Heading back to school after the long months at home is one of childhood’s most important and exciting yearly milestones. With new classes to explore, new teachers to meet, new activities to enjoy and new friends to make, the back-to-school build-up is significant for the whole family and this year, more so than ever before.

In the last few months, as families, we’ve learnt a lot. We’ve experienced laughter (and maybe a few tears!) over e-learning and virtual working, discovered quiet corners of the home for focused study, found new ways to connect with teachers, friends and loved ones. We’ve even learned different ways to interact when we’re out and about. What an achievement!

At Home Centre we think all the growth we’ve experienced needs to be celebrated so it’s front of mind in our ‘Back to School 2020’ campaign. We don’t quite know yet what our children’s learning environment will look like in future, but we’ve made sure that whether it’s classroom, home-based or a mixture of both, the experience will be fun and inspiring for both kids and their parents.

So much more than sleep

Since our kids’ learning transferred home, you’ve probably thought more about their spaces than ever before. Their bedroom is no longer a place they simply go to sleep, its function has become so much more – playroom, centre of learning and laboratory of dreams and experiments. It’s why Home Centre’s thoughtfully designed solutions maximise their space, so it becomes multifunction with the addition of one or more easily adapted items.

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Tip: When you’re furnishing their room, include kids in the planning so you can create a space that they’ll really be happy spending time in.

Brilliant bedtimes

Razor-sharp learning starts with a good night’s sleep and that’s guaranteed with our range of comfortable mattresses (from Dh 199). Choose from comfy foam for an afternoon nap and peaceful night’s slumber or fully sprung, perfect for bouncing and launch missions. (Go on mum, you can turn a blind eye.)

They’ll also learn to dream big with imaginatively designed beds for all kinds of kids, from pint-sized princesses to adventurers who like to sleep towards the stars or teens practicing for grown-up living. With prices starting at Dh499 for toddler beds, you’ll be sleeping as peacefully as they will.

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Tip: Always think a stage ahead when choosing their bed and choose one that will grow with them so all you’ll need to update is bedding and accessories.

Tireless toddlers

If you’ve got little ones at home, they’ve probably been missing nursery where they’re free to learn through play and sensory exploration. As the new term starts, they can learn new skills just as well from their own play area. Make the most of limited space with tables that integrate clever seating and storage (Dh799) and open bookshelves they can easily delve into. For durability and tough good looks, opt for toys (from Dh29) and furniture (from Dh59) in natural wood with no hard corners (it’s the same for all our kids’ range) so they can let off steam safely when learning is over.

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Tip: Little ones thrive in a colourful environment but that doesn’t mean it has to be cluttered or overwhelming. Choose two or three primary colours and coordinate furniture and accessories so their space feels bright yet airy.

Lessons in learning

You’ve proved over the last few months that their bedroom can double as a classroom too, so home lessons are something we’ve thought long and hard about to make life better for everyone. A positive learning space starts with a great desk solution, so we’ve given them an edge loaded with cool features like USB ports, nifty cable camouflage and neat storage solutions (from Dh17). To pull their mini classroom together, whatever look they’re going for, most of our desks come with coordinating storage and shelves – even a bed built up on top (Dh2,699) if they’ve a head for heights. What’s not to love about that?

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Tip: Put their desk in the brightest corner of the room and encourage them to clear it after every learning session and to use storage effectively. It will make them feel relaxed and in control when the pressure’s on.

The finishing touches

Whether it’s a shark-shaped shelf for storing treasures, a funky floor cushion with a pop of colour or wall art that spreads positivity (from Dh17), accessories are the sweet spot that helps your kids really stamp individuality on their space. This is where you can really have fun together or give them free rein if they’re that bit older, browsing in store or online for funky artwork, rugs, quirky lamps and the bits and bobs to make their room their own. Help them pull the whole room together with coordinating (or clashing, it’s up to them, right?) bedding, cushions and throws (from Dh15) to quite literally put them in their personal comfort zone.

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Tip: Kids haven’t had an awful lot of freedom the last couple of months, so allowing them to choose great-value accessories to personalise their room will really give them a confidence boost.

Keeping it creative

There’s always something a bit special about choosing supplies for the new term back at school but even if they’re at home you can keep their imaginations fired with creative supplies to keep them occupied for hours. Your mini Matisse will love fun stamps, giant markers (Dh49) – and you’ll love our non-drip paints. Older kids can keep their assignments and homework organised with chic, coordinated planners, notebooks and folders to make that all-important home-to-school transition smooth and easy (from Dh5).

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Tip: Store supplies in pots on their play table where they can be accessed by little hands. Keep shelves above or close by your child’s desk so they can store files easily.

And when they do finally head back through the school gates, you can send them off with a smile on their faces with backpacks, lunchboxes and drink containers (from Dh7) featuring all their favourite character to help make the school day fun, wherever they are!  

See the complete one-of-a-kind Back to School 2020 collection at Home Centre stores or shop online from the catalogue at homecentre.com.

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