Stationery items for kids is not something one gives too much thought to as it seems to be a relatively minor expense. But then, when the new school year is about to start, we find our monthly budget going awry with school supplies. A few smart choices go a long way in budgeting your kids’ stationery items better.
Pencils, pens, erasers, colour pencils, sketch pens are the building blocks which go a long way in helping with your child’s learning. As parents, we have to ensure that our child has the right quantity and quality of stationery items. Also, one needs to remember that stationery items are not something to show off in school. Right stationery items are more of a prop and support material rather than something you use as a trophy. There are a plethora of new items available in the market which are very versatile. If a child tends to use an eraser very often, it’s a good idea to get a pencil with an attached eraser. This requires you to observe your child’s actions and reactions and choose a product accordingly. There are a few tips you can keep in mind while buying important stationery items to ensure that you get the right stationery.
Use Online Shops
Stationery items for kids will always be cheaper if bought online as they do not have to pay for the infrastructure of a shop and employees. Most stationery products are easily available online and can be bought in a matter of seconds. But you have to be careful about choosing the right product that is safe for your child.
Points and Discounts
When you buy all school supplies from a particular place, you can collect points on each purchase which will help you get discounts and special offers on future purchases.
Timing is Everything
When it comes to shopping for children’s school supplies, try to find a sale or discount going on. Have a list of the required items ready and buy them when a discount pops up on those items. As most school supplies are not perishable, you can buy them well ahead of time and you may just get a bargain when buying off-season. As you more or less know what has to be bought in stationery items for kids, start making your purchases as soon as possible. This prevents a large outlay at the last minute.
Use Local Shops for Small Orders
If you just have to buy a couple of erasers for pencils, it is faster and cheaper to visit your local shop. Also, if your online shopping list is so small that you have to pay for delivery, it is best to buy from your local shop.
Though a lot depends on the product you are buying, it is always smart to give cost-efficiency priority. But do not buy cheap or poor quality in the name of cost efficiency. Poor quality paper tears easily and hampers your child’s writing. A flimsy bag may have to be replaced soon, making it more expensive in the long run. Once the school year is over, check the remaining stationery and see what can be reused so that you can remove them from the shopping list. Sometimes, it makes more sense to shop through the year rather than once a year.
Consider a budget and buy school supplies accordingly. It helps you to plan what is absolutely necessary and what can be compromised on as far as cost goes. There are some items like pencils, notebooks, easers etc. that will be required through the year. It’s best to buy them at a wholesale price at the beginning of the school year to save some money.
Make a List
Remember to keep your list in hand whether you are shopping online or going to a store. Compare the prices and quality of products before buying them. Your list should ideally include pencils and pens, erasers, notebooks, colours like oil pastels, crayons or colour pencils, poster colours, ruler, sharpener, pencil box or pouch, files and folders as well as colouring and activity books. A preschool school supply list would include more basic stationery.
Check the Quality and Instructions
Before paying for the school supplies, check that they are in a good condition and complete. Ensure that the tools carry instructions on how to use them. Important stationery items like crayons and oil colours should be non-toxic as toxic elements can damage your child’s health. Remember that stylish and fashionable stationery tends to be more expensive than conventional ones. These can be avoided as children’s interest in them is usually short-lived. In the case of smaller children, avoid things like pins, staplers and paper clips that can cause harm to a child.
Understand Terms and Conditions
If you are buying stationery items for kids in formal establishments, remember to collect a receipt in case you want to return or change it in the future. If you are buying school supplies on credit, then gather and understand all the information about price, interest, total amount to be paid and delivery date.
Buy Age Appropriate Material
For children learning to write, it’s best to buy ergonomic pencils that allow for a better grasp of the pencil. Stitched notebooks are more long lasting than stapled notebooks. For primary school children, these are good as the sheets do not fall out. For high school children notebooks with double springs work best as they last longer and cannot be easily torn out. Try to make them understand that these stationery items are to make their learning easier and so they need to take care of them, use them judiciously and not waste them.
Choose the Correct Writing Instrument
There are several kinds of pencils — wooden body, fibre composite and inner mine which is a mixture of clay and graphite. The hardness of the mine is listed on the pencil by the abbreviations H (hard, hard) and B (black, soft). The hardness scale of the pencils is usually between 8B, which is the softest, and 6H, which is the hardest. The most commonly used pencil is HB which has medium hardness.
Mechanical pencils are available with mines of different diameters. They have a push-button mechanism and the most common mines are of 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm although diameters from 0.3 to .015 mm are available.
Pens either have a cap or a retractable tip for protection and have either an oil based ink or a fat base ink. Some brands also make pens with erasable ink.
Rollers and markers are available in many options with both gel and liquid tub ink. The tip can be either ball point or fibre tip. Ball points are further available with a conical tip that is classic for all uses or needle tip for more precise writing.
Stationery items for kids are basic to their learning and should be bought wisely and judiciously. There are awesome websites that offer myriad options at a great price. You could also visit the EuroKids website for the latest options and updates.