school supplies
It's time to stock up on school supplies, from stationery sets to electronic tablets and classic black shoes! We've got you covered. Image Credit: Pixabay

Schools are opening up after summer vacations, and your children are raring to go, go, go! But before the ordered chaos of September arrives, you'll have to prepare and ensure you have all the school supplies your children need.

Are you wondering where to start? Don't worry, we've got you covered, with our curated list of back-to-school essentials - from stationery sets and electronic devices to water bottles and backpacks.

Editor's tips
Parents can save up to 50 per cent on school bags, black and white shoes, socks and more, with Amazon's back-to-school deals. These include popular brands, such as Jansport, Adidas, Under Armour and Puma. They can also get up to 20 per cent off on stationery supplies like pencils, printer ink, notebooks and calculators.

Buy these items with the click of a button through Amazon, where mums and dads can get deep discounts on school shoes, socks and bags. The Back to School Sale also includes stationery deals. Before you start shopping, go through our checklist for parents, to make the process easier and more efficient.

And, if you're a Prime member, get them delivered to you as early as today or tomorrow.

1. Best School Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite


  • Note-taking features on running videos
  • Samsung Kids mode
  • Comes with S Pen
  • 4GB RAM and 64GB storage
  • 10.4-inch display


  • Expensive

If your child is in need of a reliable tablet for the upcoming academic term, consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. It's our best pick for school children, after parents vouch for the gadget in the reviews, saying that it meets the specification requirements of the school. Older students will have an easier time jotting down notes, since the 10.4-inch tablet comes with the magnetic S Pen. It runs on 4GB RAM, plenty enough for computing day-to-day class materials, and has 64GB storage capacity. Rear and front cameras aid in any school projects or online classes. As for younger kids, mums and dads will appreciate the pre-loaded Samsung Kids mode, where screen time limit and child-friendly educational content come into play. It's a completely different environment guided by on-screen animal mascots.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh79 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh57, a one-year damage protection for Dh95, and a one-year extended warranty plus two years of damage protection for Dh121.

2. Best Kids Headphones: Belkin SoundForm Mini Kids Wireless Headphones


  • Wireless and wired options
  • Durable against spills and accidents
  • Maximum volume of 85 decibels
  • Long 30-hour battery life
  • Works with Android and iOS devices


  • Basic stereo playback

Perfect for school and play, Belkin SoundForm provides clear communication with its built-in mic, and can go a full school week without a charge, with its 30-hour battery life. The headphones are designed especially for kids, with simple, intuitive controls and softer, smaller ear cushions. Its durability has also been tested against spills and accidents. Pair it with a tablet, laptop or phone, and your child is all set! These wireless headphones, which can be wired using the included AUX cable, are perfectly compatible with popular learning apps and devices. Parents buy the pair for their children's school tablets and say that it works well with educational interactive apps, such as Seesaw. Younger users especially loved decorating their headphones with the stickers in the box. Check out other headphones for children.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty. Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two years for Dh19.

3. Best Trolley Bag: J World New York Sunrise Rolling Backpack

Trolley backpacks are a great choice for children who have to lug around heavy books at school every day. This backpack by J World New York is made of water-resistant 600D polyester fabric. It’s lightweight and doesn’t tear or scratch easily, especially at the base where a wraparound rubber bumper and scrape shield protect the bag on pavements – perfect for rough use at school. The main compartment fits a whole of lot of school supplies, including A3 sketchbooks, large textbooks and lunch box. Its front pocket organiser easily tucks in a pencil case and small items. And if your child prefers to wear it as a backpack on certain days, they can easily do so by untucking the straps from the back panel. The bag comes in 31 colours, so let your kid have their pick! Parents love that it doesn't fall over when fully packed and rolls quietly on rubber wheels. 

4. Best Backpack: Jansport Unisex Cool Student Backpack

High school students will prefer an understated backpack, one that fits all their textbooks and gadgets without a flashy design. Jansport student bags are excellent for this purpose - this Cool Student model has a brown leather bottom, S-curve shoulder straps and a 34-litre capacity. Besides the two large compartments, the bag can also fit a 15-inch laptop in a dedicated sleeve. Mums and dads say it's bound to hold up for years to come, being extremely durable and of high quality. It fits several books, files and miscellaneous items.

