Back to school essentials

In just under a week, the schools will start going back after the long 6 week summer break. If your children are anything like me or my children, they will love getting all their new back to school gear ready. We have a particular love for stationery in this house (okay, so I have a slight addition to stationery) and so we’ve put together our back to school essentials guide.

Back to School Essentials

What do I need?

Being in year 1, Isabella doesn’t have to take pens or pencils into school but they are allowed to take colouring pencils, pencils and a ruler if they wish. However, when she gets home, she will want to draw, write and craft as much as she can so our first stop would have to be Smiggle. There’s so much choice in here, especially for the slightly older child, but our favourites are:

The Scented Hardtop Pencil Cases – they keep everything safe and secure with the added bonus of smelling beautifully sweet.

Twin tip scented marker pens – you can choose thick nibs for lots of colouring or thin nibs for colourful drawings.

Back to School Sketch Kits which are great value – you get your notepad, pens, pencil, ruler and rubber/sharpener in one.

Smiggle Sketch Pad
We’ve always loved Smiggle and their products seem to last rather than slightly cheaper brands which we have found dry out a lot quicker. They also have gorgeous designs to choose from and the shop just smells great too!

Unicorn Mad

If you’re anything like me, you’ll also love these amazing unicorn gifts from Find Me A Gift. The Unicorn Pencil Holder and Tape dispenser are brilliant. They add a little colour to your desk as well as ensuring your desk stays neat and tidy. Although these are aimed at slightly older children (the tape dispenser especially), they are perfectly safe for younger children to use under supervision. I’ve taken a fancy to them though so might try and sneak them on to my desk! I’ve spotted a few other unicorn items that might make it onto the Christmas list too!

Unicorn Pencil Holder
For the dog lovers, these cute Pet Pal Dog Pens are also a fun back to school essential. Ok, so not essential but they are super cute and write really nicely too.

Staying Organised

My daughter sometimes needs a little reminder of the homework she needs to do (and I need to remember what days things are due in, so this Light-up Speech Bubble is the perfect dry wipe memo board to ensure no homework or deadlines get missed and forgotten.

Light up Speech Bubble
For the messier of you, why not keep all your stationery in one place with this desktop skip? It’s the perfect solution to keep all those little knickknacks in one place and the rest of your desk free for getting as creative as possible.

Desktop Skip

Bags and lunch bags

If your little ones are allowed to take their own school bag (I know lots of primary schools only use bookbags) then these cute designs from Skiphop are perfect. My daughter can only use a bookbag for school but these bags are also great for nursery age children; Benjmain will be toting his Dax the Dalmatian bag on his first day of nursery next week.

Dax Skip Hop Bag
Packed lunch boxes have come on so much from when I was at school. Instead of just being a bulky plastic box, there are so many designs to choose from and most of them are insulted to help keep lunch cool. Isabella is going to be looking super cool with her Dotty Satchel Lunch Bag – she’s certainly more on trend than me! We also have to provide a water bottle to ensure the children have a constant supply of water throughout the day and this Pink Roundagon Bottle is perfect – it nice and big and means I can set Isabella the challenge of drinking it all to get stickers on her reward chart (she’s never been a huge drinker since birth).

Polka Dot Lunch Bag

Creative Crafts

If you’re flagging in the final days before the children go back to school and want to get your kids back into the ‘learning’ mode, why not look at making your own solar powered DIY Thirsty Plant Kit from Technology will Save Us? It’s fun and educational and also very handy for someone who doesn’t always remember to water their plants! This is definitely one for the older children though as it’s quite fiddly and small children will get irritated if they can’t twist the wires etc onto the board. It’s great fun though and will give a fantastic sense of pride once complete!

After school snacks

As well as stationary, I always find a quick, healthy snack on the way home from school will stop some of that after school whinging. Piccolo make tasty, organic food pouches using only natural ingredients which both my two love eating. I know they are aimed at younger children, but actually I’ve found that they are a super easy way of getting some fruit and veg into the kids, especially when we’re on  tight schedule between school pick up and gymnastics sessions. I find my two love the fruit and the mixed fruit and veg rather than the veg on its own.


As well as fruit pouches, yogurts and dried fruit always goes down a treat. We use own brand sucky yoghurts and yogurt covered raisins.

The bits you don’t want to think about

I’ve thankfully only had to deal with headlice once but once was enough for me. To help prevent headlice, Vosene Kids have created a brilliant range of shampoo and conditioning defense spray. It uses natural lice repellents tea tree and lemon eucalyptus oils rather than any nasty chemicals and my two like the smell too. They even have some back to school tips on their website to help prevent lice! Isabella has very curly and thick hair and I have found the conditioning defense spray to be a brilliant de-tangling spray too which is definitely a bonus.

What’s on your essential list for back to school? I’d love to hear your must have items!



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