What you shouldn’t buy for back to school. {Plus a printable list of what you should!}

School heads back next week and it seems the shops are packed with kids shopping for their supplies. (Not a kid? Stay the heck out of stationery and shoes stores this weekend, unless you want to contend with overexcited children and parents who’ve had it with the holidays and are bordering on dangerous.) Most schools provide a list of what each child needs ahead of time, however some still don’t. So if you don’t have one, or you’ve lost it; I’ve created a generic printable list for you to work from.

Back to School Checklist


Free Back to School Checklist Printable!

Wondering what not to buy? Here’s my top 7 teacher rage inducing buys….

Smiggle Electric Sharpeners. Ahhh Smiggle. If I had financial foresight I would have bought shares in this money spinner.Their electric sharpener though, not fun for teachers. Apart from being noisy and annoyingly distracting, they break. And then we have to contend with a distracted and upset child. Just don’t do it. Save them for your home and your pleasure. (But don’t tell me I didn’t warn you!)

Metal Rulers. It’s all fun and games until someone gets their throat slit. These babies are dangerous. Buy a wooden ruler; better yet buy one of those bendy plastic ones. I’m sure Smiggle sells them. (see. Cash cow.)

Connector Textas. These rage inducing textas have helped kids get around the no gun play rule for a while now. I detest them, as do many of my colleagues. If you can, buy good quality textas that don’t connect. If you must buy them for your special snowflake, warn your child they might get the teacher who threw a whole pencil case worth out the window, after one too many warnings about guns.

Teeny Weeny Glue Sticks. Yeah, that tiny glue stick you bought? It’s totally going to last a year. NOT. Gluing stuff is a serious business in the primary school classroom and long lasting glue sticks, a powerful commodity. Buy the big fat ones, and buy a few. Label them.

Pens. Does your child have their pen license? No? Then don’t buy them.

Pencil cases the size of my bum. (That would be very large.) Your child does not need a pencil case that takes up the entire desk. (kids are extremely territorial about their desk space.) What they need is one that fits everything easily and is still compact. Be sensible, you’re not sending them on a trek.

Umbrellas. Not stationery but still an item we would prefer you avoided. I have had enough poked eyes to firmly say no blasted umbrellas in my classroom. I get it, that lady beetle umbrella is cute, and your kid loves it. But they can’t open it properly, and they can’t close it properly, and they just whacked that other kid over the head with it. Send a raincoat. Old school. Safe.

Happy Australia Day long weekend all! Hope you enjoy these last shimmering days of holiday fun. (Stay calm parents, it’s almost over.)



One thought on “What you shouldn’t buy for back to school. {Plus a printable list of what you should!}

  1. Robo

    Great little post. Here here for the glue sticks. Cute but they don’t last a week. I do like connector pens though. I teach at a high school and when a kid whips out those babies, they’re ready to engage.


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