Here’s where to stock up on school supplies in 2020 in Singapore (at the best prices, too!)
Just like that, international school holidays are winding down, and Singapore schools are hitting the home stretch. Here’s where to get back to school supplies from pencil cases and water bottles for preschoolers to ergonomic backpacks and school shoes for primary and secondary students 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 the coming school term!
It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway): face masks are a back-to-school must for 2020. Check out our roundup of cute face masks for kids and adults, and click for a breakdown of Face Shield pros and cons (and where to buy them).
Most Singapore schools require all white shoes (how do you manage to keep them clean, mamas?!), and we generally find sporting goods stores like Royal Sporting House and JD Sports have a wide selection (both online and offline) and good prices, though it’s hard to beat these $5 Velcro Domyos Sneakers from Decathlon (we don’t know how long they’ll last, though!). Queensway Shopping Centre also has oodles of trainers on offer. You can always go for Classic Keds or Chuck Taylor All-Stars, while style hawkers might prefer Adidas Stan Smiths or Tretorns.
UK company Next is another option for great quality and affordable school shoes. 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 $10 and usually arrives within five working days — need we say more?
Marks and Spencer is another UK company with a strong local presence, and we love their range of all-white and all-black school shoes, particularly the slip-on canvas Mary Janes that cost just $20!
If your child’s school has stricter requirements about footwear, 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 also offers extremely well-priced school shoes in a range of comfy, kid-friendly styles.
For little kids at preschool, we LOVE Native, which are lightweight, waterproof, washable, comfy, and easy for littles ones to slip on and off. You can find them at Amazon.sg, Hopla, and The Elly Store.
If you’re after high-quality velcro sneakers, the stylish French brand VEJA makes beautiful shoes in a variety of color combinations, and offers free worldwide shipping on orders over 150 Euro (why not grab a pair for yourself why you’re at it?).
Finally, if your little one needs rain boots for stomping in muddy puddles like George and Peppa, the usual suspects like Amazon.sg and Lazada should have a decent selection. We’ve also seen kids’ rain boots at Zara, and adore the colourful prints from Canadian brand Hatley.
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, while Amazon.sg stocks the iconic Fjallraven Kanken bags made with durable Vinylon F fabric, which repels sweat, great for style-conscious teens. Amazon.sg also has an unsurprisingly massive selection of kids’ backpacks including SkipHop, JuJuBe, Deuter, Under Armour, Thule and much more.
Pottery Barn Kids (pictured above) has an impressive range of ergonomic kids’ backpacks available in four different sizes (including rolling backpacks), with just about every print imaginable. They’re also monogrammable and many of the prints even glow in the dark (a huge selling point with our 6-year-old). Each line also features coordinating water bottles, pencil cases, and lunch bags, and they ship to Singapore!
No matter what age your child is, nursery to high school, everyone needs a water bottle in hot Singapore; just be sure to look out for BPA- and Phthalate-free bottles for your child’s safety. 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. Note that you can also order these for delivery within two hours from the Amazon Prime Now app! If you happened to order one of the Pottery Barn Kids backpacks mentioned above, their personalised water bottles are equally fab.
One of our current water bottle faves for older kids (or mamas) is S’well (pictured above), which can keep beverages cold for a full 24 hours (or hot for 12). They’re also condensation free, and are made from premium grade, BPA-free stainless steel. For older kids, you can also hit up one of the many outdoors-themed stores at Velocity Novena.
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.sg 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!
Also check out: Amazon.sg, 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.
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 bento boxes at Mothercare, and themed containers at Spotlight. Look for leak-proof containers if you are packing salads with dressings, dips or pasta with sauce.
While there is something Instagarammably cute about fitting the whole lunch in a bento compartamentalised 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. LIGONG is a cool local brand of resealable plastic bags that’s sold on Amazon.sg.
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.
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!).
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
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).
Read more: The Best Arts & Crafts Stores in Singapore
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!
Lead image by Stickerkid