Back to School 2021: Your Complete Guide on What to Buy

Back to school 2021 is officially upon us. Yep. We’re here again. Sorting school uniforms, looking into stationery, thinking back to school. We’re pretty sure it was Christmas eight minutes ago, but, apparently, we’ve been in a leftover-ham-induced coma for three weeks. Whoops. 

In an attempt to make 2021 the Year of Super Organisation, we’ve put together a go-to-guide for back to school shopping. Think of it as a school checklist to keep handy when sorting out a list of things to buy, as well as our top picks for each item.

What do your kids need? While the school will supply an exact list of stationery supplies required? Well here are 17 items most school kids require when starting school. 

School checklist 2021

You will need

✓ Backpack
✓ Shoes 
✓ School uniforms (at least 3 sets) 
✓  Socks 
✓  Hat
✓  Hair accessories
✓ Library or book bag school 
✓  Homework folder (check with your child’s school)
✓ Lunch box
✓ Drink bottle
✓  Name labels
✓  Stationery supplies
✓ Art Smock (for younger kids)
✓ Hand sanitiser 
✓ Headlice treatment  (just in case) 
✓ Tissues (for sniffy noses at school)
✓ Period kit  (for older girls)

Below are our top picks for basic items for back to school: 

BACKPACKS: Stuck On You Personalised Bags

Stuck on you bags - school checklist 2021

A funky backpack that is not only durable, but also personalised so they can’t lose it?! Tick it off the school checklist thanks to Stuck On You. They have a massive range of backpacks, plus other personalised bags too – duffle bags, cooler bags, book bags, swim bags, all available with external or internal personalisation.

Personalise with name, design, colour and fonts and choose from heaps of options. These bags are made from high-quality material with a wide variety of features for every bag. You can check out the full range, starting at $24.95, at Stuck On You. 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: Get 25% off all school products in Stuck On You’s Big Back-To-School Sale! Terms and Conditions apply. Sign up to be on their mailing list too, so you never miss a mid-year deal. 

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SHOES:  Ascent Footwear

ascent footwear - school checklist 2021

Comfortable, supportive and made to last, Ascent Footwear are a step in the right direction when it comes to school shoes. Kids NEED good footwear – they will wear them for over 1,500 hours every year and Ascent Footwear is the ONLY school shoes AND endorsed by The Australian Podiatry and Australian Physiotherapy Associations.

Their shoes are not only orthotic friendly but designed to withstand the craziness of kids. They flex in the right place and provide the correct amount of support and cushioning for growing feet. Choose from various sizes, half sizes, widths and even toe shapes. Check out the full range at Ascent Footwear, starting at $84.99, and tick another item off your child’s school checklist. FREE SHIPPING, FREE RETURNS and ZipPay available. 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: Purchase any pair of School category shoes online at Ascent Footwear and receive a FREE Waterproofer. Only valid until: 31st January 2021.

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school checklist - best and less uniforms

When it comes to school uniforms, you will most likely need to purchase from a specific vendor and wear a uniform that comes with the school’s logo. This may also be the case for your child’s hat, backpack, and library bag but this will depend on the school. 

If your child’s school requires certain colours but not a specific uniform, then our go-to is Best & Less. You can pick up affordable and quality polo shirts, shorts and skorts, socks, hats and even hair accessories, all in the common school colours. Tick, tick, tick, tick and tick.

BUY NOW: Head to Best & Less to see the schoolwear range. Shirts start at just $6, shorts at $8 and hats at $5. Best&Less also have a 100 Day Quality Guarantee means that you can gain a refund or exchange if you’re not happy with the quality of the product. 

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LUNCH BOX: Lunchbox lunchboxes for back to school

A good quality lunch box is a MUST! No mum wants to discover mould hidden in her child’s lunch box which is why we love the Lunchbox range. They are leakproof with silicone and removable seals, securing wet foods and ensuring an easy clean with no mould buildup! 

With large compartments for sandwiches and removable trays for pasta and salads, these lunch boxes let you get creative with their meals. Play around with the dividers to adjust compartment sizes based on what you’ve packed. There is even space to fit a whole banana! 

These lunch boxes are ideal for childcare and big school (ages 3+), come with a gel cooler pack underneath to keep food cooler and fresher for longer plus an easy-to-open design. They even have a little handle – so cute! Starting at $29.95, these lunchboxes are available at 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: Get 20% off using BBOXMC20 at checkout! Terms and Conditions Apply.

