Back to school shopping: everything you need to get your kids ready for Autumn term (2023)

Back to school shopping: everything you need to get your kids ready for Autumn term (1)

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As the summer holidays move towards their conclusion, parents’ stress levels are at their peak, exasperated by enduring weeks of child entertainment.

And before you’re able to pack them off to school there’s one more stressful task that needs doing: make sure they have everything they need for the new school term.

What are the back to school essentials?

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A quick measure of how tall they’ve grown will set you up for any new items of uniform that need purchasing, but what about the other essentials that every kid needs?

To help ease the stress we’ve come up with a checklist of ten school essentials, with a product recommendation in each category. Depending on their age, you may need only a few of them. But even kids who have already been in school for a few years are likely to need items replaced due to loss, breakage or, more likely, a change in what is currently cool among their peers.

Before investing, consult with your kids so that each purchase meets with their approval, then get them in early, and at least some of the holiday stress will begin to lift before term time begins.

The back to school checklist, at a glance:

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If you’re looking to cool your kids down in the summer heat, check out our list of the best paddling pools for 2022, or head to the beach with one of these fantastic body boards. If they’re a bit more confident in the surf, try them on one of these surfboards, or our best rated SUPs.

Smash Small Sipper Water Bottle

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Pros: Good, solid 100% BPA free water bottle

Cons: Patterns aren’t especially colourful

We’ve seen lots of businesses claiming to have revolutionized the water bottle with elaborate designs said to make drinking from them easier. But in our experience most of these have flaws which renders them a waste of money.

We like Smash water bottles because they follow a simple design, are cheap and work. Their Small Sippers range is made from Tritan material, a plastic that is BPA-free, food safe, tough and shatterproof.

There’s a choice of child friendly patterns to choose from, although they’re not quite as colourful as other bottles on the market.

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The screw top lid has a built-in handle and you drink through a sipper which flips neatly into the cap when not in use. It’s a simple solution that’s perfect for the kids.

Buy now

Rocketbook Reusable Academic Planner

Back to school shopping: everything you need to get your kids ready for Autumn term (3)


Pros: Reusable planner

Cons: Pricey

If you’ve got tech savvy children with their heads in the digital cloud, then Rocketbook’s planners and notebooks could well be a good investment.

Each book has synthetic paper pages that you write on with a special pen (provided) before photographing it with your smartphone.

The QR code on each page will then do its thing and send a neat PDF to the cloud, email or other digital destination. Once safely stored you can wipe the page clean (cloth also provided) and re-use the page.

The Academic Planner is particularly useful for older students, with 13 different page types, including schedules, calendars and blank pages for notes or doodles, and an option to convert your handwriting into text.

You can also add your own subjects to pages and the Rocketbook will help you to organise them into their relevant folders. The planner is not only suitable for older kids, but teachers will find it immensely useful too.

Lego Star Wars R2D2 Bag Tag

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Pros: Looks great and stands out

Cons: More expensive than a simple tag

Kids have an incredible ability to lose things at school so sticking labels with their name on everything is essential.

And when it comes to their school bag, the label isn’t just about displaying the owner’s identity, it’s also about marking them out as the coolest kid in class.

We think few things have such an enduring cool factor as Lego or Star Wars, so are instantly drawn to these Lego Star Wars Labels.

Choose from characters including R2D2, Darth Vader and Yoda, or a Tie Fighter, Millennium Falcon or X-Wing, then fill out your details on the reverse and fasten to your bag with the flexible loop.

They’re made from durable 5mm thick silicone that is non-toxic, odourless and PVC free. If Star Wars isn’t your thing then other Lego tags are available, each one big enough to stand out and help prevent losing those bags to the dark side.

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Buy now

Stabilo EASY Original Right Handed Rollerball Pen

Back to school shopping: everything you need to get your kids ready for Autumn term (5)


Pros: Ergonomically designed pen

Cons: At £5 a pop, make sure the kids don’t lose it

Leading German pen manufacturer Stabilo set their boffins the task of producing an ergonomically designed pen that helps kids to write, one of the most important things they learn to do.

The result is this EASY Original rollerball, which is available as a left- or right-handed option, besides coming in various bright colours.

It has a moulded grip and contours that have been calculated for tiny hands clasp in the correct manner, thus minimising strain and making writing easier.

The roller ball tip allows ink to flow freely and precisely, further reducing the effort so that children can use it for longer. It’s tough and refillable, with replacement ink coming with a new nib, so although it’s a pricey initial outlay for a pen it should last a long time.

Buy now

Ryman Kraft Notebook Wirebound Ruled A5


Pros: Cheap notebooks with recycled cover

Cons: Very basic – few marks for style

We think that you can never have too many notebooks. Despite modern technology controlling our lives, a source of paper is always useful for making lists, working out calculations, jotting down moments of inspiration or simply scribbling and doodling.

