This school year, Gabbie’s in big school na and we’re all excited to take this journey along with her. As easy it was for us to send our lil’ Ms. GJG to preschool, I find it difficult to do so this time around, given we now have a more structured school setting and a larger community wherein we need to conform. One of the things I haven’t gotten used to is lil’ Ms. GJG wearing a uniform. From the two years she was in preschool, she had the freedom to wear whatever she wanted and we didn’t do any back-to-school shopping then. Now, I am one of the many parents who have mixed emotions when it comes to back-to-school shopping. Glad that lil’ Ms. GJG & I went through our trip to the mall with a breeze. After taking a step back and looking at how we did it, I asked other parents, moms in particular if they can share their thoughts about back-to-school shopping. Thus, I was able to come up with some back-to-school shopping tips as well as some style tips that can make the start of the school a little bit fun for both you and your little one.
SET A BUDGET
To start shopping, you must set a budget first. Set a parameter when it comes to the price of the things you need to buy for your child. Usually bags and shoes are two of the things we parents put a budget cap to, as we have tons of choices we must narrow down. When I asked parents what they consider most when shopping for their children, immediately, budget comes first.
SCHEDULE A SHOPPING DAY
This may not seem important but scheduling a day for shopping can improve your efficiency and even save you a few pesos. Usually, May is the month where stores offer back-to-school promos and discounts. Some, even prefer shopping for basic school supplies as early as March or April where summer sale happens. Be on the know and check announcements regarding your favorite mall’s sale season. A morning or an afternoon at a mall of your choice on a weekday would be your best bet to avoid mall rats. Plan and map out the areas where you will be scouting for the things you need so you can save time circling around one place after another.
CONSIDER QUALITY VS QUANTITY
Over the years, I’ve learned that quality trumps over quantity. Always consider quality when buying the things for your child. Purchase items that would last the school year without having to compromise their function, such as a good durable pair of shoes and school bag. You wouldn’t want to purchase something with poor quality that would only last a few weeks of use. This would mean getting a replacement, involving a trip to the mall. You wouldn’t want all the hassle and unnecessary expense now do you? I say, if you’ve found a lovely pair of quality shoes and bag that are within your budget and you know that it would be used by your child for the entire school year, I say go ahead and get it.
INVOLVE YOUR CHILD SO SHE CAN HAVE FUN
Lastly, the key to having an enjoyable and memorable back-to-school shopping is to involve your child in the process. As I’ve learned from attending Better Me sessions with Coach Pia, when a life event is focused on your child, you have to make sure that you involve her from the very beginning. Even if your child is too young to firmly decide for herself, make it fun by asking her what she wants and giving her options to choose from. I love involving my darling daughter Gabbie in everything that is about her. Since this is her first time to officially shop for the things she really needs for school, I let her decide on what to get. I simply presented her options to choose from based on the budget we have allotted for each item. This way, she gets a sense of “authority” to decide what she wants but still under my supervision. This can also help build her self-confidence and practice decision-making at a young age. Not only will she slowly learn these things, I’m sure she will also find back-to-school shopping as a fun activity and not as a chore.
And because we followed the shopping tips I listed above, it only took us less than two hours to shop for the items she needs for school.
This is the school shoes she chose. After I narrowed her options to about 10 pairs of shoes that I find has passed our quality expectations and budget, she choose this lovely Chicco black leather shoes.
We love it because its made from real leather and has a real stitched outsole than assures us it won’t go falling off easily after much use and abuse. There were tons of cute and lovely styles to choose from, some are even on sale. But I’m glad I let her choose her own pair because this made her even more excited to go back to school.
For her P.E. shoes, she is required to wear white rubber shoes. I would’ve settled with a cute white sneakers but then I was reminded by a parent that it would be best to get running shoes as our little ones would have lots of physical activities. The other white rubber shoes I showed Gabbie, some even have her favorite cartoon characters, didn’t meet her expectations. I assume she finds them not white enough, as they have bits of colors. I think she got this OCness from me for when I asked why she didn’t like the other ones I showed her, she simply said “Mom, they’re not really white!” Hahahaha. Luckily, we were able to find this chic all-white (with hint of light gray) rubber shoes from Elle. Oh, and it was on sale too! We got this for 30% off!
