back to school supplies

Beat The Back-to-school Rush: Top Tips To Take The Stress Out Of The School Supply Run

Published: 11/08/2021

Are you eager to skip the hectic shopping spree for school essentials when the new term starts? Luckily, you’re in safe hands! OnBuy’s here to help with our vital school supplies checklist that helps you to elegantly avoid never-ending queues, last-minute rushes to the nearest stationery emporium, and nightmare public tantrums - from both you and your kids! 

With our impressive list of top tips and ideas to guide and inspire you, we take the hassle out of finding their missing lunch box, repairing school uniforms, and even getting those pesky permission slips filled in and organised - you’re welcome! From stocking up on essentials from the get-go to revamping their school supplies and routine, we’ve got you and your little learners covered. 

Parents, don’t panic! This year, the back-to-school season is set to be the easiest one yet!

Come up with a comprehensive checklist

checklist for back to school

As the old saying goes, fail to prepare then prepare to fail! Before you hit the shops, you’ll need to put together a list. So, sit down with your kid(s), check out the state of their pencil cases, and discuss any new school requirements to ensure you’ve got all their essential school supplies on your list. Some of the basic school supplies like stationery sets, school uniform, and storage essentials that you won’t want to forget are listed below!

For the kids:

  • School uniform (skirts and shorts for summer or trousers and thick tights for winter)
  • A warm and waterproof coat for cooler days
  • A lightweight waterproof jacket for warmer days
  • Plenty of socks (why is one always missing?)
  • Comfy school shoes (we recommend Clarks - check out our range for girls and boys!)
  • PE kit
  • Backpack
  • Lunch box
  • Drinks bottle
  • Pencil case
  • Stationery

For you:

The best place for this list? Make sure you pin it to a spot that you’ll pass on your way out or even keep it on your phone for the utmost convenience. Some popular spots include the back of your front door where a paper list can be easily attached using adhesives like Blu-Tack or a weightier family organiser can be affixed using popular damage-free 3M command strips. Once you’ve picked up a back-to-school item, simply mark it with a satisfying tick to stay up to date!

For fuss-free school lunches

lady making school lunches

Catering to your little one’s ever-evolving tastes is no easy feat. Indeed, some of the fussiest budding food fanatics can make preparing and packing your child’s lunch box a nightmare! To overcome this before they head back to school, we recommend introducing them to all kinds of different foods over the holidays. From carrot sticks and cucumber slices to bananas and oranges, these refreshing and healthy foods pair brilliantly with summer and are one of their five a day!

Plus, some of these fresh foods, fruits especially, require minimal preparation (saving you sought-after time in the mornings!), meaning your kids can easily grab them on their way out if you want to cut out the middleman altogether! To encourage them to eat during school lunch times, we suggest letting them pick out their favourite lunch box. Luckily for you, our selection includes something for every taste and interest, from Marvel to Disney and beyond! 

Not only will this increase their eagerness to use their lunch box, but it should also motivate them to get involved with their school lunch preparation and polish off all the tasty treats it contains because they’ve helped to make it! By inspiring your child to love food instead of loathe it at school lunch times, you can make the back-to-school process much smoother and more enjoyable for the both of you.

Start your school essential search early

red clock

When we say early, we don’t mean waking up at the crack of dawn, we mean getting ahead of the crowds! So, why wait for the inevitable? As most experienced parents know, leaving everything until the last minute often means kids going back to school unprepared, so why not hit the shops when you have plenty of time to spare? While this approach may mean you have to leave some of your school holiday activities for later in the season, the shops will be quieter if you choose to browse in store and there’ll be an abundance of school supplies readily available online.

Plus, this is the perfect time to pick up your important back-to-school supplies like the aforementioned mini sewing kit, folder, and name labels. Getting yourself and your child organised before the rush for school supplies ensues practically guarantees a smooth transition to their next year of school. One of our favourite back-to-school supplies is that all-important backpack! Large enough to fit their books, pencil case, and lunch, a backpack is the ultimate kids’ school bag.

Ideal for dictating how much room they’ll have for their lunch box, water bottle, and school notebooks, their backpack should be roomy, easy to carry, and comfy. It’s for these reasons that we suggest picking up a backpack with multiple pockets, a water-resistant exterior, and padded shoulder straps. However, while there are some school essentials that can be purchased as soon as the school year ends, there are a few items that we recommend picking up right before school starts up again.

