It’s almost September, which means back to school in the UK. There are lots of things to be sorted ready for the return to school – uniform, stationery, bags etc. It can be a stressful time trying to get everything you need, especially with a reluctant child in tow!
This article takes the stress out of back to school shopping, with links to common products on Amazon UK. I’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to – shop online and get everything you need delivered to your door! Enjoy the remainder of the school holidays with your kids rather than dragging them around the shops in the back to school rush.
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If September and the end of the holidays seems a long way away, check out my previous article: How to survive the school holidays – without breaking the bank!
Most schools have a uniform, and they will provide a list of what is required. Here are some common items if they are not specified within your school’s uniform:
Boys short-sleeved shirt: Trutex Limited Boy’s Short Sleeve School Shirt-Pack of 2, £10.49-£29.99 for 2 (when I checked, most sizes were £15 for 2).
Girls short-sleeved blouse: Trutex Limited Girl’s Short Sleeve Easy Care Plain Blouse (pack of 2), £10.44-£24.50 for 2 (when I checked, most sizes were £15 for 2).
Boys long-sleeved shirt: (Pack of 2) Ex M&S Boys School Shirt Long Sleeve Non Iron Easy Care Ages 2-16 Regular Fit 100% Cotton, £6.95-£12.95 for 2.
Girls long-sleeved blouse: Blue Max Banner Girl’s Revere Twin Pack Long Sleeve School Blouse, £4.99-£29.99 for 2.
Polo shirts: Fruit of the Loom Baby Short Sleeve Polo Shirt (Pack of 3), £7.47-£46.49 for 3 (when I checked, the white ones were £15.99-£19.00).
Trousers & skirts
Boys trousers – Debenhams Boys’ Pack of Two Black School Trousers Age 3-16 Years, £11.00-£13.00 for 2.
Girls trousers – Debenhams Girls’ Pack of Two Black Slim fit Trousers, £11.00-£15.00 for 2.
Skirts – School Skirt Girls Box Pleat Uniform All Colours Sizes, £1.48-£11.99 (when I checked, all sizes of black were £5.99).
Jumpers & cardigans
Jumper (sweatshirt) – V-Neck Unisex School Jumper Boys/Girls Age 3-13 + Adult Sizes (Red, Bottle Green, Royal Blue, Black, Grey), 9 colours to choose from, £3.94 – £13.45.
Jumper (knitted) – Trutex Boy’s 100% Cotton V Neck Jumper, 6 colours to choose from, £5.20 – £26.58.
Cardigan (sweatshirt) – School Uniform Sweatshirt Cardigan Fleece Cardy, 5 colours to choose from, £5.49 – £15.75 (13 years £15.75, all other sizes £12.75 with a couple of options discounted).
Cardigan (knitted) – Unisex Boys Girls Kids School Uniform V Neck Full Sleeve Sweater – Plain Casual Knitwear Button up Cardigans Kids 2 Years to Adult XL, 7 colours to choose from, £9.99 – £13.99.
Summer is almost over, so get ready for the autumn showers with a decent waterproof jacket and for the winter cold with a warm coat. For the waterproof jacket, I looked for something that can be kept in the schoolbag ready for those unexpected showers!
Waterproof coat – Regatta Stormbreak children’s waterproof jacket, £6.95 – £18.95.
Warm coat – Location Boys Rain Hooded Jacket Waterproof School Coat Winter Kids Junior Sizes, £15.45 – £25.00.
Waterproof with detachable fleece inner – Kids Trespass Skydive 3in1 Jacket With Detachable Fleece, £23.32 – £24.99.
Shoes & Socks
School shoes can be the hardest items to shop for. I remember being dragged around shoe shops with my mum, and now I do the same with my kids! So, whenever possible, I buy online to save the hassle. There is the risk that the shoes may not fit, but if you check that the seller has a good returns policy then it’s not an issue. Also, measure your kids feet and existing shoes and check these against the listing, and read through the reviews to see whether there are any obvious sizing variances.
Younger boys shoes – Hush Puppies Jezza, kids Leather School Shoe, £19.99 – £52.95.
Younger girls shoes – The hush puppies above are unisex (and who are we to dictate what boys and girls should wear anyway??). But, if you’re looking for something more feminine, how about these? – Hush Puppies Girls’ Bretaille Junior Mary Jane, £29.99.