Whilst some kids will want their notebook to be as trendy as the rest of their kit, it’s also useful to know of a good source of cheap notebooks for those students who use them as much as we do.

Stationery aces Ryman is the place to look. Their A5 Kraft notebooks are just the ticket, with 120 pages of ruled paper, at a decent weight of 120gsm, fixed in a wire binder.

The plain brown cover is 100% recycled and can be customised with ink, pencil, crayon or stickers and it’s all kept together with an elasticated strap.

Buy now

Thermos X Rachel Ellen Lunch Kit Bag

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Pros: Padded, insulated and easily to clean

Cons: Illustrations only aimed at younger kids

Flask masters Thermos have a good range of bags, bottles and food containers suitable for taking to school and, for the youngest kids, they’ve commissioned Rachel Ellen Design to give their products a colourful, illustrative appeal.

Inside their lunch kit bag you’ll find enough room for a drinks bottle and all the food they’ll need, with its insulated lining helping to keep the contents cool.

It’s easy to clean – an all important factor with young children and food – and has a padded carrying handle firmly stitched in place.

The bright colours make it stand out at a distance (which should help it to be found among other lunch bags) with the fun illustrations featuring kid-classic themes such as dinosaurs, unicorns and pirates. Matching bottles and containers are also available.

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Pachee Backpack

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Pros: Durable two part backpack

Cons: Quite big for smaller kids

A good, durable backpack can last a kid not only through school but for holidays, days out and sports classes too. Pachee’s beltpacks are designed for pretty much any back-packing duties your kid might need thanks to its two-part design, combining a large, twin strapped bag with a smaller, detachable belt bag.

It’s made from strong, water resistant eco-cotton canvas and is well padded for the back and shoulders, and has an additional strap that can be clipped around the waist for further support.

The belt bag has two zipped compartments while the main pack has two side pockets (one with a small popper strap) for extra storage. It comes in four plain, bright colours and is designed to be customised with patches.

Buy now

Helix Oxford Maths Set


Pros: A cheap, standard set for maths classes

Cons: A bit old fashioned for cooler kids

Helix first began producing maths sets in 1912 and ‘The Helix Oxford Set of Mathematical Instruments Complete & Accurate’ (to give it its full title) has been helping kids with their geometrical calculations for generations.

Inside the old-fashioned tin you’ll find instruments that trigger school-days nostalgia as much as bunsen burners, recorders and blackboard erasers.

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You’ll get a 15cm ruler, two set squares (45 degree and 60 degree), a protractor, letter stencil, pencil, pencil sharpener, compass and a blank timetable. It may not be the coolest looking kit for the modern kid, but it’s an important item for any young mathematician.

Windsor & Newton Sketching Pencil Set

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Pros: Professional quality pencils for sketching

Cons: Costs more than your average pencil set

If you’ve got an older child with artistic aspirations then it’s worth investing in professional standard pencils to help fuel their creativity.

Messers Winsor (a chemist) and Newton (an artist) got together in 1832 to start producing improved art materials, and many of the world’s leading creative minds have been using them ever since. So we think this pencil set is more than satisfactory for your budding Picasso.

It comprises three graphite pencils (2B, 6B and 8B) and four charcoal pencils (medium, hard, white and sepia), which are a sketcher and doodler’s dream, along with a blender, eraser and sharpener.

They are all neatly packaged in a tough, slim tin to make them easy to carry around, because you never know when artistic inspiration might strike.

Buy now

Fringoo Silicone Patch Pugicorn Pencil Case

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Pros: Fun, colourful pencil case with loads of storage space

Cons: Made of silicone – better than plastic, but still not the best for the environment

To many children, a pencil case is the most important item they will own. Few things will get as much use and, much like a grown up’s handbag or wallet, it will likely expand over the years as more pens, pencils and collected ephemera get crammed inside.

Fringoo’s silicon patch pencil cases can hold a fair amount of such stuff, with 12 elasticated pen slots inside the outer layer, which wraps around a zipped compartment for plenty more trinkets.

It’s made of brightly decorated silicone with eight fun designs to choose from, our favourite being the surreal sight of a pug with a unicorn horn surrounded by rainbow bones. These cases are practical and fun – get the right design and it will be treasured for a good while.


What should I bring to my child on the first day of school? ›

What to put in their school bag
  • A filled water bottle.
  • A healthy snack for break time.
  • A packed lunch with a drink (unless they are taking school meals or going home for lunch)
  • Indoor shoes (if required by their school)
  • A waterproof jacket or other outdoor clothing if there's a chance it could be rainy or cold.
29 Jul 2021

Do reception classes need pencil cases? ›

Children do not need a pencil case or stationery in Reception classes.

