Shopping for Kids

School Supplies List – Our Top Picks For Back to School 2020


It may seem like the summer holidays will never end but trust us, now is the time to tick items off your back to school supplies list.

It’s only a matter of weeks before the school bell rings and the familiar routine of drop-offs, lunch boxes and the daily “have you got any notes/homework/library books?” type interrogation starts. You do not want to be that parent frantically searching for lunchboxes, pencils and labels the day before school starts. We’ve been there. It’s not fun. So let’s get this list sorted now.

Whether you need a simple restock of lunchboxes or the whole kit and kaboodle, we’ve found the top school supplies for the 2020 school year below – AND we’ve made it super easy for you to SHOP!

back to school guide
School is going back SOON guys, hang in there! Photo: Adobe Stock

Mum Central Back to School Supplies List:

1. A safe Smartwatch 

OUR PICK: SPACETALK Smart Watch ($349)

school supplies list, spacetalk smartwatch
Photo: supplied

We all want to know our kids are safe when travelling to and from school. This year, many schools will ban mobile phones, a move that will make it tricky for parents to get in touch with their kids. Don’t panic, we have an even better way to stay connected!

The SPACETALK Smartwatch is an easy, stress-free all-in-one smartwatch, phone and GPS device. With this watch, you can let kids know you’re running late for school pick-up (again) with a simple call or text message. It goes the other way too – you’re only one SPACETALK Smartwatch call away for a forgotten lunchbox.

This really is a clever way for kids to keep connected without the responsibility of a mobile phone. The SPACETALK Smartwatch does NOT have open access to the internet or social media. Using the All My Tribe app, parents can control who their child can call or text (and who they can receive calls from) with a safe contact list. You can also set up Safe Zones and enable “School Mode” during school hours for distraction-free learning.

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2. Proper-fitting school shoes

OUR PICK: Ascent Academy school shoes ($109.95 in sizes 10 to 4).

school supplies list, school shoes
Photo: supplied

Kids don’t stop still for long. They run in the yard, they skip from desk to desk, they climb the playground and they often walk to and from school. The average kid wears their school shoes for more than 1,500 hours a year. So it’s incredibly important that those school shoes fit properly.

The Ascent Academy is everything you want in a first school shoe. These shoes are tough – designed and built for running and jumping on the multiple surfaces in the playground. At the same time, they gently cradle and support growing feet. The hook and loop fastener straps make it quick and easy for kids to take them on and off, with no parental help – exactly what you need when they are starting school.

Ascent footwear is the ONLY shoe brand endorsed by both the Australian Podiatry and Physiotherapy Associations and they come in half sizes to ensure the perfect fit. So you know your child’s feet are being well looked after. The icing on the cake? The Ascent Academy’s double black full-grain leather upper prevents scuff marks, keeping shoes looking new for longer. Sweet!

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3. Personalised name labels

OUR PICK: IdentiKid Maxi Pack (from $75)

school supplies list, identikid labels
Photo: supplied

You know the drill – label EVERYTHING or risk losing it all! Personalised name labels must be on your back-to-school supplies list. Stick them on everything so that your kids’ belongings make their way back to the rightful owner when they inevitably get left behind.

This labelling pack does it ALL and it’s awesome value for money. The IdentiKid Maxi Pack is a customised pack (choose your icon, font, colours and add your name) of 35 large vinyl labels, 30 mini vinyl labels, 40 iron-on labels, 10 shoe dots, 1 IdentiTag, 1 pack IdentiBANDS, 3 ZipTags and 10 ZipiDiDo Dots. It’s everything you need to get your school supplies sorted – from books to bags – even school shirts, shoes and socks.

Durable and hard-wearing Aussie-made labels, they’ll stick to surfaces all year long. And if you don’t need quite so many labels, you can buy smaller packs too. Or just save them for next year. Too easy! PLUS there’s free shipping for all orders.

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4. Insulated lunch bag

OUR PICK: Sachi Insulated Lunch Bag ($26.95 – $29.95)

Sachi lunch bags
Photo: supplied

It’s worth splashing out on a decent lunch bag –  one that can be easily accessed, that keeps food at the right temperature, fits an ice brick during the heat of summer and is easy to wipe clean (not too many nooks and crannies for squished banana).

The Sachi Insulated Lunch Bag is the Holy Grail of lunch bags. This bag is built tough for kids and it will fit ALL their lunch containers and accessories. No more random containers dumped at the bottom of the school bag! The Sachi Lunch Bag has a large inner full thermal and leak-proof compartment to keep snacks at just the right temperature, which is especially handy on those super hot days. It also has a mesh pocket, perfect for napkins, utensils or snacks and the outer zipped compartment is great for storing canteen money to buy a treat. New Sachi designs for kids include cool Camo Green, fun Sprinkles, Pearl Lustre and Purple Lustre. How funky!

Check out Howards Storage World for more quality lunch bag solutions including the Fridge To Go Lunchbags (medium size, $44.95, awesome for older kids and adults) and the super cute Avanti Yum Yum Double Decker Lunch Pods ($21.95).

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5. Bento boxes

OUR PICK: Russbe Bento Lunch Box ($19.95 – $29.95)

school supplies list, bento boxes
Photo: supplied

The bento box trend isn’t going anywhere, and as a result, your kids are probably going to want to jump on the bento bandwagon. Bento boxes are an awesome way to transport lunch PLUS you don’t have to fight with plastic wrap every morning.

