Back To School Essentials For 2019

Posted on 24th August 2019

It's nearly time for the kids to go back to school, and as any parent knows, this means there's a few key items which they’ll need to stock up on beforehand.

Many items make great back to school gifts for those a little anxious about the new school year. Read on for our back to school tips and shopping list, which ticks all the essential boxes, and makes a few suggestions for items which will get your kids looking forward to being back in the classroom!

The annual back to school shop doesn’t mean you have to fill your trolley with plain pencil cases, bog standard note books and a few biros when doing the weekly supermarket shop. There are plenty of pieces which can help make learning a more enjoyable and rewarding experience, ranging from items to keep track of admin, to great stationery as well as essentials which help the school day run a little smoother.

Purchasing For The School Year

Each school year brings new challenges for the student and with it a whole new range of different items to buy! Younger children at primary school tend to have different requirements to those at secondary school, thanks to a differing workload and teaching priorities.

However, there are a few key pieces which are almost always important for a return to the classroom, including:

New Uniforms

If your child is changing schools or (in some cases) simply moving to a new year, investing in new school uniforms is often a must. Kids grow quickly and requirements for uniforms change.

School uniform costs vary from school to school, and so do the guidelines on what students should be wearing. For many parents, putting together the perfect school uniform is a particularly taxing task, but thankfully, there are ways to make them more affordable – such as buying the basics from supermarket ranges, and then looking out for bargains which often appear at this time of year.

One area never to scrimp on is footwear. Kids spend a great deal of their day on their feet and not only are there often strict regulations in the area of school shoes, but the comfort level and safety of each pair should always be taken into account.

New Stationery

Stationery sets are not only an essential item for students who want to excel – they are also a great way for kids to show their individuality. There's a wide range on the market, available at a variety of different price points. If the child would rather build their own stationery kit from scratch, then look at the most important pieces they need to have. A few pens and pencils, a ruler, eraser and highlighters are important for most year groups. By investing in an attractive personalised pencil case, you can help them keep everything in one place. A personalised note book can also help them to feel better about taking notes.

Lunch Bags/Boxes

Another staple for schoolchildren is a great lunch-box or lunch-bag. As with stationery, there are almost limitless options available for kids to choose from. It goes without saying that if your children don't have packed lunches, there's no need to worry about this particular item. However, if they do – then you have lots of fantastic choices. Make it fun with sports-style water boxes and personalised rucksacks or tote bags to keep their snacks safe until lunch.

Backpack or Satchel

There are tons of options for school bags. When buying for a student, always consider both the amount of room they'll need, and portability. A small child won't be able to carry an enormous backpack, but a smaller version – or alternatively, a smart satchel – will help ensure they can carry all the essentials without worrying about losing anything. We recommend looking out for items which have plenty of pockets. It’s easy to misplace items when travelling from class to class, but with a space for each of the smaller pieces of kit (stationery, calculators, their phone if applicable) they'll always know where to look.


It’s a great idea to get students interested in scheduling their own time and assignments, as early as possible. Investing in a planner or diary will allow them to keep track of homework, and prevent fewer stressful last-minute panics! As with so many 'back to school' items, you can pick up a wide variety of different types of planners and diaries, with varied designs which will see them through the new school year. Be sure to find one your child will like by involving them in the selection process, as this means they're much more likely to make use of it.

USB Drive

This is particularly handy for older children, as it allows them to store their work digitally. It will also enable them to complete work during the school day by using library computers, and helps keep everything centralised and safe in a way which paper sometimes can't quite enable. Choose one with a reasonable storage capacity for the best investment.


Equipping your child with an umbrella is a valuable piece of kit during the autumn term, as the weather becomes increasingly unpredictable at this time of year. To make sure it’s fully portable, opt for a small version which can be safely stowed in their school bag until it's needed.

Warm Coat

Just as an umbrella is an autumn essential, so is a comfy, cosy coat. You'll want to choose something smart, but make sure the child is also happy to wear it on a day-to-day basis, to ensure they get the most use from the item. Look for durable fabrics which are up to the task of regular washing, to help ensure their new coat will see them through both autumn and winter with ease.

Drinks Bottle

Staying hydrated is essential for students who want to do their best at school. We recommend buying a reusable drinks bottle with an anti-spill top to prevent accidents during the school day.


Most schoolchildren benefit from a notepad, where they can store notes from class. Even in classes which provide a textbook, buying a A4/A5 wide-ruled notepad allows them to stay on top of schoolwork and helps supplement their assignment diary.

Posted on: The GiftPup blog