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A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

Back To School Must Have Essentials

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As summer is drawing to close, so are the summer holidays. We have had the best summer that has been full of adventures, family and friends. Honestly I think we are all a little sad to get back to normality in this household and as much as I would love to holidays to continue we have to start preparing for a smooth start back to school. I don’t know about you but I always have mixed feelings when the my girl goes back to school. It is pretty great getting ourselves back into a routine but I do miss my little shadow. Whether you’re just beginning your school run mum duties or you’re a pro with back to school one thing that is essential is preparation. 


School Uniform.

An absolute essential for the start of a new school year. This summer my daughter has had a really big growth spurt and doesn't fit in any of her clothes at the moment, so ideally we would like her uniform to last as long as possible. So if your children are like mine they tend to do a lot of growing over the summer, you may want to check the fit and invest in some new uniform. 

Our favourite supermarket for school uniform are Sainsbury's TU as they are very competitive in price and they have a wide range of sizes and styles available. More importantly you can't fault them on the quality! Plus their 25% off promotion helped us save a bit. Honestly, if my daughter didn't do so much growing over the summer she would have been able to use her uniform again. You really don't have to spend crazy money. 

My Top Tips: Always try and wait as long as you can before the uniform shop, as they can do a lot of growing in a few weeks. Always look around for promotions, sales and deals. 

School Shoes.

The school uniform shop wouldn't be complete without finding the perfect pair of school shoes. The best kind of school shoes need to offer a combination of modern contemporary style, be hard-wearing, comfortable, and of course, fit school uniform guidelines. It is essential to get a pair of durable shoes, especially as feet will continue to grow and they will be wearing them for five day a week. There is nothing worse that wearing ill fitting shoes. 

For school shoes you cannot fault Sainsbury's TU and their toezone range. They are durable, fashionable and are long-lasting. We really like these leather butterfly ones as they have a charming embroidery design, finished in a scuff resistant coated leather upper. These have been designed to ensure its lightweight and flexible with instant comfort features. The rip-tape fastening also makes it easy to take on and off. 

My Top Tip: Don't always assume that cheaper shoes are better value. Coming from someone who used to work with shoes quality outweighs prices, every time. For our shoes you cannot fault Sainsbury's TU and their toezone, and they really stand the test of time.

Name Labels. 

An essential to ensure your children's belongings don't end up in the lost and found box. Even though they are pretty important they are something that is often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of prepping for back to school. So don't forget the labels. You need labels for EVERYTHING as you can imagine from clothing, books, bags, bottles, pens and footwear! 


My Name Tags are by far one of the most popular brands for school labels, they come highly recommended with their custom labels where you can choose from iron on, or stickers. With these custom labels you children will be able to get involved with the many designs that you are able to create There are also some different ranges that you can choose from the choice is endless.The iron on labels attach very easily to clothing. I have used these on all her clothing items and even her coat, hat and gloves. The stickers that I was kindly sent through are very good and we will be using these for her uniform, shoes, lunchbox, and her backpack. 

My Top Tip: Most people use iron-on labels as they have great staying power, but last year we used stickers and they wash so well and can make the labelling process so much quicker. 

School Bags.

Whether a child is just four years old and fresh out of nursery, or about sixth form or college, their school bag is an important part of their daily routine. My daughter is going into year one and so she will start getting pieces of homework, so we thought that this year getting her a little backpack will help her keep all her belongings together. It is also important in terms of her development as it encourages them to take responsibility for their things. It is worth asking the school whether there is a need for a school bag though. Our school allows the children to have a string bag as there isn't a lot of room for their belongings, we decided to get our daughter a personalised string bag so her new teacher will be identifying my daughter's bag and belongings quickly. 

Our choice this year was a personalised unicorn drawstring. It's practical, abides by our school guidelines, big enough for her PE kits and everything else she needs and has her favourite mystical creature. Well if you're a unicorn fan. 

My Top Tip: Try and opt for something that can be personalised on the front or where you can hang something that you are able to add a name or class. 

Lunch Bags.

My girl loves a picnic so we always have a stash of lunchboxes or a bag available, however with the start of the new school year everything has to be new, right? When it comes to choosing a lunch box or bag there are so many different types from bento boxes, bags or coolers. We love smash lunch bags and this cooler bag is available in a navy blue and pink design and is quite a generous in size. It is equipped with a main zip fastening, padded handle and insulated bottle pouch. Last year we got a unicorn bag with a mesh bottle pouch that she ruined in the first week as she dragged it along the floor so we wanted something a little more solid. 

If there is one thing that I hate when you have a lunch box is smushed food, so we also like to get a bento box to go inside to ensure all her food is protected and keeps cool fresh. The Sistema® Bento Cube To Go™ is perfect for transporting your lunch and snacks on the go. Simply place your food into the container and close with the easy-locking clip to seal.

My Top Tip: Always get an insulated nylon lunch bag they are great throughout the year. 

School Supplies.

Remember the feeling of having a fresh set of pens, pencils, and rulers at the start of the year? I still get a little excited when I open a new notebook or a new set of pens. My daughter can be the same and even though she doesn't necessarily need to be kitted out with lots of pens, pencils, highlighters and rubbers. She does love a new pencil. 


Practical and pretty, this twelve pack of sparkly pencils are sure to brighten up any day. These 12 personalised pink glittery pencils come in a personalised box. The perfect set of unique stationery for the start of school and the box is embossed in silver lettering with your chosen name. My daughter was very excited about her 'new piggy pencils' and loved the fact that they were personalised with her name. 


Pens! If you're anything like me you are always misplacing pens so what better way to write those lists for back to school that with some shiny new pens. BIC have launched a new range of Gel-ocity Quick Dry gel pens that are perfect for list writing, marking or just doodling. The new range doesn't leave any smudges in beautiful colours, coming a pack of six these medium (0.7mm) point gel pens use fast drying ink that won't drip or leak.


My Top Tip: The stationery you buy for them is going to be used every day by your child so it makes sense to get them things they actually like. Be firm regards budget but getting them involved in the decision making process. 

A Little Summer Learning.

Even though summer holidays are a time for fun, family and lots of adventures, it is very important to continue learning and create activities to keep them engaged. Over the summer we have be taking part in a reading challenge and using a variety of apps to keep her mind in learning mode. We have made a little discovery with Poio the Norwegian app that helps children learn to read through play, which has recently launched in the UK. 


Poio works unlike any other learning method before it, by focusing on play and encouragement, ensuring that every child can proceed in the game rather than getting stuck on mistakes and feeling demotivated. Parents can also receive email updates which show how their child is progressing. The game encourages the child to explore the magical universe, inhabited by a troll, named Poio, and discover reading through linking the sounds of letters to actual words. Progress is made by collecting the phonetic letter sounds which make up the words within the book.

There we have it, my must have essentials for going back to school. I honestly can't believe that the summer holidays are nearly over, yes they have been a few crazy moments over the last six weeks and I have had zero time for myself. But I know that as soon as she goes back I shall miss her so much, at least I know she will be fully prepared with this must have back to school essentials. Are you ready to go back to school?

*Some of the products that featured in this back to school must have list were kindly gifted to us, however as always my words and opinions are my own*
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