Before we know it, school will be heading into term 3, and it’s at this halfway point of the year that school supplies like lunch bags or water bottles need replacing because they have been much-loved or *cough* lost! 

“I used to be a primary school teacher and writing pencils, rulers and drink bottles were the top missing items hands down,” says cookbook author, content creator and mother Julia Ostro. “My kids are no different and as much as I try, it’s inevitable and just part of school life.”

According to the ‘Officeworks Back to School 2024 Report’, 64 per cent of parents are replacing school supplies throughout the school year largely due to the item wearing out, 62 per cent due to their children losing the item, and 59 per cent because the item has broken. Not to mention that a mid-year top-up of school supplies is an excellent incentive for kids to get back into the swing of school and study. And who better to help us decide on their must-need items than a bunch of school kids and parents? Read on to find out the top items they'll be putting on their term 3 school supplies list.

Stationery Supplies 

An assortment of school stationery items arranged in a neat pattern on a blue surface. Products include things like pencil cases, pens and pencils, and scissors. ‍

School wouldn’t be, well, school, without a pencil case and all the essential stationery supplies inside. Often, though, they’re easy items to misplace. Radio presenter Abby Coleman says her three kids are always losing pencil sharpeners, in particular. “It seems children in the class will borrow them and I just don’t know how they always go missing but this time of year I need to get some more along with pencils and pens,” she says. 

For Year 3 student Christian D’Apice, age 8, the most utilised items in his arsenal are his pencil and eraser. The Staedtler Natural Graphite HB Pencils and Studymate Eraser should have you covered until the end of the year. And there’s no pencil and eraser combination without a sharpener; the Faber-Castell 1 Hole Pencil Sharpener will most certainly do the trick. Other important stationery supplies required in your kids’ pencil case include a good-quality wooden ruler, soft-grip scissors and a non-toxic glue stick. And lastly, pens, says Christian. Why? “Because it’s fun to write!” he says.

What to Try

SEE ALSO: How to Improve Handwriting for Kids of All Ages

Homework and Study Must-Haves

An assortment of items to help with homework and studying arranged in a neat pattern on a blue surface. Products include things like highlighters, exercise books and correction tape.

What better way to boost motivation and stay inspired for the next semester than getting organised with a mid-year top-up to start term 3 with some fresh study supplies. “The items that will definitely need replacing are my highlighters and white-out, because they are used every single lesson,” says Rania Farzad, aged 13 and in Year 8. For Clea Tsougranis, aged 12 and in Year 7, “Highlighters are essential for every day, as it’s easy to organise my notes and makes my finished work look more presentable.” 

The Staedtler TextSurfer Classic Highlighters are a great option, as they’re fast-drying and a refillable product, meaning it can be easily topped up while also minimising landfill. On Rania’s wishlist are the Stabilo Swing Cool Highlighters and Liquid Paper Dryline Grip Correction Tape, because “the highlighters are fun to use”, while the “liquid paper is practical”. Other important products to consider helping your kids stay organised and on top of schoolwork are fresh exercise books and book covers to keep everything in good shape.

Hot Tip: “At the end of each term I like to do a bit of a stocktake of their items,” says Julia. “Go through everything, relabel anything that may have lost its label, sharpen pencils and make a note of anything they’re missing. The school holidays are a great time to restock and get ready for a new school term.”

What to Try

SEE ALSO: How to Set Up a Homework Study Space Your Kids Will Love

Lunch Boxes, Bags and Water Bottles

An assortment of school supplies arranged in a neat pattern on a blue surface. Products include things like lunch boxes, drink bottles and book bags.

If you feel like you’re forever replacing lunch boxes, bags and water bottles, you aren’t alone! According to the ‘Officeworks Back to School 2024 Report’, close to one in six parents who replace supplies during the year do it because they always buy new gear at the beginning of each term. This is often the case when it comes to drink bottles and lunch boxes, too. “Our middle son (Jagger, age 9) is always misplacing his library bag and coming home with the school “spare one” and water bottles always disappear and need to be replaced,” says Abby.

Alexa Kakakios, aged 8 and in Year 3, swears by her B.Box lunch box. “I love that my lunch box has different sections; there is a spot for my sandwich and fruit, plus my mum always packs me a little treat!” Meanwhile, the Studymate Stainless Steel Double Walled Drink Bottle will keep water chilled throughout the school day.

To help keep all your kids’ belongings in one spot, consider the Kadink Library Bag and Kadink Chair Bag. These will help to prevent items from getting lost, which is especially helpful for little ones still adjusting to primary school life.

What to Try:

Personalised Items

From hats to drink bottles, it’s inevitable that school items will get lost throughout the school year. Officeworks’ Print & Copy service offers a range of customisable products that will help make finding misplaced items a lot easier – think personalised iron-on labels or a clothing stamp for school jumpers, jackets and hats. “Label, label, label,” says Abby. “At the start of the year, we label everything together and I make sure there are spare labels for the items we need to refill or replace.” There’s also personalised labels that can be used for everything, from drink bottles to lunch boxes to personalised book labels, and even shoe dots, so there’s no chance of mixing up school shoes.

What to Try

SEE ALSO: 6 Clever Ways to Make Kids’ Name Labels for School