Older kids shoes – it is so hard to recommend shoes for older kids, as by this age they are likely to be swayed by what all their friends are wearing. But these Kickers are rated #1 on Amazon UK for both boys and girls lace ups, so that gets my vote: Kickers Kid’s Kick Lo Shoes, £35.88 – £59.99.
Socks – BAY6 6 or 12 Pairs Kids Back To School Plain Uniform Socks Multibuy Big Sale, £3.29 – £12.00.
Again, your school may have a uniform for PE. But if you do have to source your own, here are some recommendations:
With a choice of 20 different colours, this is the best-selling girls’ t-shirt on Amazon UK and second best-selling boys’ t-shirt – Fruit of the Loom Kids / Childrens Plain T Shirt, T-shirt, Tee Shirt, £1.20 – £32.59 (most colour and size combinations that I looked at were less than £3).
Available in black, grey or navy, and best-seller for boys’ sports trouser (and unisex, so great for girls too) – Fruit of the Loom Unisex Kids Elasticated Cuff Classic Jog Pants, listed as £5.60 – £26.46, but I checked all size and colour combinations and they were all between £6 and £8.
Available in eight different colours, and a best-seller for both boys and girls – Shadow Stripe Gym Sports Games School PE Shorts Unisex, from less than £3.
Look after their feet with these sports socks, best-seller for girls and second best seller for boys. These come in a pack of 5, which is great if your kid is sporty (or if, like mine, they have a tendency to lose socks!) – Laulax 5 Pairs School PE Sport Socks, White, Boys and Girls (3-16 years) £9.99 – £10.99. These also have fresh feet technology – great for older kids!
It is no wonder that these are Amazon’s choice for plimsolls! They are comfortable with good quality material, and amazingly good value – MyShoeStore Boys Girls Pe Pumps Unisex Adult School Gym Sports Trainers Back to School P.E. Pump Plimsolls Shoes Plimsoles, £2.99 – £5.99.
It is so hard to choose good trainers! You want them to be comfortable and hard-wearing, but not too expensive in case they get lost. These are some of the highest rated kids trainers on Amazon, and available in 18 different colours – Girls Boys Kids Trainers Hook & Loop Lace Style Breathable Running Sports School PE Shoes, £16.99 – £19.99.
Once you’ve sorted their PE kit, they’ll need a bag to put it all in. The simple CENTRIX PREMIUM GYMSAC DRAWSTRING GYM BAG RUCKSACK – 15 COLOURS is a good option. It’s the best-seller and Amazon’s choice for PE bag, and it’s only £1.77 – £3.55.
Another good option is to get one with their name printed on so it finds it’s way back to them if lost. This one from MYOG is the second best-selling PE bag, and comes highly rated – MYOG © Personalised Premium Drawstring Bag PE Gym Kit School P.E Kids Sport Rucksack (22 Colours), £4.95.
Once you’ve got their clothes sorted, you don’t want them to be lost or ruined in the first week! Make sure you name all clothes with labels or a fabric pen, and invest in some decent stain remover.
These labels are iron-on, easier than the traditional sewn labels: 50 Printed iron-on School Name Tapes Name Tags Labels, £5.99 for 50, or £8.99 for 100.
If you’d rather just write their name in, use a fabric marker so it doesn’t wash out. Pilot Laundry Tec Fabric Marker 1.0 mm Tip – Black, Single Pen, £3.49.
Finally, invest in a decent stain remover to help keep their clothes clean! My favourite is the Vanish Gold stick – Vanish Gold Pre Treat Stain Remover Gel, 200ml, £6.87.
Whilst your primary school student may have their stationery provided at school, they will still need the essentials for their homework.
Amazon’s choice for handwriting pens, these are widely recommended by schools – Berol Handwriting Pens 6 Pack MIXED (3 x Blue + 3 x Black), £3.70.
Pencils, sharpener & eraser
This is the best-seller for pencils on Amazon UK. You might think you don’t need 10, but at £2.99 why not stock up? STAEDTLER 122-2 BK10 Noris HB Pencil with Eraser Tip, Double Stacked, Pack of 10.
When they get blunt, sharpen them with this best-selling sharpener –Swordfish “Twin Soft Grip” Pencil Sharpener, £1.49. With inset blades, it’s safe for even young children.
Add on this twinpack of erasers for just 75p! Helix Oxford Twin Pack of Erasers.
Need a 30cm ruler but don’t have a 30cm pencil case? No problem with the Helix Oxford 30cm Folding Ruler. This ruler folds in half to fit into standard pencil cases.
