What do you really need to get your child ready for back to school? Here is a complete list of all of the back to school supplies that you will need to be super organised for the new school year.
Check out the video below to see the checklist in action in a full back to school stocktake. Grab your own printable checklist, then keep reading for everything you need for back to school, plus loads of tips and hacks too.
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Now keep reading for all of the back to school essentials that you will need, plus loads of amazing back to school hacks.
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When your child is off to school you need to label everything and I mean everything. I’m talking every item of clothing, every lunch box, every shoe, every bag and every item of stationery. If your child is capable of taking it off or putting it down, chances are they will lose it if it’s not labelled.
For years now I have used My NameTags to label my children’s things, as they are by far the easiest to use.
There is no ironing or sewing. Simply stick the label onto the care label of clothing and after 24 hours they are machine washable. Stick them onto hard plastic surfaces, like lunch boxes and after 24 hours they are dishwasher safe.
They come in loads of different colours and designs.
Top tip: include your telephone number on the stickers. I have had lots of things returned to me over the years thanks to my number being on the labels, including a little shoe that my then one-year-old had discarded from the pram.
The specific uniform that you will need for your child will depend upon the school that they attend, so speak to your school directly or visit their website for a specific list.
Generally speaking, you will need;
- Polo shirts / shirts / school tops
- Jumpers / cardigans
- Trousers / skirts / shorts / pinafores
- Socks or tights
- School shoes (measure your child’s feet at home if shopping online)
- Hair accessories (hair bands and hair ties)
- Hat, scarf & gloves
Personally, I buy 5 polo tops, 5 bottoms and 5 cardigans or jumpers for each of my children. My little ones especially come home covered in paint, mud and other gunk every day, so go in fresh uniform each morning. Luckily supermarket uniform is pretty affordable making this achievable.
Although I do laundry daily (the only way to keep on top of it as a family of 6), having 5 of everything means that I can organise it all on the weekend and know it is done, avoiding ninth before or morning stress before school.
Other benefits of having 5 of everything include not being “out” of uniform when the inevitable losses and uniform casualties occur (my younger sone went through the knees of 3 pairs of trousers while playing in the yard during the first fortnight of school last year). Also, each item of clothing is worn less so suffers less wear and tear and will fall apart less quickly.
In summary, I find have 5 x sets works out the same as having less and having to replace it quicker, plus has the added benefit of being less stressful.
Top Tip : Pack Spare Clothes In Your Child’s Bag
For younger children especially, it is with putting a spare change of clothes in their bags, just in case. Even children who have been toilet trained for ages often have accidents in the first few weeks. Little ones are also more likely to get incredibly muddy playing outdoors or get soaked in the sand and water table. Sending a spare set of clothes will mean that they are less likely to come home dressed in mis matched lost property.
Again, you will need to speak to your child’s school to find out exactly what your child will need for PE kit. This will often vary class to class. The youngest children, for example, will often just remove shoes and socks for PE (imaging changing 30 four year olds, yikes). Older children will need a more complete kit.
Your child will likely need;
- PE kit bag
- Hoodie / jumper
Outdoor Learning Kit
More and more schools are now doing outdoor learning or forest school. These lessons will often take place whatever the weather and will involved getting muddy.
- Packaway waterproofs
- Outdoor learning kit bag to hold the muddy boots and waterproofs
For a school bag, choose something that is big enough to hold their spare clothing, art work they bring home and lunch box if they are having a packed lunch. It’s an added bonus if you can get one with a drinks pouch on the side.
While it has always been important to maintain good hygiene standards, now more than ever our children need access to hand sanitiser. The cheapest and easiest way to do this is with a refillable bottle attached to their bags.
Pencil Case & Stationery
Speak to your child’s school to see whether they are expected to bring a pencil case into class or if stationery is provided.
Whether they need to take supplies into school or not, you will need the following essentials at home in order to complete any homework.
- Coloured pencils
- Pencil sharpener
- Felt tip pens
- Glue stick
- Calculator (for older kids)
We have one of these stationery caddies for the house which is ideal for homework projects and art and crafts too.
Popper folders are ideal for keeping in your child’s bag so that they can bring home their homework and art work without it getting ruined by their things.
Whether your child is having school meals or packed lunches, most schools like children to bring a bottle of water so that they can take a sip whenever they want to and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Your child will need a lunch bag for packed lunches (if they are having those rather than school meals) and for when they go on school trips.
These clip lid boxes are perfect for keeping the contents of your child’s lunch neatly in place within their lunch bag.
Mesh food bags are a good alternative to disposable bags for fruit and other lunch items.
You can use carabiners for clipping things like forest school or PE kit to your child’s school bag to keep them together.
Add a carabiner and an A6 popper folder as a correspondence folder between you and your child’s teacher. Putting letters in this folder will mean that letters are more likely to get to you and your child’s teacher.