5. Best Bag for University: Tzowla Travel Laptop Backpack With USB Charging

For university students who need their backpacks to do more than just carry books around, our pick from Tzowla will deliver. This extra-large backpack has more than 20 compartments and provides enough space for a laptop that’s as wide as 17 inches, along with other devices. The bag has a convenient USB charging port that allows you to charge your phone through a power bank, and a headset port through which you can connect your headphones for a hands-free, tangle-free experience. The backpack itself is made of water resistant, durable fabric and comes with a TSA combination lock so that all your devices are safe and secure. Reviewers who've used it throughout their academic career say the bag has held out well for years. They're huge fans of the USB and headphone interface. 

6. Best Art Set: Amerteer Art Set, 143 Pieces

Projects are part of school life, and there’s no better way to get ready for them than with a comprehensive art set. This deluxe art set by Amerteer has everything your child will need for drawing, painting, and more. It includes 33 marker pens, 24 watercolours, 24 oil pastels, 28 colour pencils and more, in a well-organised, attractive case. It receives rave reviews on all fronts and is often picked up as a gift for children. 

Bonus: Get 5 per cent off when you apply a coupon.

7. Best Mechanical Pencil: Bic Mechanical Pencil Variety Pack, 60 Pieces

Learning begins with a pencil in the hand. This 60-piece set of BIC mechanical pencils will last for the whole school year, and comes in three different precision points – 0.7mm, 0.5mm, and 0.9mm. The pencils never need sharpening, just a click of the built-in eraser to advance the lead. They’re neat, simple and effective, and the perfect addition to your child’s stationery set. The pencils also come in a variety of colours, so kids can pick and choose their favourite. Teachers in the reviews attest to the quality and how comfortable their students are writing with them. 

8. Best Pen: Pilot G2 Gel Ink Pens, Ultra Fine Point (0.38mm), Black and Blue, 8 Count

High school and college students likely use pens even more than pencils. Pilot's G2 set of gel ink pens consistently ranks as one of the best ultra-fine point pens for note-taking. The ink dries as soon as it's put to paper, preventing smudging and smearing. Its 0.38mm point enables neat, legible handwriting, no matter how small the student writes. This set features classic black and blue-coloured ink pens, and all of them can be refilled to last longer. In the reviews, even those with carpal tunnel vouch for the comfort levels and ease of writing for hours on end.

9. Best Geometry Kit: Helix Oxford Maths Set

From protractors to rulers, this Oxford geometry set from Helix gets your children ready for maths class. Made of high-quality materials, nine tools are included in this stationery kit, and they’re essential for anyone expecting to study geometry in the term ahead. There's a metal compass inside, as well, which has a graphite pencil, sharpener and eraser to go with it. Reviewers find it a great help for GCSE maths.

10. Best Sticky Notes: Post-it Super Sticky Notes, 24 Pads

A great tool for time management, reminders, and notes, Post-its make learning much easier. This comprehensive set is Super Sticky, meaning it has twice the sticking power of regular Post-its, so students don’t have to worry about losing track of their notes. The neon colours are bright and eye-catching, perfect for drawing your attention to important facts and figures, say reviewers.

11. Best Notebooks: Five Star Spiral Notebooks, 3 Pack

Stay on top of homework and assignments with a spiral notebook set by Five Star. Each notebook comes with 150 college-ruled, double-sided sheets that are made from thick paper. School and college students can colour code the books by subject, allowing them to pull out the right book from their backpacks, at a glance. The covers have folder pockets inside for storing handouts and loose sheets. 

12. Best Ring Binder: Oxford 3 Ring Binders, 4 Pack

In four muted pastel colours, this set of binders offers a fun way to store projects and assignments. Each binder has three D rings that open at a single touch and hold up to 530 punctured sheets. They include two storage pockets for the syllabus, handouts and other class materials. This pack of four will come in handy as your child begins to set up an archive of documents from the school term.