This large pencil case has good reviews and is well-made and durable. It has separate compartments to keep different items in. Maomaoyu Large Capacity Pencil Case for Boys and Girls, Zippered Triple Pocket Lightweight Waterproof Canvas Pencil Cases, £6.99.
These are the best-selling coluring pencils on Amazon UK, they are Amazon’s choice and, at the time of writing, they are 62% off at just £3.50 for a pack of 24 (down from £9.20). Staedtler 185 C24 Noris Colour Colouring Pencil – Assorted Colours.
Older children may need a scientific calculator for their school work. Amazon’s choice, the number 1 bestseller on Amazon, and the highest rated by reviewers is the Casio fx-83GTX Scientific Calculator. At the time of writing it is discounted to £9.99 (from the standard price of £14.99). It is also available in blue or pink as well as the black version, which may add to it’s appeal.
Amazon’s Choice for Geometry sets, and second best-seller (first best-seller is the folding ruler – above – so not really a geometry set!) is the Helix Oxford Premium Maths Set, currently reduced to £4.63 (full price £6.99).
Amazon’s choice and bestseller in highlighters is 5 Star Highlighters Chisel Tip 1-4mm Line Assorted [Wallet 6], currently £2.57 (down from £7.44).
Amazon’s choice and best-selling fountain pen is Parker Medium Nib Vector Fountain Pen, Black with Chrome Trim, Blue Ink, Blister Pack, currently £8.00 (RRP £11.10).
Don’t forget cartridges: Parker Quink Ink Cartridges Blue x 20 (4×5), £8.20.
And it’s helpful to have an ink eraser. Although this says it is meant to erase Lamy ink, my research tells me that it will work on any washable blue ink, including the quink cartridges: Lamy Ink Eraser Pack of 2 Medium, £3.90.
Finally, they’ll need a back pack to carry it all in. This is the bestseller, with plenty of pockets and a choice of six colours: SUPA MODERN® Unisex Nylon School Bags Waterproof Hiking Backpack Cool Sports Backpack Laptop Rucksack School Backpack, currently selling for £20.99 (down from £59.99). For more backpack options, checkout the best-selling children’s backpacks here.
If your child doesn’t have a designated study space, this may be something that you are considering with the return to school approaching.
This is Amazon’s best-selling children’s desk: SoBuy® FWT43-W, Computer Desk Workstation Writing Desk Children Teenagers Desk, W60 x D40 x H76cm, £35.95. I love the hooks on the side so that they can keep their school bags at their desk, and the drawer to organise their stationery or books without cluttering the desk.
If your choice of desk does not come with a chair, this one is a great option for kids: Yeefanltd Low-Back Computer Chair, Swivel Armless Study Office Task Chair with Cross Stars, Adjustable in Height, Lovely Chair for Kids Children Students Turquoise, £24.99.
Don’t forget some shelves to store all their books on. This one goes nicely with my choice of desk: URBNLIVING Wide 3 Tier Wooden White Shelf Bookcase, £23.99. Available in 5 different colours, there’s a choice to fit most colour schemes.
Food & drink
Last, but not least, is the lunchbox.
I love the sistema bento boxes. They have a range of adjustable compartments so you can pack a range of food for your kid’s lunch (or they can, if you’ve got that one sorted ;-)). Sistema Bento Lunch Box to Go with Fruit/Yogurt Pot, 1.65 L – Assorted Colours, currently £6.00 (RRP £9.99).
To keep their lunch fresh through the day, put it in an insulated lunch bag, like this one from thermos: Thermos Radiance Standard Lunch Kit, Navy, £7.89.
For more perishable items, I usually add an ice pack. These penguin design ones are cute for a kid’s lunchbox: Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Lunch Ice Packs, Set of 4, Multicolored, Penguins, £6.67.
A recent study by the University of East London and the University of Westminster found that drinking just 300ml of water can boost attention by up to 25%.
Make sure your child takes a water bottle to school, and reminde rhtem of the importance of drinking it!
These are the best-selling on Amazon: 3 Sistema 460ml Drink Bottles, Aqua Blue, Lime Green, Pink by Online Kitchenware, £8.85 for 1.
I hope that this article has provided some useful suggestions and taken the stress out of the back to school shopping.
What will you do with the time that you have saved on your back to school shopping? Are there any back to school items that I’ve missed? Leave me a comment below to let me know 🙂