Leave school shoes and uniform until last

happy school kids in uniform

While picking up plenty of school uniform bundles (including skirts, trousers, blazers, etc.) and smart footwear may seem like a necessity you need to bag as soon as possible, kids can grow an awful lot over those long summer holiday months. As a result, it’s best to note down these vital school supplies at the end of your helpful school supplies checklist and to tackle them when your little ones have done all of their growing up over the summer season. 

This could not only save you money on purchasing school clothes that no longer fit by the time they head back to school, but could also prevent your kids from having a change of heart when it comes to wearing that new coat they picked out! After all, children will often want to wear similar styles of clothes to their friends and as the trendiest styles are always changing, we recommend waiting until at least a couple of weeks before they’ll be back at school.

Their back-to-school clothes also need to include their P.E kit (activewear attire, swimming cossies, if they have school swimming lessons, and a change of clothes if they’re particularly young). For their footwear, we also recommend checking out Clarks’ school shoes! With sizes, styles, and fits to please all kinds of small feet and school requirements, Clarks delivers footwear that’s comfy, practical, and on-trend.

Nail the out-of-school back-to-school routine

Kids at breakfast getting ready for school

To prevent those tearful tantrums and upset summer holiday plans when the kids go back to school, it's important to introduce them gradually back into their out-of-school routine. This refers to the activities they get up to both before and after school. Indeed, many kids will be transitioning from late breakfasts and plenty of TV time to routinely brushing their teeth and getting dressed in their snazzy school clothes all before 8am on a weekday, so introducing a set schedule before they actually head back to school is a great idea.

One (exceedingly effective!) way to achieve this is by investing in an alarm clock and a kid-friendly calendar that breaks down your child’s day by the hour. Alongside setting their new, earlier rise and shine time and noting down their daily morning tasks, it also provides a dedicated time slot for them to practice having quiet time after school to either do their homework or unwind after their long day. 

Not to mention, if they have their timetable ahead of schedule, they could even add their after-school clubs or P.E days to their calendar to help remind them to pack the appropriate kit. Not only is this calendar/alarm clock combination a fantastic way to introduce them back into their daily school routine, but it also encourages independence as they learn to manage their own time - leaving you free to focus on raising raucous younger siblings or other areas of your life.

Don’t forget about their feet!

school girl shoes

It’s hard to comprehend just how much their tiny feet can grow over a few months and yet they go through so many pairs of school shoes! When it comes to picking out the perfect pair of school shoes, it’s important to wait until they’re nearly back at school again. To ensure the right fit, start by either using a tape measure or a ruler to find the distance between the back of their heel to the tip of their toes.

However, make sure you measure both feet and use the longest distance to guarantee a comfy fit for both of their growing feet! While the styles and fit of school shoes naturally vary, we suggest keeping your eyes peeled for slip-proof options that can help to prevent accidents in the playground and, if your child struggles with tying their laces, why not explore Velcro school shoes? Fast and easy for them to secure themselves, these school shoes are a popular choice for many young children.

Not to mention, kids will often require different pairs of shoes for indoor and outdoor play. For example, many schools advocate the wearing of trainers for throwing on outside in the playground and during P.E lessons, but prefer plimsolls for indoor activities. Luckily, we have all kinds of suitable school footwear including girls’ school shoes and boys’ school shoes to please both your fashion-loving and sporty little ones - as well as their schools!

Stress-free school supply run? Sign us up!

girl and mum picking things to buy on laptop

For many kids, the school holidays have only just begun - and now is the perfect time for parents to get the school supply run sorted! You could even pick up the remainder of last term’s seasonal favourites to save you money before the 2021 back-to-school supplies hit the shelves. Bonus! 

By taking advantage of our ultra-simple yet extremely effective top tips, you can take the stress out of stocking up on those sought-after back-to-school supplies. Plus, with such a huge variety of must-have school essentials to check out, including school backpacks, children’s lunch bags, and fun stationery, OnBuy is sure to become your one-stop shop to snapping up all kinds of back-to-school necessities.