With schools all across the UK preparing to reopen this week after the long summer holidays, frazzled parents across the land are probably heaving a sigh of relief as routines return to normal. However, many of us will find that the last week of the holidays has been spent in a mad rush of buying new kit and caboodle for our precious offspring to get them ready for the coming term.
Sending the kids back for the beginning of the new school year is often an expensive time, especially coming hot on the heels of a blow out summer vacation. With most of us feeling the pinch of the ongoing economic crisis, kitting the kids out for school is an extra expense that we could well do without. Let’s look at some of the way we can save a few pounds here and there and still make sure that our little darlings have everything they need to take their place in the classroom.
One of the biggest expenses (after uniform) is the school bag and its contents. Research suggests that the top three items in any child’s schoolbag have remained constant for the past fifty years: pencil cases, rulers and exercise books.
We all know that kids love pencil cases and these containers come in such a wide range of styles, shapes, colours and sizes that kids really are spoilt for choice. Of course, there are the must-have themes which change from year to year – expensive sets with some sort of cartoon character emblazoned on the front. However, if you can persuade your little one to go for something a bit more cool than the usual offering, it’s quite possible to get a great, hardwearing and functional pencil case at a surprisingly affordable price. Look for something with added functionality – such as a double zip or something with extra compartments.
Okay – rulers don’t come in all shapes and sizes – they’re always rectangular and either 6 or 12 inches long. However, rulers do differ and some of the most useful are the space saving rulers – ones that fold or bend so that they fit into a standard sized pencil case. 12 inch rulers are much more susceptible to snapping, especially when carried round in a school bag, but kids do need the option of the full size ruler. This is why a neat folding ruler or an unbreakable rollup ruler makes sense in the long run.
Exercise books for homework may be supplied by the school. Indeed, most schools nowadays provide the kids with a homework diary at the beginning of each school year. However, your child is bound to want some exercise books, so look for a package deal on the local high street. It’s quite possible to buy a stack of exercise/notebooks for well under a fiver and this little lot should keep you going well into the New Year.
Whatever you end up buying for your kids to prepare them for the return to school, remember that kids have a habit of losing/breaking things. Go for something functional and durable at an affordable price so that you’re not disappointed when you need to replace it later on in the year.