It may feel like ages until the first day of term comes around but trust us, the school bell will ring in no time – avoid the last-minute panic and get your kids kitted out with all the essentials pronto.
1. School shoes
A good pair of kicks will withstand the tests of playground antics and running between classes. For the required black pair, nothing beats Clarks – particularly because its fitting service guarantees comfort for growing tootsies. There are also light-up options to make girl and boy styles a little more flashy. For white sneakers, try Marks & Spencer, whose little canvas options are perfect for the early years.
2. School bags
From books to swim kits, the kids need a good sturdy bag to cart all their stuff in. We’re big fans of Pottery Barn, who’ll embroider initials or names onto its range of backpacks at no extra cost. But for something majorly budget-friendly, check out Kidore.com, where you’ll get a value pack including trolley bag, lunch bag, lunch box, pencil case and water bottle – hooray!
3. Water bottles
Water bottles will get lost on a regular basis so don’t go for anything crazy expensive. Mumzworld.com has a great range, while Carrefour stocks basic but good options. Virgin Megastore has the failsafe Camelbak option in all kinds of designs and prices.
4. Swim supplies
While there’s a school regulation sports kit, you’ll need to get the kids accessories, including goggles and towels. Decathlon in Mirdif City Center or Ibn Battuta Mall is hands-down the best place for great-value goggles that won’t burn a hole in your wallet every time they’re misplaced. The Sun & Sand Sports outlet in Al Quoz (behind the Gold & Diamond Park) has everything from workout gear to swim aids, floaties, goggles and more.
5. Personalised labels
And finally, there’s no point in buying any school kit if it’s not labeled correctly. Make sure to get everything – from uniform to accessories – marked with your kiddos’ names at local company Forget Me Not. Its value packs will get everything covered.