This time next week I will be madly ironing school uniforms and packing PE kits. I can't believe how fast the summer holidays have flown! Little E will be starting Year 1 and Little I will be starting a proper Pre-School. I've been spending the summer gathering together all the new uniform, shoes and accessories but there are still a few bits I need to get. Here's my roundup of the best back to school essentials for children off to primary school and pre-school.
I'm usually a BHS shopper for a school uniform but not they are out of business I've had to shop around. Tesco have a great range of basic school wear at very good prices but I have found the quality a bit suspect, especially the tights which were threadbare after a month last Winter. M&S are more expensive but their clothes do last longer so worth the extra pennies.
We braved the chaos of Clarks to get the kids feet measured this Summer but there are other options for kids school shoes on the high street and online. Brantano do a great range of kids school shoes, including Clarks, at great prices. You can buy online or at one of their stores.
There is only one place I go for the kid's PE and sports kits, Sports Direct. The prices are brilliant and when a kit is only being worn once or twice a week (and often lost during the chaos of getting changed) you don't want to spend a fortune. Little E is starting football lessons after school and we've picked up some astro turf style football boots for £10 in their flash sale. Absolute bargain as she'll have grown out of them within the year!
I'm a little obsessed with stationery and can't wait for Little E to need her own pencil case when she starts Year 2. I love Paperchase products and they have some wonderfully creative designs for boys and girls to make their school stuff stand out. Dinosaur fans will love this fantastic design.
Little E has school lunches but Little I will be taking a packed lunch to pre-school. I have found this amazing lunch bag from Bibetta which can go in the washing machine. Perfect as they get so grubby at the seams. We had bibs made of this material back when the girls were babies so I know how well they wash time after time.
Healthy packed lunch ideas
With schools insisting on healthy packed lunches it can be a struggle to work out what to put in that will actually be eaten. Little I is very fussy and refuses to drink water so these new Nurture drinks pouches are a blessing. They are a mix of water and natural fruit juice. They are school approved so perfect for lunchtime plus they help support the immune system.
My girls love crisps but they are so bad for them I try and avoid buying them. I have recently discovered Nim's fruit and vegetable crisps which are basically air dried fruit and veg. Much healthier than standard crisps but like with all dried fruits some varieties are high in natural fruit sugars. The veggie crisps have a lower sugar content but as you'd expect my kids aren't as keen! Always the way! The pineapple, pear and kiwi are firm favourites.
You can liven up lunch boxes with new fruity oat bars from Pulsin. These bars are reduced sugar oaty snacks which contain 1 of your 5 a day. The nut free recipe is gluten, dairy and soya free making the perfect for allergy suffers. They come 3 flavours, strawberry, blackcurrent & apple and, my favourite, orange choc chip. My kids love the cute animal designs on the packs.
I dread the letter home informing me nits are rife in the classroom! Last year we miraculously managed to avoid catching them and I think it was down to two things; insisting Little E's hair is tied back every single day and spraying her hair religiously with repellent spray! Hedrin Protect & Go Spray is clinically tested to help prevent the evil lice and is an integral part of our back to school routine!
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.