It’s the time of year that most parents dread. Lots of advertisements, busy shops, and fights with your child because no, they really don’t need twenty highlighters. Yes, you guessed it: we’re talking about back-to-school season. No matter how hard you try to stock up during the year, you’re inevitably going to have to go shopping, because no parent wants their child to have to go to school without everything they require. Making a back-to-school shopping list seems a bit excessive, right? After all, if you’ve done this enough times, you can likely do it in your sleep. But the truth is that when we’re stressed, we forget even the most basic things, which is why we’ve put together a list of the most important items you should buy during the chaos that is back-to-school season.
Everything on the school list
You know which list we’re talking about – the one that nearly every school sends out a week before school starts. It’s usually a list filled with things your child will never use, but you’ve still got to buy them, just in case. Often, these lists include ridiculous things, so it’s a good idea to start here, since you may struggle to find what you’re looking for. Sometimes, though, these items can be very useful, especially if it’s something your child can use for many years to come, like these chair pockets for classrooms.
Of course, the biggest bulk of your back-to-school shopping will go towards stationery. Kids need a lot of stationery, and it’s always a good idea to stock up during the back-to-school season. The first reason for this is the fact that you are often able to get items on sale as suppliers try to push their stationery on you. The second reason is so that you always have extra of everything. That way, if your child runs out of something or loses it, you don’t need to run to the shops right away; you can simply give them an extra.
Sometimes, you get lucky, and the school takes care of your child’s textbooks. All you need to do in this case is to pay. Other times, however, things may not be so easy. You may need to source the textbooks yourself, so our advice is to start looking as soon as possible so that you don’t need to struggle to hunt them down the day before school. While you’re at it, get a few exercise books or exam pads as well. Also be sure to check whether the school requires that textbooks should be covered because in that case, you’ll need to stock up on book covers or wrapping paper. Or, you can try this cool idea of making a paper bag book cover.
Kids are forgetful and clumsy, meaning it’s very easy for their items to get lost, especially in a busy environment like a school that has so many distractions. So, a good idea would be to invest in labels. Stick-on labels for things like books and stationery, and iron-on labels for things like school uniforms, bags, and pencil cases. If you want to go all out, you can even invest in a label maker. A good idea is to not only have your child’s name on the labels but also your number.
Let’s be honest, your child could probably use one backpack for many years. But most kids want a new backpack every year. While you shouldn’t give into them for no reason, it is a good idea to inspect your child’s backpack and make sure it’s in decent condition – we all know how rough kids can be with their belongings. If they’re moving to a grade with more subjects, they may need a bigger backpack in any case. It’s also important to make sure that your child’s backpack isn’t hurting or damaging their back. Backpacks can be really heavy when weighed down by a load of books, so you want something supportive. You can click here for a guide on choosing the best school bag for your child.
You may think that your child’s school uniform from last year still fits, but children grow so fast that it’s entirely possible your child had a growth spurt during the holidays, and you didn’t notice because you saw them every day. Have them try on their uniform, and if it’s even a little bit too small, you should get a bigger size. Even if they don’t need it immediately, it will be nice to have it handy by the time they do need it. It’s also a good idea to have a few extra uniforms in case one gets dirty or damaged.
Picture this: you’ve stocked up on Tupperware. You have five lunchboxes with matching water bottles. And you wake up on the first day of school, thinking you have everything ready for your child’s lunch . . . except you have nothing to pack inside the matching lunchboxes. Parents often get so used to their child being home during vacations that they forget to stock up on food and snacks they can send their child to school with. The week before school, go on a mini shopping spree for juice boxes, crackers, fruit pots, and anything else that’s easy and healthy to pack as your child’s lunch. If you need some inspiration, you can have a look at these healthy lunch ideas.
It’s a good idea to get a calendar or planner for your child. This way, they can note down any important dates as well as any homework that needs to be done on a specific day. You can also check this once a week so that you know what’s happening in your child’s life. This is also a great way of teaching them helpful skills like planning ahead and time management. Try to get something small enough to fit into their pocket, so that they can easily access it at any time.