school supplies list

Complete School Supplies List

The Ultimate Back to School Shopping Guide

Summer is the time for picnics, days at the park and some well-deserved rest. It’s also the perfect opportunity to take inventory of your child’s school supplies and to compile a list of everything they need to approach the next year of their education.

From replenishing their pencil case to purchasing a new pair of shoes, back-to-school shopping can seem daunting. But, with this list of back-to-school essentials, you’ll have everything you need to prepare your child for a successful year at school.


School shopping wouldn’t be complete without amassing a new collection of stationery. Some items, such as a ruler, blunt-tipped scissors and a pencil sharpener, can be used year after year. However, given how often they are used, pens and pencils should be replaced yearly. This ensures that your child never runs out of ink halfway through a class.

A set of four ballpoint pens can be cheaply purchased online or in any supermarket, as can pencils. If you have younger children, consider purchasing a pen grip to help them develop their motor skills and handwriting.

Adding markers, crayons and colored pencils to your child’s pencil case gives them all the tools they need to get creative with their school work. Older children can also benefit from adding a scientific calculator and highlighters to their pencil case.


As your child progresses through school, organization becomes more important. With each grade, they’ll be introduced to new subjects and different teachers. As such, having a designated place to file their classwork alongside any homework can be really useful, especially when it comes to revising.

Binders can be purchased from online stationery retailers and come in a variety of styles, as do subject dividers. Whether your child is dividing their binder between different subjects or different topics within a single subject, dividers allow them to get even more organized. By regularly filing their work, your child will have all the tools they need to prepare for tests and will never lose a piece of work again.


Books, whether they’re in the form of textbooks or notebooks, are a school essential. As your child progresses through middle school to high school, it’s more likely that they’ll need to purchase subject-specific textbooks or fictional books to use as case studies. School books may be provided for the class, so always double-check with your child’s teacher before making any purchases.

A notebook is a great addition to your child’s rucksack. While they can use loose-leaf paper to take down all their class notes, a notebook provides a space for them to jot down any homework tasks and plan out their week.


With multiple books, lunch, stationery and a water bottle to carry around, your child must have a sturdy backpack. It’s unlikely that it will need to be replaced every year, but double-checking the condition of your child’s backpack ensures that their straps won’t break when they’re halfway to school.

A backpack should be large enough to carry all the essentials and any additional items your child might need, such as a gym kit or an umbrella.


Dress codes vary from school to school, but typically your child will need a pair of casual shoes or boots, depending on the season and sneakers. It can be tempting to buy cheaper shoes, especially if your child seems to be having a growth spurt every other week. However, given how much wear the shoes will get, it’s always better to opt for a sturdier, well-made pair.

Much like a backpack, you should double-check the condition of your child’s shoes at the start of each semester.

Glasses or Contact Lenses

An optician’s appointment might not be your go-to summer activity, but it can make or break your child’s school year. Without corrective lenses, your child could spend the next academic year struggling to take notes or follow demonstrations.

By having their eyesight regularly checked, you can ensure that your child has everything they need to achieve the best results in the classroom. If your child does wear glasses, a sturdy case can come in handy. It’ll ensure the glasses remain safe, even when tossed to the bottom of a rucksack.


The summer holidays create a perfect opportunity for you to assess your child’s wardrobe and determine what needs replacing and what still fits. From hoodies to gym shorts, it’s likely that some items of clothing will be starting to show their age. Building a wardrobe comprised of outfits that your child feels comfortable and confident in ensures that there’s never a laundry scramble or days when they’re left with nothing to wear.

Depending on your local climate, you may also need to purchase some outwear, such as a raincoat or snow boots. These items won’t be used every day, but they’ll come in handy when the weather calls for them.

Final Thoughts

With this simple list, you can prepare your child for the upcoming school year and ensure that they have everything they need to have fun while learning a handful of new skills. Whether they need a new rucksack or to replenish their pencil case, a few purchases will guarantee that they are prepared for their next academic adventure.