Being a parent is one of the most beautiful experiences although it involves a lot of work and decision-making. You need all of the help you can get in the different stages of childcare, and preparing your kids for returning to school is one of these stages.  

Back-to-School Shopping is as Important as it’s Complicated

It helps to know what your kids need in advance. That way, you can save significant amounts of money by purchasing them on time. Unfortunately, shopping for back-to-school supplies is not as easy as it sounds because the required items vary with the kid’s educational stage and age group. Hence, it’s hard to keep track of all the right supplies. 

A typical school shopping process could leave you wandering in stores, pushing an overflowing shopping cart, and worrying about making the wrong decisions. It’s stressful, expensive, and maintains the same level of difficulty each year.  This is where we come to the rescue!   And that is before you add an unwilling child into the equation.

Checklist to Make the Process Easy

We’ve put together lists of back-to-school supplies for kids in all levels to help parents and guardians ensure that their children have all the essential items for the restart. While there may still be some last-minute purchases along the way, a back-to-school shopping checklist will help you and your child stay on track.

Bear in mind that some items like pencils and paper are more essential than others because every student needs them regardless of age and class. However, it’s best to get all the items on the checklist because they are very useful to children in that stage.  If you are in any doubt what your child will be expected to have, just ask the school.  They are only too willing to help.

Check it out. 


Reception – Year 2 

Leaving the reception class and progressing through Year 1 and 2 is a big step. The lessons in this stage will be a little more structured than they were in reception. Your kids will probably find themselves sitting at the table for a little longer than they are used to. They will also be learning new subjects and exploring outdoors in groups. At this stage, your child will no longer be considered an infant and will be expected to improve their ability to coordinate movement and give grammatically correct speeches.


Primary School

This year will mark the end of a key stage 1.  Children will now be encouraged to think, learn, and make decisions independently. They are also taught to take responsibility for their homework and pack their school bags. This way, they can develop and grow.   This is when the fun starts.  As kids need more items and needless to say the items will often get misplaced or lost.

primary school supply list


Secondary School

This is the fourth and fifth form of secondary school. Your kid will be getting career advice from the school on what job or profession interests them.  They may also be given the opportunity to get mild work experience that will be related to their career interests.  

  • Blue or black ballpoint pens 
  • Markers
  • Calculator 
  • Spiral notebooks
  • HB Pencils
  • Three-ring binder

secondary school supply list

Most schools often have a very detailed list of school uniform requirements and sports clothing that your child will need.  Remember you don’t have to always buy new.  Lots of schools run a school uniform shop and stock an excellent pre loved school uniform.

Money-Saving Tips

Even though you may have to buy them every year, some school supplies are not very cheap. You have to consider your budget before embarking on a trip to the store. You can save a significant amount of money when you follow the steps below. 

  1. Check before you buy

No rule or law states that school supplies have to be brand new. You don’t have to purchase new supplies each year. Instead, you can look around for leftovers from the previous year before hitting the market.  When you go shopping, buy items that are necessary each year in bulk to reduce the cost of re-buying them annually. Bulk buying is also very helpful with items that kids use up or break easily such as pencils and erasers.

  1. Shop Around

Purchasing all your supplies from a single store might be less stressful but you need to ask yourself if it’s a luxury you can afford. The price of items vary in different stores and no two stores will sell all of their supplies for the same prices. If you choose to buy everything from a single store, you might end up overpaying for a lot of items. 

  1. Buy from office supply stores

We advise you to buy from office supply stores because they specialise in such items. They are likely to sell items like pencils, pen, scissors, and notebooks at much cheaper rates because they stock large amounts of school supplies regularly. They can give you loads of discounts especially if you’re buying during their sales season. 

  1. Don’t take your kids shopping with you

Kids can be picky. Most times, they want the more expensive branded items and it’s not uncommon for them to have their way. Leaving them at home when you shop is another way to reduce your expenses because you won’t have them breathing down your neck for their favourite brands or distracting you from the more vital items.

Plan and Purchase what can be bought ahead of time
Lots of  things that you will need for the start of a new school year can be purchased even before the break up for the summer holidays.  Items such as stationery, bags, lunch bag, drink bottles etc.  After all regardless of how much they grow over the summer holidays these items will still be perfect for them.

The same applies to your iron on name labels or sew-in label for naming school uniform and sports clothing.  And don’t forget your stick on labels for water bottles, lunch boxes, stationery and sports kit.  After all, their name will not change.   This way the only things you need to get just before school resumes are shoes, trainers, sports kit and school uniform.

The more you can buy without dragging the kids around the shops and before the summer holidays, the easier the task will be.


Every parent wants the best for their child, and a little planning goes a long way. All you have to do is copy one of the checklists above that suits your kid and take it with you on your shopping trip. The checklist will help you to get the right supplies for your kid, avoid overspending, and shop comfortably. 

We strongly recommend that you reuse school supplies from previous years when possible, to cut down on your cost. We hope that our checklist will be of great help as you prepare for a great start to the back-to-school season.