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Ultimate Back to School Supplies Guide: All the Essentials for the School Year

skip hop animal backpack preschooler
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Here’s where to stock up on all your school supplies and essentials in Singapore (at the best prices, too!)

And just like that, June school holidays are over! So it’s back to studying for local schools (sigh of relief for parents?). Here’s where to get back to school supplies from pencil cases and water bottles for preschoolers to ergonomic backpacks for secondary and beyond, in our Ultimate Back to School Guide! We’ve rounded up some of our fave places to find everything your child needs to get ready for their next Semester, along with where you’ll find the best prices.

     Read more: Tips To Ease School Drop-off Tears

Shoes

next school shoes
Elastic Lace Trainers and Black Triple Strap Leather Shoes from Next

UK company Next is our current go-to choice for great quality and affordable school shoes. Their black plimsoles start at $8 (hello!) while their leather shoes with velcro fastenings start at $30. All Next school shoes have a microfresh lining, featuring breathable fabric (so important for this humid climate) and enhanced treads to improve grip (to help support endless playground running). Next have a Singapore website and delivery is free and usually arrives within five working days – need we say more?
Next at www.next.sg

Ten Feet Tall offers a proper measuring and fitting service and they stock a range of smart black school shoes for boys and girls aged 3-18 (starting from $85 non-sale items), across leading European brands.
Ten Feet Tall, 02-16 Holland Road Shopping Centre, 211 Holland Avenue, Singapore 278967, www.tenfeettallshoes.com

Local brand Bata offers extremely well-priced school shoes in a range of comfy, kid-friendly styles.
Bataclick here for all locations

School Bags & Backpacks

skip hop animal zoo backpack
Skip Hop backpacks

If you’ve got preschoolers heading off to nursery or “big school” for the first time, purchasing their first school bag is a big deal. For some schools, a school-issued backpack is a requirement but if your child can choose their own, this can really add to the excitement of a new school. Littles ones adore SkipHop Animal Backpacks (featured image)  while Zalora stocks the iconic Fjallraven Kanken bags made with durable Vinylon F fabric, which repels sweat, great for style-conscious teens. If your kids will be lugging around heavy books and lunch boxes, look for an ergonomic school bag (like the MoonRock bag – the world’s first schoolbag brand to be endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association). This bag has side pockets (great for carrying water bottles), sturdy shoulder straps, and multiple compartments, plus high-quality materials that’ll withstand being thrown around a bit.

Find it: MoonRock from $139, Fjallraven Kanken at Zalora from $159
Also check outErgokidTinydipity, Pupsik Studio, SmiggleWhite & Black Trading, and Takashimaya.

Name Labels

stuck on you sticker labels school supplies
Stuck On You sticker labels

Of course once you’ve purchased all your school supplies the next job is labelling everything (otherwise the mama chats on WhatsApp will be forever filled with: Have you seen Tim’s water bottle? Lulu lost her lunch box!). Fortunately, there are so many kid-friendly personalised name labels on the market these days.

Stuck On You is a fave, with both sticker and iron-on varieties, or there’s Sticker Print for waterproof labels. For cheaper and DIY options, you can always resort to the tried and tested method of writing on your supplies with a basic Sharpie!

Find it: Iron On Labels from Stuck on You available at $22.95
Also check out: Muakids, Sticker Kid, Qoo100 (for very cheap labels) and Tiny Me. Just remember to order well in advance,  as a number of these places are outside Singapore and shipping can take a while.

