Back to School Shopping List

Kids go back to school in a couple of days after being home for two months. It’s a joy for parents to have them back in school, but it also comes with tons of shopping and moving around. If you aren’t sure what to include in your back-to-school shopping list – Kenya, we have prepared a supply list to get off on the right foot.

What to Include in Your Back-To-School Shopping List Kenya

Personal Items

1. Underwear – panties for girls and boxers for boys
2. Toothbrush – these tend to be forgotten, so make sure you change them
3. Boob tops and bras –  for teen girls
4. Pads – for girls who have started their period
5. Lotion – or Vaseline, depending on how old your child is
6. Nail cutter – pay attention to their nails and get them cut short
7. Bikers – these come in handy for younger girls who don’t how to sit properly yet
8. Vest – for boys and younger girls

School Items

These back-to-school supplies mostly depend on your child’s school. However, we’ve prepared a list of items common in almost all schools across Kenya. 

1. Pencils – 12 HB pencils 
2. Pencil pouch
3. Rubbers 
4. Sharpeners
5. Colored pencils for older kids (from grade 1)
6. Crayons – kindergarten kids
7. Flexible ruler for kids in lower primary
8. Haco ruler for older kids
9. Glue stick
10. Plasticine 
11. Spring file
12. Pocket file
13. Manilla paper
14. Luminous paper
15. Scissors 
16. Apron for younger kids
17. Paint brushes
18. Paint
19. Water bottle
20. Rim of peppers 
21. Kid’s Bible
22. Kamusi and dictionary
23. Storybooks
24. Scrapbook
25. Irish handwriting book

I did not include books in this list because different schools have different rules when it comes to books. For instance, one school may need kids to buy exercise books while another may give exercise books for free but require kids to buy textbooks. Some will provide both text and exercise books. Check with your kid’s school to know which one to buy.

Clothes and Uniform

Not all kids need new uniforms. However, it’s important you check if their old uniform still fits or not. So, line them up and have them try their old uniform to determine what you need to buy and what you’ll be keeping. Check for:

1. Dresses for girls and shorts/trousers for boys
2. Shirts 
3. Socks – these are notorious. You’ll likely need new ones
4. Sweaters 
5. Tracksuit. Kids tend to lose tracksuit jackets, or maybe it’s missing a zip.
6. School shoes
7. Sport shoes or rubber shoes
8. Blazer 
9. Fleece Jacket
10. School bag
11. Digital hand watch

If you have older kids, check their school bag and pencil pouch. These tend not to care as long as the bag functions. See if the zippers are working or if it’s worn out on the inside but still looks great on the outside.

Home Study Items

Kids have a habit of losing everything once school closes. They likely don’t remember where they left their home study items, so you may need to buy some. Before that, though, make sure you ramage through their drawers to ensure there is a need to buy new ones.

1. Pencils 
2. Rubbers
3. Sharpener
4. Ruler
5. Study desk if they don’t have one already
6. Story books – kids can’t have enough of these
7. Extra workbooks
8. Pen – so you can mark their work after an exercise

Back-To-School Shopping List for JSS Students

Grade 7 and 8 students have different things on their back-to-school checklist. Besides what we have already mentioned, you will also need these items for your JSS student:

1. Calculator
2. Atlas
3. English dictionary
4. Kamusi ya karne – 21st
5. Kamusi ya methali
6. Kamusi ya misemo na nahau
7. Clear file
8. Good news bible
9. French English Collins dictionary for those who  take french
10. Lab coat
11. Journal – optional
Back to school shopping list

In a hurry? Download the back-to-school shopping list Kenya pdf here. No strings attached. Just a quick checklist download.

Boarding School Shopping List

If your kids are in boarding school, here are a few more items you need to add to your list. Remember, each school usually has its requirements, so check with your child’s school to ensure you have all the items they need to make their time in school cosy.

1. Medicine – if your child has allergies or needs any meds, such as an inhaler, pack them
2. Bucket
3. Washing soap and powder soap – if they are old enough to wash their own clothes
4. Bathing soap
5. Toothpaste
6. Tissue paper
7. Wipes
8. Beddings – 2 sets of bedsheets, a pillow, 2 pillowcases, a blanket/duvet, bedcover or duvet cover. Most schools will have specific colours they prefer.
9. Towels
10. Alarm
11. Home clothes
12. Pyjamas
13. Eating utensils – a cup, spoon, and plate. Some schools provide these, but most don’t.
14. Badlock and keyholder
15. Suitcase
16. Umbrella
17. Sandals/ slippers
18. Gumboot
19. Swimming gear if the school has swimming lessons
20. Deodorant and sprays
21. Flashlight 
22. Pocket money

Where to Buy Your Back-To-School Items

Back-to-school shopping can be a nuisance, and most parents prefer to get done with it in December before the festivities. If you prefer to do it right before schools open, these are the best places to get your supplies.

1. Local Supermarket 

Your local supermarket is probably the easiest and most convenient place for most parents. Supermarkets tend to have almost all items except for books and uniforms. 

2. Kamukunji

Kamukunji is a haven for affordable school items. You may have to go around a couple of shops to get everything you need, but it will be well worth it if you want to save a coin here and there. You can get uniforms in the Gikomba market, which is pretty close to Kamukunji. Most people don’t know these, but Gikomba has tons of school uniform options. 

3. Downtown CBD

You will get literally anything in Nairobi CBD if you know where to shop. Downtown CBD will have everything from affordable books to pencils, Atlas and calculators. You will also get tons of uniform distributors where you can get your kid’s uniform. 

Finally, you will have more than enough shops selling school shoes and bags, giving you many options. 

4. Online Shops

While we haven’t opened our online shop yet (it’s in the pipeline), other sellers have you covered. Think of Jumia and Kilimall. Select all the items you need, add items to your cart, pay and wait for delivery. 

Supermarkets also have online shops you can take advantage of. Select the branch nearest you, pick the items you need, pay, and during checkout, ask for delivery.

Speaking of our shop, find the latest CBC curriculum resource for kids of all ages. We help parents and teachers make learning fun by using games. We have tons of free resources you can use.

5. Eastleigh 

If you still have time, Eastleigh is another great place to find hidden gems with back-to-school items. You do need to walk around and check the different malls to find all the items and a favorable price. Also, most bookshops in Eastleigh sell books when they are already covered, so you don’t have to go through the hustle of covering them again.

6. Personal Shoppers

Personal shoppers are a lifesaver. Think of them as your local boda-boda guy, but one who will get everything you need for a reasonable amount and personalize your items. Personal shoppers know all the hidden gems and will plug you in with high-quality goods for an affordable (cheap even) rate. TikTok has an array of these. Check their reviews, read comments on their posts, and pick one who can get you plugged with the school supplies you need. This list may get you started and save you some time.

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