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We know, it’s barely summer yet and already we’re talking about heading back to school. But being prepared is essential for that inevitable morning when the holidays are over, the long lazy days are done and the kids are frantically trying to find a pair of socks while panicking that last year’s backpack is nowhere near cool enough to cut it this year. But fret not, as we’ve put together a list of back to school supplies and essentials plus some handy tips to make that first morning back a little easier for everyone.

Get your name down

First and foremost, it doesn’t matter what you buy or how much you spend if the little tykes lose it on the first day. So name tags are an absolute must. If Noah offers his jumper up as a goalpost at lunchtime, it’s almost a certainty he’ll end up with the wrong one by the time he’s back in class. So get their name on everything from shoes to jackets with our simple text-based ordering service.

Bags of fun

In the world of uniforms, a school bag is one of the few ways your child can show express their personality, so give them a little freedom when picking one for the new year. Our block colour book bags are perfect for personalisation, whether that’s adding badges or patches or drawing their own designs with fabric pens.

Food for thought

It might not be a tactic that’s greeted with cheers but it’s beneficial to start waking the kids up that bit earlier in the run up to heading back to school, so they get eased back into a routine. And food is more than just valuable fuel for learning. Make that wake-up call a bit easier on them by greeting them with something tasty but nutritious. And take the same approach to packed lunches, so that they have another treat waiting in their lunchbox for later in the day.

On the right foot

When it comes to shoes, comfort is essential. It’s always a good idea to get the kids wearing their shoes before the first day back so that they’re broken in –it’s no fun to spend the whole first day distracted by sore feet. We’ve got a wide range of school shoes – both laced and Velcro – and trainers for boys and girls, so they’re covered for ordinary school days and PE class.

The long and tall of it

The real back to school essential is the school uniform. It’s not unheard of, especially with teenage boys, for them to end the school year almost a foot taller than they began it, so affordability is key. There is absolutely no point spending a fortune on jumpers or trousers that will either be too small in a matter of months or ripped during exuberant lunch time fun. Instead, look for quality and comfort. It’ll be even harder to concentrate in scratchy jumpers! Look for lightweight options, too. The beginning and end of the school year can be on the warm side so opt for cotton jumpers over wool when the temperatures rise. Warm kids = groggy, inattentive kids.

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It might be the end of the summer, but don’t let them dwell on that, rather focus on the excitement of being with all their friends again, catching up on their summer adventures. It’s another new step and one that’s best taken prepared and excited for the new challenges ahead.