Last Updated on April 17, 2023
Over the five years of purchasing school lists I gathered some tips for school supplies in Germany.
General warning: teachers do not always know well what they want and how much their wishes are reflected on store shelves. Therefore, do not panic, be creative with the lists and do not be afraid to send your child to school with materials that do not quite match. The first class has everything stricter than others, but you have the opportunity to clarify at the first meeting, which takes place before the beginning of the year or immediately after the beginning of the year. The rest have at least a week to clarify, and even more.
School supplies – 2 (pencils, erasers, sharpeners, rulers, compasses, pens)
School supplies 3 (lineature, all folders, art lessons, furniture)
School cone in Germany (Schultüte). History and list
German primary school. Deutsch
German school cone (Schultüte). How to make
Education system in Baden-Württemberg
* The links in this post are related (i.e. if you buy something I get very little reward, but you don’t pay for it) but that doesn’t affect my opinion.
A few words about the theft of the school supplies
Alas, children steal. Even in elementary school. Out of interest, envy, kleptomania, as a test of strength, out of poverty. I myself personally saw 3 times how children stole from supermarkt and were caught by employees.
Teachers react indifferently and tell how their own children have lost things. If a pair of pencils and an eraser are missing, it can be skipped. But when, as in our third grade, the entire list (pens, pencils, notebooks, glue etc. for 40 euros) disappears within a couple of months, the explanation “he lost somewhere in school” does not work, since children do not go from class to class and, in fact, there is nowhere to lose.
In addition to pure theft, there is also a substitution of the new things for the old (for example, the paints are taken out of the box, child take good ones at the end of the lesson and leave the bad ones).
However, do not rely on help from the teacher. What can you do? It helped us to tape all the items with self-adhesive paper 5-6 cm wide. It must be really large. If you have finely written surname, barely visible on a colored background, it still needs to be read. That is, approach a person, take an object and study it, along the way informing that you suspect him of theft. In this form you can catch nobody. And a large blotch of paper with large surname can be seen from afar and it is impossible to tear it off immediately.
The theft in our case stopped immediately.
Also, do not forget that lost items can be found in the Lost Items Box, which is in every school. It is emptied in the summer before the end of the year.
When to buy
School supplies are, of course, much easier to buy in August (or in July – for Bundesländer, that begin earlier). If you have already been given a list – do not delay, go in the summer. In the last week before the start of the year, and especially in the first week of the start of school, something terrible is happening in the store.
Unfortunately, if the list has not yet been sent, then you can buy in advance only a couple of things: an eraser, colored pencils, a sharpener, a ruler.
Where to buy school supplies in Germany
Lidl and Aldi are good in many ways, but in the school supplies you need to look carefully. Pencils and pens – the quality depends on the manufacturer.
Müller is one of the main sources of the school supplies.
Rossmann is also worth a look – there are good seasonal discounts.
Rofu has a cheapest assortment. For example, here you can buy the cheapest card boxes (Karteikasten) for 2.50 or pencil cases for 5 euros.
Large supermarkets are more suitable for urgent purchases or additional purchases of some items. Although here, of course, sometimes there are discounts.
Specialized office stores (like Staples) are often more expensive.
Why haven’t I mentioned Amazon yet? It’s simple here: they include the shipping cost in the product price when the items are small and cheap. You must know the prices good. However, this should always be done with Amazon. Large orders (16 refills or 12 pencils) are usually beneficial.
The shops can offer help with the search (in Müller, for example). On the one hand, it is convenient, you do not have to endlessly search the rows. But on the other hand, you should understand that employees do not bother to choose an school supplies with the best price-quality ratio, but will quickly throw branded, but expensive things.
The best time to buy a satchel is in late autumn and early winter. Then there is a sale of old collections at very good prices. So I bought a Herlitz satchel with a chest belt, a sport bag and a filled pencil case for the second child for 60 euros (and the girl version was even for 56 euros) and a rucksack from the popular Satch brand for high school child with a chest and waist belt for 64 euros. In the summer, there were no such prices at all.
Herlitz after 5 year of use. Still ok.
If you do not hunt for the best price, then you can buy a decent satchel for 90 euros. Satchel under 50 euros usually do not support the back and rarely last more than two years.
Try on a satchel for your child if you have the small one. Not all satchels are suitable for small children.
It is worth paying attention to the chest strap on the primary school satchel. You can buy it also separately (Brustgurt*). The weight of the filled satchel should not exceed 10 percent of the child’s weight. When my child learned the grams-kilograms in the 3rd grade, the teacher weighed the children and their backpacks, and none of them met the norm. So additional back support will be useful.
Also pay attention to the amount of reflective surface, especially if your child will be walking alone across the street.
Important: the satchels are not washed! Every year I hear stories that someone washed and had to throw it away. The lids and sides are packed with thick cardboard, which becomes soaked during washing and the satchel loses its shape.
Sport bags and pencil cases
It is profitable to buy satchel complete with a sports bag and pencil case. If the pencil case is full, this does not give much advantage, since the quality of the filled is far from ideal and is only partially used.
If you buy separately, you should expect:
- for bag (Sportbeutel*) at least 5-6 euros – this is if you are lucky with a discount. Rather 9-10 euros without a discount. I bought a bag cheaper – I did not live even a year. Large sports bags do not make much sense, you can perfectly do with small.
- for pencil case (Schüleretui* in Amazon, but Mäppchen in all lists) at least 5 евро (in Rofu). But if the child will certain picture, then up to 15 euros.
- Faulenzer* (round pencil case, where everything is thrown into one pile and closed with a zipper) – at least 3 euros.
- rain bag (Regenschutz*) -standard price 5 euros.
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