It’s 8am. You’re about to head out the door on the school run and one of the kids pipes up that they need a new exercise book for class that day. Or they need a dollar for the mufti fundraiser. Or it’s wacky hair day!
One of the things I’ve learned that is absolutely essential when you have school-age kids is that you have to keep a home supply of stationery and other useful items for school life.
Whether you use it for those last-minute supply needs, bring it out for homework and projects, or utilise the stationery for at-home learning, once you set up your supply, you will wonder how you ever did without one. And with the possibility of at-home learning being needed from time to time, your supply will enable learning to continue with as little interruption as possible.
To keep the stationery neat and tidy, choose a good-sized tub or container to hold all of the bits and bobs of your supply. Tubs with multiple compartments like tackle boxes work well and make it easier to find what you need. We love the Sistema Storage Organiser with an internal tray. Wheeled trollies are also a great option with room for exercise books, etc.
What to include in your supply
The contents of your secret supply will vary from child to child but here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Stationery – Keep a backup supply of pens, pencils, coloured pencils, and erasers. Having a spare ruler, glue stick, highlighters, whiteboard markers, pencil sharpener, pair of scissors, and protractor is also handy.
Exercise books – Keep a few of the most common exercise books, like 1B5 and notebooks, in your supply as well as refill pads.
A project book – Perfect for home learning, a large size activity book with blank pages will cater to a lot of topics and projects.
Drink bottle – As the number one school item most likely to disappear into oblivion, a spare drink bottle is essential.
Permanent marker – Keep a marker in your supply for that last-minute labelling of new shoes, drink bottles, etc, before they dash out the door.
Sunscreen – A small roll-on or tube of sunscreen is handy to keep in supply, just remember to rotate it out when you buy a new one.
Hair care – How often do you need a hair tie at the last minute before leaving the house? Pop a few in your supply and add some ribbons, hair chalk or coloured hair spray for that wacky hair day you forgot about!
Coins – Essential for mufti days, fundraisers, and public transport (… and tooth fairies!).
Craft items – Coloured paper or card, sellotape, googly eyes, paint, brushes, popsicle sticks, felt pens, crayons, sticky notes, etc.
Cards – A few generic birthday and thank you cards are priceless time-savers.
Tissues and masks – A few pocket packs of tissues and our new must-have accessory, a face mask or two.
Essential school info – Keep a copy of your child’s timetable or the school break and lunch times plus school contact numbers.
Sewing kit – For quick repairs, keep a small sewing kit handy including spare buttons.
Headphones – Great for online learning or zoom class meetings, stash a spare pair of in-ear headphones.
Other essentials – Keep your stapler, staples, hole punch, and spare batteries in your supply too.
Written by Julie Scanlon
Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire.
Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”