This is the week that most parents across the country (barring Scotland, who went back two weeks ago) have been praying for. The kids have finally gone back to school. At the start of the holiday, I was counting down the hours, but do you know what? It wasn't so bad after all. Having lots of trips away really helped break up the long period that stretched ahead of us. When they went back on Tuesday, I actually quite missed them. I never thought I'd say that.
Because of our late holiday, the school shoe shopping had to get done before we went away. The uniforms got labelled and checked beforehand too - and thankfully, neither had a massive growth spurt so all trousers still fit (although Monkey managed, somehow, to find a pair of trousers that were too short to put on when he got dressed on Tuesday!). I just had the last couple of things to label on Monday after some last minute purchases of new waterproofs. So we were fairly organised and all was serene. The children went to school with a smile on Tuesday, and more encouragingly, both came out of class with huge smiles at the end of the school day.
I had also been set a challenge for Back to school week by Poundland. They sent me a £10 voucher to see how much we could buy for going back to school with it. Quite coincidentally, they opened a brand new branch in town this week too. The excitement of them opening in town was obviously palpable as it was rammed when we arrived on opening day. Although it says everything is £1, that's not true - sometimes, things were 3 for £1 or 3 for £2, but I'm prepared to let them off.
They did have everything you could need for re-equipping the children for the new school year - stationery, craft stuff, lunchboxes, even socks and tights! As Monkey and Missy Woo are in primary, we don't really need lots of stationery but we bought stuff that could be useful for school or was at least educational. And here it all is.
2 x box files - not really needed but the folders their spellings get sent home in fall apart
2 x sketch pads
2 x coloured paper pads
1 x elastic band ball as you never know when you might need one
1 x pack of dinner money envelopes (so handy!)
1 x pack felt tip pens with roller stampers
1 x storage box - to keep their many pens, pencils and crayons in
The children were very happy, particularly with the pens as they love drawing pictures and the roller stampers were suitably novel to keep them amused.
Not a bad haul, eh? I noticed complete stationery sets and notebooks of every size, sandwich boxes, snack pots, all of which I could have bought. I could have bought a load more other stuff from other departments too.
I read something that suggests the average parent forks out £1000 per year on everything their child needs for school (including school trips!). I'm pretty sure we've spent far less than that average but then, you need less equipment for primary school children.
How much do you spend kitting your children out for school?
(Poundland kindly sent me a £10 voucher to spend in their store. I have not been received any further compensation and all opinions are my own.)