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WATER BOTTLE: Tritan Drink Bottle tritan drink bottle best drink bottles back to school

Pair their lunchbox with a Tritan Drink Bottle, another high-quality product that will last them throughout the year and beyond! Suitable for 9 months+, these bottles feature a unique ergonomic triangular shape bottle, ideal for little hands. They are easy to open and close, come with a spill-proof bite valve straw and have an extra-large opening so you can insert ice cubes. 

Easy to clean, dishwasher safe and with a cute little handle too, we love these bright and cheery water bottles and we know your little ones will too. The Tritan Drink Bottle costs $19.95 and is available at 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: SAVE 20% OFF using code BBOXMC20 at checkout. Terms and Conditions Apply. 

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NAME LABELS: Stuck On You Personalised Labels

stuck on you labels

You’ve got all this awesome new school stuff but how can you ensure it actually comes home with your kids? Easy – stick a label on it! Stuck On You is our pick for ALL things labels – stick-on labels, iron-on labels and in heaps of different sizes to suit their clothing, lunchboxes, pencil cases, even pencils! 

Personalise your products with name, design, colours and fonts and keep track of their stuff all year long. Stuck on You’s personalised labels are high-quality, long-lasting and dishwasher and microwave safe. Plus, they are incredibly affordable, starting at under $15!

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: SAVE 25% OFF all school products in Stuck On You’s Big Back-To-School Sale! Terms and conditions apply.  

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STATIONERY: Stuck On You Personalised Stationery

stuck on your stationery

Another item on every school checklist is stationery. Every school is different when it comes to what your child needs – some supply most stationery while other schools will send a list of what to buy. If you are shopping for stationery, we suggest checking out Stuck On You’s personalised stationery. 

What’s cool about Stuck On You’s range is that it comes with your child’s name on it – no need to add a label or worry about them losing it. Get personalised pencils, markers, pencil cases, notepads, sketchbooks, calendars, planners, journals and more. We especially love their little lunch box notes – so cute and perfect for kids who are anxious about leaving mummy! 

There are heaps of designs and colours that will ensure your kids are extra excited about using their personalised stationery when it’s time to start school. Best of all, these personalised products ensure you are prepared for anything with their name on everything! Personalised stationery starts at just $9.95 at Stuck On You. 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: SHOP NOW AND SAVE 25% off all school products in their Big Back-To-School Sale. Terms and conditions apply.  

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HAND SANITISER: Isocol Rubbing Alcohol Antiseptic

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It’s recommended that kids now carry hand sanitiser in their bags but what we especially love about Isocol Rubbing Alcohol Antiseptic is that it’s so much more than JUST a hand sanitiser. This effective multipurpose anti-bacterial lotion kills germs on the skin (no water needed) and acts as an antiseptic, cleaners and freshener, perfect for school. 

Made up of 64% isopropyl alcohol, Isocol evaporates quickly and leaves their skin feeling fresh and fragrant, plus guards against germs. Definitely a must for every school kid! Best of all? It’s Australian-made. Tick another item off your school checklist and guard against germs with Isocol. 

BUY NOW: Buy it at Woolworths, Coles, Priceline, Terry White and selected independent pharmacies and groceries nationwide.

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mum central

While you probably won’t be sending your kids to school with nit killer, it’s SOOO important to have a bottle (or two) handy at home, especially at the start of school. Head lice is so common and while it’s pretty disgusting, it’s also easy to treat with the right treatment. For us, it’s Hedrin 15 Spray Gel to the rescue! 

Hedrin 15 Spray Gel is safe, effective at killing head lice and eggs fast and only takes 15 minutes. No-fuss, no odour and with an easy spray application, the spray works in minutes and gets the job done. We recommend checking your children’s hair at least once a week and adding Hedrin to your medicine cabinet, just in case. Better safe than itchy! 

BUY NOW: Pick up Hedrin 15 Spray Gel at Chemist Warehouse for $18.49. 

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Modibodi reds period underwear

If your daughter is entering that “could it be puberty?” stage then it’s also a good idea to make a DIY period pack for those “just in case” situations. After all, the first period could very well happen at school and it’s important to be prepared.

Make your own by placing a few items into a cute cosmetics bag or small wet bag to place in their backpack. What do you put in? Some pads, liners, a spare change of underwear. We love the idea of period undies and ModiBodi Red are period undies especially for tweens and teens. 

MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: Check out the ModiBodi RED range at the ModiBodi website. Buy 7 pairs, get 10% off. 

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And there you are – back to school shopping done and dusted. Tick it off the school checklist, sit back and congratulate yourself on being extra organised this year. 


Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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