Here’s your chance to fill, eat and repeat, five days a week! Russbe Bento Boxes are reusable and awesome for packing in the school bag, sports training snacks, play dates. Mum or dad can even use them for work!

In true bento-style, separate compartments prevent your sultanas from spilling into your pretzels and your tomatoes from rolling free. Sweet! Open the box by lifting all handles up and push the centre to release the air. Similarly, snaps it shut by pushing the handles securely down into place.

From little lunch to big lunch, Russbe Bento Boxes cater for every size appetite. Russbe Inner Seal Bento Lunch Boxes are available from Howards Storage World in three sizes – 680ml, 1.1L and 1.6L. Pop them in the top rack of the dishwasher for a painless cleanup.

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6. Durable drink bottle

OUR PICK: Oasis Insulated Stainless Steel Drink Bottle 350ml ($21.95 – $24.95)

school supplies list, drink bottles
Photo: supplied

Kids need a drink bottle that can handle the rough and tumble of the school day. From being plonked in the school bag, thrown from the playground or rolled on the grass. Drink bottles need to be as tough as the kids!

Did you fall in love with the Sachi Insulated Lunch Bag above? You can team it with a matching stainless steel drink bottle!

The Oasis Insulated Drink bottles are conveniently sized for small hands and they fit with ease into school bags for kids to be able to quench their thirst at school. The double-wall insulation keeps liquids hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours – perfect for hot summer days at school. In winter they could even use it to bring soup.

This is an eco-friendly drink bottle, it’s easy to clean, designed to last and available in a heap of funky colours – including the same prints as the Sachi lunch bags. So cool! Howards Storage World has a broad range of drink bottles available, including larger sizes for bigger drinkers!

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7. Colourful stationery

OUR PICK: Sakura Cray-pas Junior Artist oil pastels ($20 for a 36 colour set).

back to school supplies
Photo: supplied

School is a world of colourful fun and you know what fuels that? COLOURFUL STATIONERY. And because every kid wants the brightest, eye-catching artwork in all the classroom, oil pastels are top of the school supplies list!

The bees knees of oil pastels, Sakura Cray-pas Junior Artist oils pastels are formulated with quality pigments, waxes and oils. Kids will love flexing their art muscle on everything from canvas to wood or and all the paper in between with 36 vivid colours to play with.

Worried about the clean up? Don’t be, because this colour is easily washed from hands AND school uniforms!

SPECIAL OFFER: Buy now and get 10% off on all Back to School items (including the Sakura Cray-pas Junior Artist oil pastels) using the codemumcentral.

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8. Reusable lunch coverings

OUR PICK: Wrap’d wrap covers ($19.95 each).

school supplies list, wrap cover
Photo: supplied

Aiming for a zero-waste lunch box? You can definitely achieve it with a few wise packing solutions. Beeswax and silicone wraps are great for containing sandwiches, cake and biscuits, along with reusable containers – just remind kids not to throw them out and to bring them home!

Wrap’d is a reusable silicone flatbread wrap cover which makes wrangling the lunchtime wrap a breeze. Made from flexible food-safe silicone, Wrap’d makes your lunch fun and keeps it fresh and delicious. Simply make your child’s wrap and place it in the Wrap’d cover. Your child just needs to peel back the Wrap’d sides like a banana to eat their lunch, there’s no struggling or accidental eating of plastic wrap.

Flatbreads aren’t the only thing Wrap’d keeps freshly contained, you can also keep nori rolls, cold rolls, sausage rolls, burritos, hot dogs – all the things – in the Wrap’d cover! Available in several colours, Wrap’d is completely reusable and can even go in the dishwasher. Happy days!

SPECIAL OFFER: Use the code ‘MUMCENTRAL‘ to receive 10% off two or more Wrap’d purchased in one transaction at

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9. All the school supplies bibs and bobs!

OUR PICK: Stuck On You’s Personalised Food Jar ($34.95)

school supplies list
Photo: supplied

My number one tip for back to school supplies is to try and buy as many personalised things as you can. It saves on many hours spent labelling AND kids can easily recognise their own gear when it stands out in the crowd. You can find personalised stamps, food jars, note pads and school bags – you just need to know where to look!

Stuck On You’s Personalised food jar is an excellent asset to have in your lunch kit. It comes emblazoned with your child’s name in a size they can manage. This jar will keep cold foods cold(yoghurt, fruit salad etc) and warm foods (spaghetti, soup etc) at the right temperature right up to lunchtime. YUM!

Don’t forget the Stuck On You Permanent Self-Inking Clothing Stamp ($39.95). This stamp is a super handy, all-in-one labelling whiz. From swimmers to school shirts – you can name it all quickly and easily with the self-inking clothing stamp. You can use this to label just about everything – even swimming goggle bands!

SPECIAL OFFER: Place your order today and get 10% off site-wide when you use code ‘MUMCENTRAL20‘ at checkout!

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So there you have it, all the top picks on our school supplies list for 2020. Shop them straight from the list above to make checking off that school supplies list REALLY easy – you don’t even have to leave the house!


Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!


  1. Avatar of Elizabeth

    I want to sayba huge thank you it took all the hard work out of putting the girls back to school and did not bustbthe bank neither so yes I found it helpful

  2. Avatar of Cassandra

    Thankyou for my Nutcracker prize tickets it was such a delightful show that not only the kids enjoyed both being boys was a mystery . We all for a long the time enjoyed a kids show that was not just for kids captured the magical imagination in every age .

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