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Back to School Supplies: The Ultimate Shopping Guide

Ready to get started on back to school supply shopping? We’ve got a complete list for your students, whether they’re starting back in primary or secondary!

It’s almost that time of year! Back to school will be here before we know it.  

It’s time to start thinking about shopping for all the supplies your kiddos will need, and whether they’re just starting out or they’re getting ready to graduate, we’re listing everything your child will need for the 2021-2022 school year! 

 

When are we going back to school? 

Well we know the 2020 – 2021 school year was an unusual one, and with lockdowns and online schooling, you might be a little confused about what’s happening for this school year. 

As of now, the majority of Ireland’s schools are planning to head back to school in person this autumn. 

Schools across Ireland typically resume around the end of August to the start of September, so it’s best to get prepared for the first day of school by starting your back to school shopping sooner rather than later! 

If you’re curious about your own school’s start date, be sure to check your local school board’s website. 

 

Where to buy back to school supplies? 

Back to school supplies on a child’s desk.

If you’re not sure where to buy school supplies, or if you’re looking to order the bulk of everything online to avoid crowds (we don’t blame ya!), we’ve got you covered! Littlewoods Ireland has just about everything your kid needs to start the school year on the right foot. 

We even have uniforms if your child needs to dress accordingly starting on day one. 

Need to check those out? Check out our range of school uniforms! 

The tips you need before going back to school supplies shopping

Facing a giant list of everything you’ll need to pick up before the first day of class can definitely be daunting. 

You’ll probably end up with questions like ‘what is an absolute necessity for day one of the school term’? And what items can probably wait a week or two? 

You might also be thinking about how you can make your money stretch. Well, here are our top tips to know before you get started on back to school supplies shopping! 

1. Buy quality items so they’ll last longer

This first tip is especially true for bigger items. If your child needs a new backpack, lunchbox, new school shoes, or even a new laptop – you’ll want to budget more for these.

Go for higher quality items since they’ll last longer than cheaper ones. While it might be more upfront, you’ll save money in the long run since you won’t have to replace the items as soon. 

2. Stick to the back to school supplies list

If you’ve got young’uns, it might be easy for them to get distracted by all the pretty colours and fun supplies, and in all that excitement, they might get a little rowdy and throw items that aren’t necessary in the cart right away. 

Make your money stretch by sticking to the list! All the extra fun stuff can come later. 

 

3. Ask the teacher what your student will need on day one

You can also budget more appropriately by talking to the teacher beforehand. Give him or her a ring or send an email and ask about the supplies your student will need in the first few weeks. And then ask which supplies can be bought in a month or two. 

Chances are, they’ll tell you you can hold off on certain supplies. We’re gonna go out on a limb and say they probably won’t have a science fair project within the first two weeks of classes. So you can save your money on the glitter glue for the time being. 

 

4. Relax knowing that online shopping will be a lifesaver if you forget anything 

If you can’t make it to a shop, you can relax knowing you live in the 21st century! So online shopping has you covered on the last minute pickups you need before that first day of class. 

What should you get when back to school supplies shopping? 

Ultimately, what you get depends largely on what year your child is going into. 

We’re breaking it down based on primary and secondary school so you can skip right to a standard list of items your kiddo will need! 

Primary back to school supplies shopping guide

If you have a child heading back to primary school this autumn, here’s a list of what you’ll more than likely need to snag before the start of the term. 

  • Backpack

A new backpack will tote all their supplies to class on the first day of school no matter what year they’re in, and we’ve got plenty of quality backpacks to choose from. 

  • Lunchbox

The last thing you’ll want to run into is needing something to put their homemade lunch in while they’re running out the door to catch the bus. 

  • Pencils and Pencil Case

They’ll need the classic writing utensil to practice their lettering! And of course a pencil case they can tote their pens and pencils around in. 

  • Colouring pencils, crayons, markers

These will be necessary for craft time for the young ones and art projects for the older primary school kids. 

  • Uniforms and new shoes

One of the best parts of starting a new school year? The new outfits that go with it! Snag new shoes and uniforms for the first day. Need clothes that fit the dress code? We’ve got plenty of school uniforms and shoes

Secondary school back to school supplies shopping guide

Students returning to secondary school this autumn will need to trade out their craft materials for multiple class items. We’re listing the standard supplies for you! 

  • Backpack

No matter what year they’re going into, students are gonna need a backpack. 

  • Lunchbox

We still stick by this, even for secondary school students who might be eating in their canteen occasionally! Have a lunchbox on hand just in case they need to bring a home lunch for the day. 

  • Laptop and laptop bag

If your school doesn’t provide a laptop for your student, you may need to think about getting one for them. 2020 was a prime indicator that school sessions are more than capable of moving online if needed. We’ve got plenty of options to choose from here!

  • Pencils, pens, highlighters, and erasers

In secondary school, students trade out craft paper and glue sticks for more pens and highlighters to take plenty of notes. Make sure they’re stocked up for class and at home! 

  • Binders, folders, and notebooks

Your student will need to keep their notes in something. We recommend having binders, folders, and notebooks for each subject they’re studying so they can keep their notes organised. 

  • Gym bags

Gym is more of a subject in secondary school, and your student might find themselves needing to change out of smelly gym clothes and into fresh ones. A gym bag is perfect for them to carry their change of clothes for the day. 

 

Don’t let the start of the school year stress you out. We have plenty of essentials your kiddo needs when it comes to back to school supplies shopping! 

And, if you need brand new school uniforms for the start of the year, too, we’ve got it under control. 

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