How do you get ready for school everyday answer? ›

15 tips on how to get ready for school quickly
  1. Choose clothing the night before. ...
  2. Designate one place for clothes. ...
  3. Keep shoes organized. ...
  4. Make sure kids complete homework before bed. ...
  5. Make lunches the night before. ...
  6. Keep backpacks fully stocked. ...
  7. Organize your own items. ...
  8. Have kids shower at night.
1 Aug 2022

What do students need the most? ›

15 essentials every student needs
  • Doorstop. You may not have thought it, but a doorstop can make student life a lot easier. ...
  • Extension cable. ...
  • Tech. ...
  • Laundry fixes. ...
  • Kitchen appliances. ...
  • First aid kit. ...
  • Covid tests. ...
  • Contraceptives.
7 Sept 2022

How many outfits do kids need for school? ›

Jeans: 3 to 5 pairs. Long-sleeved tops: 2 to 4. Pants, shorts, and/or skirts: 2 to 4 pairs. Short-sleeved tops: 4 to 6.

What are Ofsted looking for in reception? ›

Ofsted does not have a preferred view on how schools design their curriculum in early years. Inspectors will want to understand how schools design the curriculum in early years to give children the foundational knowledge and understanding they will need for key stage 1 and for the rest of their schooling.

Can a teacher look in your bag? ›

Teachers can only undertake a search without consent if they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that a pupil may have in his or her possession a prohibited item. The teacher must decide in each particular case what constitutes reasonable grounds for suspicion.

Do kids still use pencil cases? ›

That's why the pencil case is still a necessity. A zippered (or snap-shut or roll-up) case helps kids stay organized and ensures that they're not tossing loose pens into their bag that will definitely explode and leak over everything. Here are 11 stylish, secure options for every kid.

What should children get ready for school? ›

To have the best possible chance for success, children need a general knowledge of the world around them; basic language, comprehension and problem-solving skills; and solid emotional and physical well-being.

What should be in a welcome packet for new students? ›

Here are some other items you can include in a welcome packet:
  • Important dates that parents and guardians will need to know for the year.
  • An inventory to be completed at home by your new students. ...
  • Suggestions for how parents and guardians can volunteer or otherwise contribute to the class.
28 Jul 2016

What month will school year 2022 2023 start? ›

V. GENERAL GUIDELINES. The School Year 2022-2023 shall formally start on Monday, August 22, 2022, and end on Friday, July 7, 2023. There shall be a total of 203 days or as may be determined by further issuance/s in case of changes in the school calendar due to unforeseen circumstances.

What should I bring to school 2022? ›

Basic School Supplies List 2022
  • #2 Pencils.
  • Notebook.
  • Crayons.
  • Erasers.
  • Sharpeners.
  • Highlighters.
  • Protractor.
  • Ruler.

How do students get ready for learning? ›

Getting Students to Prepare
  1. Communicate Your Expectations about Preparation.
  2. Give Students Guidance on Reading Assignments.
  3. Make the Relevance of Assignments Explicit.
  4. Assess Students' Preparation for Class.
  5. References.

How do you get ready for a school paragraph? ›

wake up early in the morning go to washroom and brush your teeth then take bath. after taking bath wear your uniform. comb your hair and wear ur shoes then have ur breakfast nd u r ready for going to school.

What are some things you do every morning to get ready for the day? ›

Best morning routine: 21 steps for a more productive day
  • Get a good night's sleep.
  • Avoid the snooze button.
  • Give yourself enough time to get to work.
  • Drink a full glass of water.
  • Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.
  • Prepare a healthy breakfast.
  • Take advantage of self care.
  • Fit in a quick workout.
22 Dec 2021

What are 3 things that make a good student? ›

Qualities of a Good Student
  • Self-Discipline. Discipline is a must in a student's life. ...
  • Diligent. A student should be determined towards studies or any work allotted to him. ...
  • Punctual. Time is money so every student must value time. ...
  • Courteous. ...
  • Team player. ...
  • Confident. ...
  • Responsible.

What are the 3 best things of being a student? ›

12 Best Things About Being a Student
  • Sleeping in & Napping. ...
  • Being Challenged. ...
  • Learning New Things. ...
  • Studying Anywhere. ...
  • Student Discounts. ...
  • Going out on a Tuesday (or whenever really!) ...
  • Your Independence. ...
  • Playing Hooky.
13 Oct 2019

What every student needs in their room? ›

6 Things Every Student Needs In Their Room
  • A laptop or computer. Quite the necessity when it comes to student life, the ever-present laptop has become the sine qua non of a university education. ...
  • Posters. ...
  • Photographs of family and friends. ...
  • A doorstop. ...
  • A portable heater. ...
  • Boxes.
12 Jan 2018

What makes a successful student? ›

Successful students take advantage of extra credit opportunities when offered. They demonstrate that they care about their grades and are willing to work to improve them. They often do the optional (and frequently challenging) assignments that many students avoid. Successful students are attentive in class.

