Back to School, Simplified – In 10 Easy Steps

The bell announcing the end of summer holidays has rung! For many, it will soon be back to school. This year’s return to school will be a bit different with COVID-19, but one thing remains the same: your parent brain is running at full speed to remember everything. To make your life easier during this critical time, we’ve made the ULTIMATE shopping plan for a smooth return.  

1. Stocking up on all School Supplies

It’s a well-known fact that going back to school can quickly get expensive. Thankfully, many of our retailers offer the supplies required by surrounding schools* at an amazing value. A quick visit at PharmaprixDollaramaMinisoWinners or Marshalls and you’ll find everything you need!

Going through your school supplies list isn’t your favourite assignment? Go to Canadian Tire to find everything you need, from note books to students’ desks. And for budding artists, DeSerres has not only school supplies, but also everything to paint or draw.  

*Surrounding schools: Dawson, LaSalle College, Concordia University, École internationale de Montréal, Collège de Montréal, Montreal St-Georges school,  Westmount High School, école de la Petite Bourgogne.

2. Finding a Durable Backpack and Lunchbox

Once you have all your school supplies, you need a bag to carry them in! To find the best backpack, many criteria should be considered, including

  • Durable, long-lasting material;
  • Adjustable padded straps;
  • Multiple compartments to spread the weight evenly.

Here are some of our favourites:

  • We’re crazy for Aldo’s bags, for men and women. Having great style at low prices is not impossible!
  • Winners and Marshalls have new arrivals on a regular basis to meet everyone’s tastes.
  • Whether you prefer a classic or funky style for your backpack, you’ll find our favourite brands such as JanSport, Herschel and Anello at DeSerres;
  • For the little ones, we love Parkland’s guitar and rainbow models of backpacks, available at Sports Experts.

And what about the lunchbox? Best to choose a sturdy model that’s easily washable and with a design that stands out from the rest of the class. While we visited the centre, we were very impressed with the amazing variety of models available at Winners and Marshalls, and we loved the Thermos lunchbox, available at Canadian Tire.

3. Choosing the Perfect Pair of Shoes

Children run, jump around and get dirty. Their shoes go through the same thing! For back to school, let’s take the opportunity to choose the perfect pair, which - hopefully – will last until the end of the school year!  

During our scouting visit, we discovered Yellow’s new fall collection; it's really worth taking a look! Young sports enthusiasts will especially love the Illuminate-G model with a sole that glows in the dark.

4. Getting Ready for Gym Class

Whether your children hate sport or are fanatics, cute clothes and comfortable shoes will certainly motivate them. Take advantage of the current sales at Sports Experts to outfit Junior with athletic apparel signed by his favourite brands, such as Under Armour, Adidas, Reebok and Nike. Let’s not forget footwear, of course, for boys and girls.

5. Playing Outside – Rain or Shine

Our little ones won’t let a bit of rain stop them! We must think of getting bad weather apparel so that they can continue to learn and play while staying dry. On the list: rain boots, a raincoat and an umbrella.  

We truly love the brands made for Canadian weather! Find the best spring/fall jackets for boys and girls by The North Face, Columbia and Helly Hansen at Sports Experts

6. Renewing Your Wardrobe

Your children had a growth spurt this summer? Don't worry, just plan a shopping day with them. We bet they'll want to wear their new clothes for the back-to-school season! And take this opportunity to spoil yourselves a little too. Check out the current promotions at our centre.

A little tip for parents: to save time, prepare the clothes the night before. Involving your child in the choice of clothing gives them a sense of autonomy and control, and stimulates creativity.

7. Getting Infinite Lunch Inspiration

Ah, the famous lunches! The unloved chore for many families... And yet, it doesn't have to be a headache: planning and preparing as much as possible in advance is enough to make life easier.

In order to have an endless supply of ideas for quick meals and cold lunches, let’s get a cookbook with delicious recipes to please everyone. Our favourites? The magazines Coup de Pouce and K pour Katrine, available at ABC Magazine, offer quick and simple recipes.

What if you’re running out of time? Choose the IGA pick-up or delivery option or treat yourself to pre-prepared meals that are just waiting to be enjoyed! 

8. Keep Viruses at Bay

Schools, like our children, will have to adapt to the new COVID-19 reality at the start of the school year. In order to make mask-wearing a bit more fun for the little ones, choose models with their favourite cartoon characters or a colour they like. Check out our retailers that sell them.

Of course, don’t forget to add a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your children’s backpack and lunchbox. Find your hand sanitizer at Pharmaprix, Miniso and Canadian Tire.

9. Planning a Good Work-from-home Setup

If the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that having a work space for everyone at home is paramount. It’s a great idea to plan a quiet work area for everyone in your home to work and study calmly.

After a few discussions with teachers, we’ve established a list of essential equipment to make sure your kids learn at home as well as in school:

  • A computer or tablet
  • A desk and comfortable chair
  • A desk lamp (available at Miniso)
  • A filing cabinet (available at Canadian Tire)
  • A headset (available at Winners)
  • A printer

 Go to La Source and talk to their experts for the best choices according to your family’s technology needs.

10. Earning an A+ for organization

Back to school doesn't have to be a battle where you tear your hair out for a notebook! Our retailers are here to help you. Here are a few more tips to help you organize your family routine:

  • Get a portfolio (available at Dollarama) to keep all important papers in one place;
  • Use a colourful weekly planner (available at Miniso) to remember all appointments;
  • Get a family planner and keep it accessible to everyone (available at DeSerres);
  • Sort smaller, personal items in an organizer, available at Canadian Tire.

There you go! Back to school doesn't seem so scary now, does it? Don't hesitate to share with us your best back-to-school findings on our social networks! Show us your favourites, the big smiles of your little ones and all your smart tips for a well-organized return to school. We wish you the sweetest and most pleasant start to the new school year!