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I know that the children have just broken up for school but this is the best time to be thinking about back to school must-haves and essentials to start the school year off right. As a kid, my favourite part of the summer holidays was going shopping for back to school essentials but it really can be a minefield out there so I’ve put together some of my favourites.
Back to School Must-Haves & Essentials
Lunchbox & After School Snacks
Finding good quality healthy snacks for children can be difficult and I often lean towards fruit-based snacks and that’s why I really like Fruit Bowl. Fruit Bowl has many fruit-based children’s snacks that also contribute towards the recommended five a day which as a parent makes a good choice. We are already big fans of Fruitbowl snacks but the Unicorn Fruit Flakes are a great back to school must-have. Each individual pack contains a mixture of strawberry blackcurrant and raspberry fruit flakes making a delicious lunchbox choice. Fruit Bowl snacks are available from Morrisons and Waitrose.
My boys both really enjoy dried fruit when on the go and Crazy Jack organic soft ready to eat dried apricots are the perfect school lunch box addition or after-school go to. There are 6 apricots per pack and a 40g bag provides two of your five a day. This low-calorie snack is a natural source of iron and antioxidants making them a great choice. Available from Ocado.
Clothing & Care
A new brand to me this year is award-winning Manchester-based brand Grass & Air. They have a range of wellies and waterproof wear that are both absolute back to school essentials if you live in the UK. When the kids go back to school we are heading into autumn which often means it’s still mild but we have a fair amount of rainfall. I often walk my boys to school so wellies and waterproofs are absolutely essential!!
My Grass & Air Back to School Faves:
For Older Children-
Lightning Bolt Light Catcher Jacket – This 100% waterproof reflective rain mac is suitable for boys and girls and reveals a lightning bolt pattern on the sleeves and hood when light hits the fabric – pretty cool!
Older Kids Wellies – Features a subtle raincloud motif.
For Little Ones –
Navy Rain Cheater – Offers a 5000mm waterproof rating!
Colour Revealing Wellies – When wet the raindrops change colour!
A big back-to-school essential for me is making sure that the cleaning cupboard is well stocked with laundry products – particularly those of the stain removal variety. I’ve tried many different products in the past but I always return to Ace. Their products are affordable and actually work! School uniform seems to go through such a rigmarole coming home with stains such as grass, mud, pen, blood and paint to name but a few. School uniform is expensive and the last thing you want to do replace it prematurely. Find out more on their website.
Ace for Whites – Perfect for white school shirts. I either add in the wash or use as a pre-treatment. I find this also stops whites going that dirty grey colour that they tend to do over time.
Ace Stain Remover – Stains such as pen marks or spilt food get a good blast with ace stain remover spray. After 15 minutes I wash as normal! I’ve found it works on even the most stubborn stains.
Ace for Colours – I put a cap of Ace for Colours in every school uniform wash and this captures any stains that may have been hidden or missed!
Locker Days have a selection of fun empowering accessories to decorate school lockers. My niece is really excited that in September she’s going into a year group that are now allocated their own lockers and everyone in the class is really excited about decorating them. The biggest grumble has been that the school have said that although they are allowed to decorate their lockers as they see fit they must not use sticky tape or stickers as these can be difficult to fully remove. That’s where Locker Days is a great solution as their magnetic products are all easily interchangeable leaving no mess or residue. They can even double up as office or desk supplies!
- Positively Worded Magnets
- Pen Pot
- Flamingo & Pineapple Wallpaper
Schoolwork often calls for a variety of different colouring pencils at one stage or another and there really is an abundance on the market to choose from. Stib international Colouring Pencils really stand out to me as must-have. It’s not just the bright bold colours – yet they are fantastic too. My favourite thing has to be the inspirational wording on each pencil! Stib actually stands for Spark Thinking Inside a Box and their ethos is around children feeling good on the inside and doing good on the outside!
Johnny Loves Rosie is a new brand to me but I am already in love with their products. Their collection includes jewellery, hair accessories, bags and stationery. Even better – Johnny Loves Rosie is a brand inspired by a true love story between two people- Johnny and Rosie. They have a selection of items that are sure to be back to school must-haves including pretty patterned tumblers, shimmery pencil cases and hardbacknotebooks. Each item is well made and has a luxury edge making all special in their own right.
My favourite has to be the glitter notebooks – perfect for brightening up even the dullest school day.
Backpack clips and keyrings are very popular and can often add some personalisation to a standard school bag or reading folder making them easier to identify! I love this Pusheen Keyring it’s perfect for adding some fun to a school bag.
Going pencil case shopping was always my favourite back to school task and it, of course, took a decade to decide on the perfect one! This stand-up pencil case is absolutely brilliant with their fun design and features. Made from soft flexible silicone they hold up to 22 pens or pencils and if you press down the bottom of the pencil case it turns into a pen stand for your desk!!
Whilst looking for back to school must-haves I came across Sphero’s newest STEAM gadget Specdrums. These musical rings are app-enabled and allow children of all ages to create and play music by simply using colours. It’s easy to produce an entire song with just the tap of a finger using the sound packs instruments and mixers in the app. Specdrums comes with a colourful play pad but you can also tap them on a piece of clothing or any colourful item to make different sounds beats and loops. Specdrums are a great way to encourage and discover music creation across all different ages.
Back to School Gifts
If you are looking for a back to school gift then this Willow Tree Wisdom Figurine is perfect. All of the original Willow Tree designs are hand-carved by artist Susan Lordi. From those original designs, these amazing figurines are cast in resin and individually painted by hand. This Wisdom Figurine would be perfect for someone about to embark on an important year of learning.
What are your back to school essentials or must-haves I would love to know in the comments below!
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Love as always!
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