting Ready For Back To School Checklist

1. StationeryAlthough the majority of the items we purchase through the school ordering system, I like to restock our stationery supplies so we have everything we need in our homework setup.
2. Lunch boxes and drink bottlesMake sure they are all clean and in working order.
3. Back to routinesA week before school returns, I like to start winding back the holiday bed times to our term times, making sure the kids go back to school well rested.
4. Labels and coveringEnsure all school items are labelled. As we on-sell our son's text books who is in secondary school, we have found covering them keeps them in much better condition, so we need to teach him how to do this.
5. Scooter / bike / helmet / pram checkCheck that all modes of transport and helmets are in working order before the first day of school.
6. Paper workThere is always a form lurking somewhere that needs to be completed, whether it be end of year reports, registration papers or consent forms. It is much easier to complete them now before the new batch arrives.
7. New menu plan and big shopSettling into new routines and activities, I like to have things as organised as possible. I will make sure we have a menu plan to take us through the first month of back to school. As stocks always run down over the holidays, I will also do a full restock of the pantry.
8. Print out SchedulesFor the school kids, we can't do this until they start back at school and know their time table, but for the preschooler I can create a chart for him to help him remember what he needs to do to get ready for preschool and what days he actually goes to preschool.
9. UniformsEnsuring that everything is accounted for, fits and is in its right spot.
10. ShoesCheck to see that the school shoes are fitting correctly. The Clarks Fitting guide can tell you what to look for.

Back to school checklist You can download a template for the back to school check list here – PWK Back To School Check List. It is in a word doc format, so you can edit and add to it as you need.


Getting shoes to fit for back to school

In a recent post Kids School Shoes – Why The Right Fit Matters, I noted the steps involved in the Clarks 10-Step Check. This little video gives you a 30 second run down if you missed it. {Click through to the blog to see the video if you are reading via email.}

When we made our back to school shoe buying trip to Clarks at Doncaster, all the kids were fitted by the expertly trained staff there. I handed our six year old first over to the lovely Carol, who started measuring up his foot. What I really like was how she engaged with him and asked him many questions to get a feel for what shoe would fit him best.

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After Carol had checked all the essential fitting elements, he walked around for some time to see how he felt in them. He tried on both the Daytona and Lesson styles. Carol let him walk around with a different style shoe on each foot, so he could make a real time comparison of the two shoes.

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After thorough testing he decided he was more comfortable in the Lesson. He liked the way the shoe fitted around his heel. It is important to make sure there is adequate heel support, to prevent the toes gripping to keep the shoe on, which can then lead to claw toes.

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My daughter tried on two styles, the Petite (on the right) being the second shoe she tried on and instantly liked the fit. The Petite is from the Clarks Platinum Range. In this range beneath the insoles of the shoes are hundreds of tiny pockets that trap air. This creates a comfy cushion between the child’s foot and the ground below – it also absorbs the impact of each step.

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Master 9 currently has one foot a half size bigger than the other. The first pair he tried on while fitting for length of both feet, the lacing gap was too wide as you can see above.  When fastened correctly, the lacing gap on your child’s shoes should be no wider than the width of your finger (approximately  15mm).

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Clarks’ back-to-school range has 18 styles, 184 sizes and 6 different width fittings, so there were plenty of options for him! He then tried on the Gen-Z in a 4G and we had a much better fit. The Gen Z is part of the Platinum range as well.

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Master 14 went for the most popular Clarks model the Daytona. He is now an 8E which means he and I wear the same size shoe! The E size in the width suited the shape of his foot best.

We had made it to Clarks Doncaster early in the morning, so the kids arrived fresh and well fed. Having expertly trained staff who knew what they were doing, meant the fittings for each child were efficient and stress free. This was by far our easiest fitting session for school shoes we have had!

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And the highlight for the kids was receiving a slap watch – which every child receives for free with the purchase of school shoes. To find your nearest Clarks store or stockist visit the store locator page of the

Clarks Giveaway

Thanks to the Clarks Australia I have 2 x $150 Clarks vouchers. These vouchers are available for use only at one of the four Clarks stores around Australia. The four stores are Doncaster (VIC), Parramatta (NSW), Penrith (NSW) and Kotara (NSW). So please only enter if you will be able to make it into one of these stores to have shoes fitted for your kids.

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment letting me know why you would like a pair of Clarks shoes for your kids. The give away will close on 5:00 pm AEDST on Friday 25th January 2013. Please see the full terms and conditions here.

Clarks Facebook competition

If you are not able to make it into one of the Clarks stores you still have a chance to win. The Clarks Facebook page is running a competition for Back to School as well.

To participate in the Facebook promotion you will need to write in 25 words or less, your best back to school tip and then you will be in the running to win Endota spa vouchers. There will be weekly prize vouchers and a major prize, so be sure to like the Clarks Facebook page to enter the draw. The competition ends February 8th 2013.

Have you started getting ready for back to school yet?