Lastly, we went around looking for the perfect school bag. After the Sales Assistant lined up the narrowed down bags for Gabbie to choose from, she ended up getting this two-in-one Hello Kitty school bag set. It comes with a lunch box and a pencil case, it can be used as a backpack or as a stroller bag. We also got this on sale at 20% off!
My little man was also with us during his Achi’s back-to-school shopping. He spotted a cute pair of slip-ons, he kept on pointing at it, saying “Shuuuuuus, Mommmmmmy!” Good thing we have a few extra hundreds as we were able to save them from the discounts we got from the other items, so not only did lil’ Ms. GJG went home happy and excited, but also lil’ Mr. GJG got a new pair which was also at 20% off! Yay! 🙂
Now that lil’ Ms. GJG needs to wear uniform to school, the fun of dressing up and picking out her own outfit has been put on hold, at least on weekdays that is. You know how much Gabbie loves dressing up, it’s evident when I post her OOTDs here on the blog and even on my Instagram. So the question now is, how can I encourage her to show her personal style even when she’s in her uniform? Here are some of my style ideas which you can let your kids try to get her excited to go to school everyday.
Hair is one’s crowning glory. It can also be a way to translate one’s style without having to dress up. For the boys, it is advisable to get a neat hair cut. Let your child sport a hair style that best suits his personality. After all, boys can’t wear hair accessories unlike girls. For the girls, there are almost unlimited options to choose from when it comes to styling their hair. Braid it, tie it, let it loose, clip it, band it, whatever you choose.
My lil’ Ms. GJG loves accessorising her hair. I let her choose what she wants to wear as she gets more excited to get up, dress up and go whenever I give her the authority to pick something that she’ll wear. There was even this one time where she really wanted to wear this pumpkin head band we got her for Halloween. I let her wear it even if it was almost Christmas! She had fun telling me that her classmates noticed how cute her hair piece was.
Does your little princess adore Disney Princesses? Get her these Celestina & Co. clips and they’ll serve as cute conversation starters with her classmates.
When I had her hair accessories arranged, lil’ Ms. GJG was ecstatic to choose which one she’ll wear first. Then she remember she can have her hair braided, so that goes on top of the hairstyle list.
For boys and girls, shoes is something that can instantly show off their personally style. The odds of having the same shoes with your classmate can be roughly around 50%, especially with the boys. Regardless of having the same shoes with your friends, its good to have a pair that your child truly likes and would want to wear for ten months of schooling. So if you can, please involve your child when it comes to choosing the right school shoes. It may not mean much to him or her, but still, it’s one way for your child to show her personality- through a good pair of shoes.
BAG IT UP
Depending on the requirement of your child’s school, bags are the next best thing to clothes, but equally same with shoes, when it comes to one’s personal style. As I mentioned in my shopping tips, let your child choose his/her own bag. It may not mean much to you but it would mean a lot to him/her. After all, he/she would be bringing it to school every day. Whether its a character bag or a plain one, it still says a lot about your child’s personality. On the plus side, its easier to spot which is which in a pool of bags in your child’s school right? Add a personal touch by getting your child a bag tag or anything that can personalize his/her bag. Like DIY? Why not get a plain bag and decorate it your child? Use poster paint, stickers, labels or anything that tickles your child’s imagination. Not only is it personal but it stands out from the rest too.
SMILE, HAVE FUN
The best accessory one could ever wear is a smile on her face. Nothing beats having a shining personality that everybody loves. Start your child’s day by putting a smile on her face. Wake her up with cuddles, giggles, prepare her favourite food to set her in a good mood. A happy person can rub off happiness to others as well. Start practicing practical ways to hone happiness in your home, so that your child can imbibe it and share it with her classmates. Make schooling fun and memorable to your child so that they are excited and delighted to go to school everyday. Set this mood in your home even before your child starts school, this way, she gets used to it, it’s a natural thing for her to smile and have fun! After all, you would want your child to associate happiness and fun with school since she has about 17 years worth of schooling to do.
I hope you learned something from the shopping and style tips I shared! Happy Hump Day! 🙂