13. Best Highlighters: STABILO Boss Original Highlighter Set, 15 Colors

As students enter a new grade and subject matter becomes complex, a good set of highlighters will help prioritise their class notes. Stabilo's 15-piece anti-dry out highlighters feature nine different fluorescent colours and six rare pastel shades. If your child forgets to cap a marker, no worries - the ink is designed to stay wet for up to four hours uncapped. All highlighters come in an organiser, so the entire box can go straight to the study desk. Students in the reviews say the variety of colours makes them look forward to note-taking and studying.

14. Best Pencil Case: Vnieetsr Large Pencil Case

Over eight inches long, this large pencil case fits everything a student needs in its three-compartment design. It features multiple small slip pockets to store sticky notes and erasers. Made of waterproof canvas, the durable case holds up well against scratches, abrasions and dust. Students can choose from five colours to suit their style! Mums and dads in the reviews say it's lasted their high school children through the year, without fraying.

15. Best Lunch Box: Bentgo 5-Compartment Bento-Style Kids’ Lunch Box

Thoughtfully designed, Bentgo’s lunch box for children features five practical compartments. The portion sizes are suitable for children between the ages of three and seven. Constructed with durable, rubber-coated edges, and comprising BPA-free, food-safe materials, the lunch box is microwave- and dishwasher-safe. Ready for your child to enjoy mess-free lunches? Parents highly recommend the lunch box, since it's so easy to clean and keeps different food groups separate. Even toddlers are able to open and close the lid with no trouble or spills.

16. Best Water Bottle: BEOLA Kids Water Bottle, 550ml

Easy to refill, grip and clean, BEOLA’s water bottle is rustproof and BPA-free. Its double-walled, vacuum-insulated chamber keeps drinks cold and fresh for up to 24 hours – perfect for summer! Made for children, the bottles come with two different lids – one with a silicone nozzle and straw for cold beverages, and another with a carry-on handle lid for hot drinks. Reviewers confirm that there's no leakage and that the straw makes it easier for children to sip water. It also fits in school bags. 

17. Best Desk Mat: Uncommon Desks Kid's Desk Mat

Now that the summer holidays are almost over, you may have a little trouble getting your children to return to their study zone at home. This washable desk mat, made of faux leather, is a simple and effective way to brighten up their desks and get them interested in learning again. The mat doubles as a writing desk pad, a mousepad and even a table topper for arts and crafts. It also keeps your child’s desk protected from marks and scratches, spills and stains. Choose from five different patterns!

18. Best Organisation Tool: Learning Resources Magnetic Pocket Chart Squares

Get ready for school, at home, with this organisational chart. Full of fun colours that draw your child’s attention, these pocket charts are perfect for learning concepts and organising flash cards on a variety of subjects. Use the built-in magnets, or hook-and-loop fasteners to create an orderly study area at home. The pockets can even be used for pens, paper and other school supplies!

19. Best Supplies Organiser: Merayo Desktop Organiser

Looking for a stationery organiser for your child’s desk? This desk organiser stand has nine different compartments, so it’s easy to grab a pen, a pair of scissors or a highlighter whenever needed, without rummaging in drawers for the right item. Made of metal mesh, it’s completely see-through, and the stand has a non-slip foot pad that won’t scratch surfaces. It doesn’t take up much space, and it’s a must-have for any desk at home.

20. Best School Shoes for Girls: Geox Girls' J Casey P Ballet Flats


  • Upper made from nappa leather
  • Waterproof, breathable sole
  • Anti-bacterial footbed
  • Slight 3.5cm heel height


  • Might be tight for wide feet

Black shoes are a school staple. These classic leather ballet flats from Geox come in a school-appropriate design. With a perforated rubber sole that features a breathable, anti-bacterial footbed, the shoes are strong, durable and comfortable. They’re perfect for everyday wear, and go along with any uniform. Reviews do say that a wider toe box would've been great for wide feet.

21. Best White Sports Shoes: Under Armour Unisex Kid's Pre School Assert 8


  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Soft EVA liner to cushion landings
  • Flat heel
  • Rubber outsole


  • Have a laced upper

Available in both black and white, these Under Armour PS Assert 8 sports shoes can be worn by both girls and boys. With a mesh upper for breathability, and durable leather overlays for stability, the shoes are made for cushioned landings and explosive take-offs. They’re ideal for children with high energy, for whom running is as natural as breathing! Happy reviewers also add that they're lightweight and look great under their kids' school uniforms. 

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.