Getting “Back to school ready”

In line with my article in MADE Magazine jul/aug 22  about getting ready for “back to school” by creating a great desk/study area for your child I thought I’d tackle a few more pain points for parents on the run up to the start of term so that you can start the new school year with a bounce in your step.  Making space for home work and music practice, for storing PE kits and school bags all takes a little thought. Here are some tips to help you get ready for the new academic year. 

Well hi, here I am standing by a completed study space that I designed.

Trying to get the kids to get ready for school independently? to keep School uniform tidy and ready for the morning rush?

Create cupboard space that is accessible for your growing child so that uniform is within reach. In this way your children feel more independent by dressing themselves and tidying their own clothes away, making them more responsible and independent.

Overwhelmed by shoes, trainers, wellies and football boots?

Pop a shoe wrack near the door or in the under stairs hall cupboard or within the cupboard in your child’s room so that it is accessible and fit for purpose. If you are lucky enough to have the space you can create a mudroom with cubby holes or lockers for each member of the family by the front or back door. 

A simple fix is to add hooks to the back of their door and store all bags, blazers , lunch boxes and PE kits on them so that everything is in one place.

Sports equipment everywhere and can’t find the PE. Kit when you need it?

Install a locker or storage baskets so that it is all tidy and organised – hooks on the back of a door or hallway cubbies are a great example of this. Stored in its own bag, the P.E. kit can be kept with the school bags, lunch boxes, coats and school shoes in a designated spot. 

Even the smallest of spaces can accommodate a study desk and shelving for supplies and books. This desk has integral storage for colouring pens and pencils so acts as a great desk for younger artists!

Is your child needing their own space to study?

Study space can be created wherever suits your family – at the kitchen table or a desk in a bedroom or in a communal area. Homework paraphernalia and supplies can easily be stored within reach of the study area either in easily stowed baskets, a chest of drawers or shelves. 

For smaller spaces, corner shelves like this one can create more storage.

Too many books? Can there ever really be too many books?

Bookshelves can be fitted into the smallest of spaces and a regular clear out and purge can help keep the quantity of books under control.

Trying to encourage instrument practice? 

Musical instruments need to be accessible and within view so that they get played daily. The trick is to do this so that they are not in the way at the same time as they are ready to be practised. Leave the music stand in  a corner of your living room and incorporate the instrument into your decor- your everyday so that it is part of your child’s everyday environment. You could hang guitars on the walls for example. 

Does your child find it hard to find space to play or relax?

The space needed in which to play changes as your child grows. From floor space to child height furniture to desks or cosy seating  – having a few options  at each stage allows your child explore and play with different items, in different ways. So floor space, a den/tipee, table and chairs and a cosy place to curl up are the main zones you need to cater for – not necessarily all in your child’s room, within family spaces too if you need. Creative spaces are often at the kitchen table when children are younger, this may change to their own desk in their bedroom, the garage or a studio at the bottom of the garden as they get older. Messy play, art and music all need to find a place in your home. Cosy, reading nooks are a great addition to any family home. Bed is a great place for children to read and relax. A blanket on the sofa or an armchair also provides a great space to be cosy and read. Exploration can happen for kids in everything they do when they are younger so facilitating this is really important – space to play and learn. 

Hopefully this blog helps you to get on top of things before the daily grind of the school run begins again in earnest.

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