Water Bottles

thermos disney pixar water bottle school
Thermos Disney-Pixar’s Cars Straw Bottle

No matter what age your child is, nursery to high school, everyone needs a water bottle in hot Singapore. Pupsik Studio has a wide selection at great prices, including the ever-popular Skip Hop Zoo line which comes in a variety of fun colours and sizes. Look out for BPA- and Phthalate-free bottles for your child’s safety. One of our current faves is the Thermos®  FUNtainer Insulated Stainless Steel Straw Bottle (in line with our anti-plastic movement), which keeps cold liquids cold for 12 hours or the Thermos® FHL-401FDS Disney-Pixar’s Cars Straw Bottle keeping drinks cold for 6 hours. For older kids, Takashimaya, Tangs and Mustafa have tons of styles to choose from, especially well-loved brands like Sigg, or you can hit up one of the many outdoors-themed stores at Velocity Novena.

Find it: Thermos® FHL-401FDS Disney-Pixar’s Cars Straw Bottle $49 at major department stores from August, Thermos FUNtainer Insulated Stainless Steel Straw Bottle from Pupsik Studio from $24.90 (down from $45.90) or SIGG at Tangs from $49
Also check out: Giant, Tangs, Spotlight

Lunchboxes

While breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s also super important to fuel up your child at lunch so their concentration and energy levels don’t go downhill in the afternoon. Mustafa (store guide here) is the place to find containers of every size, or there are collapsible containers at Mothercare, and themed containers at Spotlight. Look for leak-proof containers if you are packing salads with dressings, dips or pasta with sauce.

Stainless steel lunchbox by LunchBots
Stainless steel lunchbox by LunchBots

While there is something Instagarammably cute about fitting the whole lunch in a bento compartmentalized box like the featured leak-proof 6 compartment YumBox, or the stainless steel LunchBots, it’s also just as easy to pack your kids’ food in mini containers, especially if some dishes are to be kept warm in a Thermos and others like yogurt need packing with an ice pack.

Find it: Yumbox at Agape Babies from $45
Also check out: Amazon.com, Giant, ToTT, Motherswork

     Read more: Back To School: 5 Easy Tips To Make School Routine So Much Easier

Lunchbox Recipes

Where to Buy Lunch Boxes in Singapore
Healthy lunchboxes made easy with our FREE downloadable kids’ lunch planner

There’s only so many sandwich variations you can make before your kid (and you mama!) get stuck in a rut so we bring you our hugely popular FREE lunchbox recipe downloadable guide here! There are three weeks’ worth of lunchbox recipes for you with dishes that are big on fresh, colourful vegetables and protein – and they are all nut-free, too, as per most schools’ requirements.

Pencil Cases and School supplies

If there’s anything that can get kiddos excited for the start of a new school year, it’s the fun, colourful school supplies on offer at Smiggle. We particularly love their pencil cases and the pop-out pencil cases are no end of fun (their backpacks are cute, too!).

smiggle kids school supplies
Kids school supplies from Smiggle

Find it: Now You See Me Go Anywhere Pencil Case $22.95 from Smiggle
Also check out: For more basic writing instruments, you can always head to Evergreen Stationery, Giant or Popular

Pens, Markers & Art Supplies

Art Friend is our go-to when it comes to art supplies like paint, coloured pencils and big sketch pads. Toys R Us also has a decent arts and crafts selection (and you can earn benefits with their Star Card too).

Also try: Spotlight which is the other mecca for all things crafty (including paints and party gear). You can also find well-priced crayons and markers at Popular and of course Mustafa.

School Notebooks and Stationery

typo disney collection stationery
Typo’s Disney collection (image credit: @hellomissmay via Typo)

Forget the kids’ school stuff, us mamas have a little style crush on kikki.K‘s lovely notebooks and diary organisers! Younger kids will love Smiggle for their sweet unicorn themed and sports-themed notebooks while Typo is always high up on the list for paper goods for older kids at reasonable prices too. Tango Mango has a range of stationery and books plus there’s a postal service so you can tick that off your chore list in one shop!

Also check out: Stationery stores like Evergreen, Popular, Mustafa and NBC are all good bets for more low key designs and older kids’ school notebooks.

Read more:

Back To School: 5 Easy Tips To Make School Routine So Much Easier

Lead image by Stickerkid

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