What is the style for 2022 kids? ›

Bright, natural, and light colours are in demand for kidswear trends in summer 2022. Pastel and basic colour palettes are becoming famous too. Kids love bright and vibrant colours like red, blue, orange, yellow, pink, peach, and purple. Kids love cute and chic decorative crafts in their outfits.

How many items of clothing should a child have? ›

Kids grow fast and we need to replace clothes quickly–so from a financial and sustainability perspective, it's important to buy less to waste less. A kid capsule ideally includes between 12-14 items of everyday wear. That means each season they need roughly 6 tops, 5 bottoms, and a dress for girls.

How much should you spend on kids school clothes? ›

I would say $50-100 bucks or so before school starts and then an additional $100-200 during the year depending on how much they grow and what they end up needing."

What should you not bring to school? ›

Aerosol cans, gum, cell phone, golf clubs, baseball bats, hats (see dress code), sunflower seeds, balloons, makeup/nail polish, video tapes/DVD's, matches/lighters, bandannas, perfumes/colognes, cameras, pocket knives, candy, MP3 players/I-Pods, poppers, sodas, drug/paraphernalia, weapons/replicas, over-the-counter ...

What do you bring when you go to school? ›

It's a good idea to pack pencils, erasers, pens, highlighters and sticky notes for school. You may also want a calculator, protractor, ruler, pencil sharpener, and a mini stapler. Depending on your age and classes, you could also include tape, glue, crayons, coloured pencils, and marker pens.

What should we take to the school? ›

Back To School Basics: The Easy Shopping List
  • Index cards.
  • Lunch box.
  • Sharpie pens.
  • Highlighters.
  • Erasers.
  • Pencil sharpener.
  • Pencils.
  • Ballpoint pens.

What should children get ready for school? ›

To have the best possible chance for success, children need a general knowledge of the world around them; basic language, comprehension and problem-solving skills; and solid emotional and physical well-being.

What can you bring to our school that makes you unique? ›

You need to dig deep and think of the unique skills that make you an obvious stand-out from other potential applicants. "What makes me unique from your other candidates is that I am a continuous learner, always working to improve my skills.

What five things you carry in your bag when you go to school? ›

5 Things You Should Pack in Your Kid's School Bag
  • Water bottle. Staying hydrated makes a huge difference in kids' energy, brain function, and performance throughout the day. ...
  • Lunch box. ...
  • Supplies. ...
  • Weather gear. ...
  • Something fun.
6 Sept 2019

Why are backpacks not allowed in school? ›

Backpacks Can = Bad Backs

For many years some schools have banned the use of backpacks due simply to health reasons. Many physicians and medical associations agree that carrying heavy backpacks can lead to problems, including muscle strain and poor posture.

What clothes are not allowed in school? ›

Clothing that is controversial or degrades any culture, gender, religion, or ethnic values are not acceptable. Clothing that does not fit, that is excessively tight, loose, or revealing will not be allowed. Note: Any class time missed due to dress code violations will be unexcused.

Why kids should not bring toys to school? ›

Unless a toy relates directly to a classroom activity or is for "Show and Tell", please do not allow your child to bring a toy. Children become upset when special toys are lost or broken. Also toys distract students during instructional time.

What should I pack for a 2 day school trip? ›

What to pack
  • Masks/face covering (as required by local authorities)
  • Comfortable walking shoes and one pair of nicer shoes.
  • Shirts (short and long sleeved)
  • Socks and underwear.
  • Watch.
  • Pants/shorts/jeans.
  • Pajamas.
  • Bathing suit (if applicable)

How do you fit everything in a school backpack? ›

How to Organize Your School Supplies | Plan With Me - YouTube

What things can make school better? ›

Take opportunities to lead a class or program within your school. Set a good example and treat other students with respect. Try to be friendly to teachers and make everyone's day a little better. You can become a team captain, a club leader, or just be a person that other students look up to.

How do you get ready for school in 5 minutes? ›

Tips for Getting Ready in 5 Minutes When You're Feeling Lazy or in a Rush
  1. Shower at night. ...
  2. Keep your outfit simple, or pick out your clothes the night before. ...
  3. Invest in cute shoes and accessories. ...
  4. Keep your work makeup and clothes separate from the rest. ...
  5. Edit down your makeup routine.
24 Oct 2019


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