As the 2016 school year approaches, parents are already frantically running around prepping for the 1st of February. Ticking off that long list of back-to-school supplies; from books to stationary, new clothes and gadgets; there’s skill in the job to find the right bits and pieces to guarantee a great year.

And with fresh trends constantly evolving for what’s ‘cool’ and what’s not, your children – regardless of their ages – want to make sure you’re up to date with the latest!

Here’s the hottest 2016 back to school tends that’ll encourage a fun, productive and successful year.

1. Creatively Cool Lunches

According to Pinterest, sandwiches have left the building. As a parent, there’s no denying that packing nourishing lunches is essential but in 2016 – packing lunches is an art! Mums, dad’s and grandparents are encouraged to think ‘outside the sandwich lunches’ to test out those bento box skills and give your children a real treat.

Say goodbye to brown paper bags and opt for a multi-compartment lunch box to create a healthy feast. As schools become more environmentally concerned, ‘litterless lunches’ are booming in popularity with many families working hard to do their bit to make a difference. And with nifty products on the market like fashionable lunch bags and bento-style boxes, school kids are finding the change uber-cool.


2. Gourmet Food Options

It goes to say then that packed lunches should definitely include a few gourmet options. But it’s not just the parents that are opting for this, school cafeterias are reducing the amount of fatty foods on offer and catering to the dietary restrictions of young students today. This will include more organic, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

3. Artful Supplies

These days’ kids want everything. It’s not enough having new school supplies – they want to make a statement with all they use, whether it be creating a sticker montage on the front of their file or using craft skills for a DIY alternative. Besides, who wants a plain looking school file or notebook anyway? Artsy notebooks are booming in 2016 with uber-cool notebook covers that fuel creativity and make for a more fun alternative to study and work with.

Whilst there’s certainly a few students that prefer simple designs too, the craze is for supplies to be exciting to use. Look for pencil cases in bright colours, patterns or characters your child is into. School files can take a DIY approach to encourage students to decorate with stickers, contact paper to express their personalities and other crafty ideas they feel like experimenting with.


4. Homework Stations

It’s important to have a set space for your child to get homework done after school. Homework stations complete with proper organisation and things that’ll motivate students to work have become more of a priority for 2016. If you have a space already designated, revamp it by getting a good desk, comfy chair and get your child to help pick out a few bits and pieces to spice it up.

Homework stations should be away from distractions – like TV. Avoid putting your child in an enclosed room to study though, especially for younger students, as this can make it difficult to supervise they are staying on track. Make the station as trendy as possible; you want it to be highly functional but in-style too. Choose quality products to last the distance and help you child design a space that’ll motivate them to get work done. Pinterest is overloaded with ideas to get you started.

5. Fewer Lockers in Schools

Schools are slowly but surely getting rid of lockers. As traditional books get replaced by e-books and web-based learning, there’s been less of a need for lockers lined up in school hallways. But because there is still a need to carry around files, workbooks and some school supplies you’ll want to invest in a good backpack for your child.

Old school backpacks with a vintage appeal are making a huge comeback for 2016 and ooze a level of cool your child will be more than willing to flaunt. Opt for backpacks that are lightweight and durable, complete with an old-school style in the colours of their choice.

6. Personalised Labels

Children are notorious for losing school supplies so it pays to label everything. And we don’t just mean those bland white labels either, these days there’s a variety of colours and options to customise to your child’s ever-changing favourites.

Everything that goes to school should be labelled – clothes, shoes, files and backpacks to avoid extra costs and the dreaded lost and found blues. Encourage your child to take ownership of their items by helping you label supplies. This will help to teach them the value of looking after your things early on too.

Do you have anything to add to this list? SHARE with us in the comments below.

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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  • Hmmmm, I’ve never been a trend follower….nor a trend setter for that matter. But my kids always had everything they ever needed


  • These are all really great ideas


  • A great article,personalised labels a must have!


  • I’ve found investing in good quality pencils rather than the cheapies are worth it in the long run. They don’t break as quickly, nor sharpen away to nothing in no time, and don’t need replacing as quickly. Their school work also seem neater with better quality pencils.


  • I use labels on everything. The note pads/books are cool :)


  • yeah i think that the fancy food thing is only half right. maybe in some places, this is a trend but not so much around here.


  • No. 6 is the best tip, label everything and anything. In the end it will save lots of dollars.


  • An interesting back to school read.


  • We love personalised labels – so easy to use.


  • I absolutely love the personalized labels. They are so useful!
    And I see with pleasure that more and more parents are thinking about healthy choices for their kids’ lunchboxes. I think it’s a great trend!


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