Back-to-school is a time of excitement and anticipation. Also, emotional butterflies and stress shopping as we try to get children ready for the school year ahead. More than 30% of parents spend between 1 and 4 days shopping for school essentials to get their kids ready for the next year of school*, according to research by Clarks. BritMums has teamed up with Clarks Kids – the brand that’s on practically every parent’s list when buying school shoes – to talk about how to navigate the back-to-school season with minimal hassle. Follow @ClarksKids and @ClarksWow on Instagram for inspiration.
When we started to talking to other parents about back-to-school shoe shopping, almost everyone had a story about visiting Clarks with their own parents. Parents love Clarks school shoes for their quality, durability and terrific fit. The company has been making children’s shoes for over 170 years so they know what they’re doing. The Clarks school shoe buying guide has tips for your shoe shopping as well as information about the 60 tests every shoe undergoes before you buy it. (This post is sponsored by Clarks.)
Here, we team up to offer the best tips for back-to-school shopping.
1. Make a list of what you need
Sounds simple, right? But this means writing down everything, from shoes to backpack to pencils and glue sticks. We always seem to be rushing out the night before for a protractor. If you divide your list into type of items, with all your stationary and clothing needs together, you won’t end up leaving the store with a vital item missing. It also makes it easier to stick to a budget.
2. Enlist your child’s help and input
Surprise: Not every child loves touring shop after shop. Get them excited beforehand by talking to them not only about what they need, but about what they want. Even children who wear a uniform every day can express their individuality with the type of pencil case they carry or dark school shoe they sport. (We love that Clarks has introduced the Crown Pride brogue style for kids – we want them ourselves!)
3. Start with a fashion show
Get your child to try on their old uniform and shoes, including sports kit, before you head out, so you know what items need to be replaced.
4. Avoid the crowds when you can
By planning a route or going during slow times, you give yourself a break. At Clarks you can even book your child’s shoe fitting in advance (do it at https://www.clarks.co.uk/login)! Check with other shops to see if they offer fittings or call ahead to find out when it’s not mobbed.
5. Do it once and do it right
Quality lasts longer and will keep you from having to buy again after only a few weeks. Robust materials, good design and reliability are especially important with backpacks, shoes and uniforms, which bear the brunt of what kids dish out everyday. Clarks makes sure their shoes are up to the job by doing 60 tests for each pair – not just ripping Velcro 400 times and testing laces by pulling them through eyelets 5,000 times (yes, really!) but also examining how the foot moves within the shoe. That means your child’s pair of Clarks can take them from the walk to school to the ball-kicking and jumping of the playground to afterschool activities.
6. But…remember you don’t have to do it all at once
Once you get the basics, you can wait until after the first day of school to finish stocking up. It’s allowed. Spread out the purchases if that helps; you might even benefit from some sales.
7. Don’t be afraid to use the carrot
A stop at a favourite restaurant, ice cream shop or café for a treat either halfway through or as a reward when it’s done is a great incentive. We keep plenty of healthy snacks and water in our bag as well so everyone (including Mum and Dad) remain fortified.
8. Think of it as quality time
Even if you don’t love browsing the racks, back-to-school is an important family moment. Turn it into an opportunity to actually talk to your children about the year ahead: Are they excited or afraid? What subject is their favourite? What will they do with their friends at break? You can set the tone.
What are your best tips for back-to-school shopping and picking out school shoes? Let us know below!
*The research for Clarks was carried out online by Opinion Matters between 21/07/2018 and 23/07/2018 amongst a panel resulting in 1,028 UK parent respondents. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).
This is a sponsored post.