Friday, January 24, 2014

Back To School - The FUN stuff!

With still a week to go until we return to school in the West of Australia, everything is starting to come together, but all with as little effort as possible!! ha
Call me lazy, but organising school supplies and the like is the last thing I want to do in the last few days before school starts. I want to play lego, make some Play dough biscuits, have my hair done by my resident hairdressers (Stella and Lacey) and generally just lap up their company before school so rudely takes them away from me!

So here a few things that have been ticked off the 'Back to school To Do List' but all the fun stuff of course. The things that are actually fun to go shopping for. 

With Max and Lacey heading into Kindy (4 year olds) they are required to have a change of clothes in their bags at all times. (Stella is also required to have one just in case)
This being for little toilet accidents they may have at school, or in Stella's case when she was at Kindy - because she got wet through water play activities or got too messy while painting etc.

As mentioned in my previous Back to school posts the school we are at now requires full uniform through out all grades, including Kindy and Pre Primary. 
So it was a bit kinder on the hip pocket, and to save an expensive uniform set from just having to sit in the bag as a back up throughout the year, I purchased a number of basic uniform items from Best And Less. 
Most department stores (the cheaper ones usually) generally have a range of generic uniforms in the basic colours, and it just so happens that our school uses one of them! Win for us!

So for each child, a basic polo shirt ($5) and lightweight shorts ($7) and a set of underwear will be put in the front pocket of their bag in case they may need them.

We also bought some tracksuit pants (we are unsure if they kids will need them with our temperatures up here but after having such a hot summer they may feel it when it cools off some) , a lightweight jumper and a set of culottes for the girls as our uniform shop does not sell these. 
Oh and I can't forget the bike shorts that our nearly 6 year old insists she has to wear under her skirt! I thought I had a few more years to worry about seeing her knickers but obviously not!

I am not normally a huge fan of licensed merchandise , however our kids love the stuff! So a few exceptions need to be made , and the smile on their faces is so worth it! Plus a $3 water bottle will have no love lost if it breaks or gets lost somehow.
So the water bottles the kids will start the year with are these pop top ones from Coles for $3 and the lunch box containers , these click ones from Woolworths ( I think they were about $3 also).
The kids have a cool container and I get to keep my Tupperware safe. Win win really!

Back to School is such an expensive exercise , and all the small things add up. Well so do all the big things. So this year we are starting out with our existing cooler bags, as they are all in great condition.
Don't get me wrong , I would love to buy Max and Lacey a Fridge To Go cooler like Stella has (at the back, hers is well used !) as we absolutely LOVE them ( see my review on the product HERE) however at this stage buying 2 of them is not that feasible, so that is something we will work towards soon enough. Instead, Max and Lacey are using their Penny Scallan cooler bags that they have had for a few years now.

New backpacks were a MUST this year, as Max and Lacey's existing backpacks are too small to carry all the necessary things for school. Stella has had her old Penny Scallan backpack for both Kindy and Pre Primary and it is still is great condition but seeing as though she is heading into Year ONE we thought it would be nice she got a new one too! 
I honestly love these backpacks!
 I love that we can wipe them out every so often.
 Love that they are waterproof. 
Love that they are hardy! 
And of course love the designs!
I bought these before Christmas on sale from Motherslove, they were cheaper than other places I had seen and I got them with free post so that was a bonus too! 

Upon returning home from our trip away, I was welcomed by 3 large boxes of school supplies. Another thing that I did before Christmas and I am so glad I did ! 
Luckily our school has a Stationery supply order system, and this is my first time using it. It may not be the most cost effective way of shopping ( however I think the prices are quite competitive) but you can't beat the convenience. Delivered right to your door, you've got to love that when you live 1800km from the capital city and the main shop is Kmart! 
Within a few hours of being home, the bags were unpacked , washing machine was running and I sat down to mark off the goodies! 

This year is our first for having to cover school books. Fortunately I had these covers put away from a big sale that Spencil ran on one of the discount sites (think it was Brands Exclusive) and I had just enough for the sizes and styles she wanted. It made short work of a job that could have taken hours!
I would highly recommend these covers and you can buy similar from 2Kool4Skool, Spencil and I have even seen some in Kmart!

And one of the biggest decisions for me was the type and brand of Labels to go with. They all look gorgeous and at this time of year , there are some great packs and savings to be had. However I ummed and ahhed for so long and just had to make a decision and came out with these basic labels from stuck on you (this post is not sponsored, I am just sharing the love!).
Most of the packs from other brands had so many different labels in them that I really doubted I would ever use, and would end up costing me well over $100 for the 3 kids. Really I just need iron on labels and basic name ones so this was the best value for money. Plus the designs are basic (I won't get sick of seeing them before they run out!) and can be used on anything and everything!

So there you have a few of our FUN things we have marked off the list. There really isn't much more to do. Just the application of the iron on labels and baking of the lunchbox treats. I will be trying out some new recipes this year, so I will keep you posted with any ones that prove a success!

If you haven't read them already, don't forget to check out my other Back To School posts HERE and HERE and from last year HERE.


  1. I did the "go into office max" and queue forever thing - never again!!!!! Will definitely be doing it online next year!!! Your kids must be in my sons year :) He can't wIt - and I'm pretty excited as I've heard such good things about the school and in all honesty, am slightly excited about what I'm going to do for the days without him ;)

  2. Going back to school is so expensive - especially the uniforms. Lots of great advice here. I purchased the Spencil book covers for my eldest and they are fantastic! So much less frustrating than contact and they look great. I am hoping they will last awhile - lucky you scoring some in a sale. Enjoy the last days of holidays!


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