The boys, like most other children in the country, go back to school next week, which means right now I am doing the ever crazy back to school shop. Not my favourite past time I can assure you. I have been asked by a few fellow mums whose children start school for the first time this September “What do kids need for school?” and so I thought I would write a post outlining everything that I get and where I get it from.
For us our children have to wear a named school jumper which we buy from the school website, this can’t be bought anywhere else or at a discount, unless of course you buy second hand in the area. However, the rest of the uniform for boys consist of white polo shirts and grey school trousers or shorts.
This year we found that the trousers could not be bought of the shelf as the size to age ratio was simply crazy. In Marks and Spencer’s the 8-9 trousers were so huge on my son they made him look like a clown waiting to catch cream cakes or multi coloured balls in his pants, where as in Asda the same size nearly cut of his circulation. How their expectations for the same age can differ so much I will never know.
We eventually found that Tesco where the best trousers to fit both our boys and they cost £9 for a twin pack which I think is pretty good value for money. We have gone for the dark grey this year because I think they look a little smarter, however we still have a few of the lighter grey from last year that will be making an appearance on the tiddler once he has grown in to them.
We also bought the T shirts from Tesco as again they were a nice fit and very responsibly priced.
I don’t know what it is about my children and school shoes but they HATE trying them on. It’s as if they think I am going to suddenly send them back early just because they have them on their feet. If you are buying shoes for reception children I would recommend Treads or Clarks as they are good value for money and good quality.
Most reception class children need a school book bag which for us is bought from the school website, however once in year one most children ditch this and go for a back bag style as it’s easier to carry, more personal to their tastes and usually fits more in.
We recommend the ones from Smiggle. They are really colourful and fit loads in with lots of secret pockets that the kids always love too.
Most school offer a school branded PE bag but at ours they can use any bags they want.
School diners are free for children in key stage one so many parents might choose to opt for this and therefore not require a lunch box. However if you do need one then you can fin them in most supermarkets. I would recommend going for a insulated one as it will keep the food fresher as they are not kept in a fridge.
At our school as well as having a drinks bottle with their lunch box they are also encouraged to take a second bottle that will remain in class Monday – Friday and can be filled up with water as much as they like through the week. This is a fantastic idea and gives parents peace of mind that their children will stay hydrated all day. Make sure your child picks something that they can easily identify as theirs like these Harry Potter Water bottles from ASDA. If you are worried there might be duplicates in the class then remember to use a marker pen to pop their initials in the underneath.
Reception children will not require a pencil case however as they move into the older years they will and I love this Harry Potter one from the Works as it doubles up as a study wallet which is perfect for those that only take a slim school book with.
Not all children will need to take a notepad to school with them but I find that having a dedicated one at home is a massive help. It means it can be used for practising their handwriting or planning their homework. This Harry Potter Envelope notepad from The Works is perfect for adding a bit of magic to their homework.
Whether they are for lunch boxes, break times or 3:30 snacks you will find your children seem to graze all day and having healthy snacks that they enjoy are key. Of course we encourage fruit throughout the day too but when they crave something sweet we try and use snacks such as those by Fruit Bowl which can be bought in all main supermarkets in a range of flavours. They are tasty and sweet but are also one of your five a day, guilt free snacks are always a winner in our house.
So that is everything that I think answers the question what do kids need for school? But if you think I have missed anything off then please do let me.
As for the parents……
A decent washing detergent is a must as soon as the kids start school, especially one that tackles the whites because some how the minute a child enters the school building in a brilliant white shirt it miraculously starts to turn grey!
These last three weeks we have testing out the range by ACE and I am very impressed and can highly recommend them. So much so I have already bought a new bottle ready for September.