We were all robbed of so many traditions during the last year. Some were major milestones, some a little more mundane but still important… like back-to-school shopping. We were incredibly lucky to have an option to get back in the classroom last year, but we never made that annual trip to the store to load up the cart with pens and paper.
While I don’t totally know what this school year will look like, one thing was for sure. I had to indulge and buy school supplies in person. Here’s what we picked up:
- New bookbags
We try to get two to three years of life out of our school backpacks. Our kids are due for new ones and I was shocked when Lola wanted the same brand that I carried when I was in high school. (Scrunchies aren’t the only things back in style!) We picked up the classic JanSport bookbags. The variety of colors, pockets, quality, and lifetime warranty make this an easy pick.
Our kids both had headphones on their school lists this year. Computers are quickly becoming the norm for every student. A trusty set of headphones or earbuds is a must-have for every student. Even if your child shares a classroom computer, they will need their own listening device. (No one wants to share earbuds. Ewww.)
- Pencil Sharpener
I got this for the house. Even with computers on the rise, everyone still needs a good, old-fashioned pencil. Those small, manual sharpeners never work great, so having a good electric pencil sharpener on hand is a must. Does anyone else find it oddly satisfying to sharpen pencils?
- Lunch Boxes
Depending on your needs, we have a couple of favorite lunch boxes. This lunch sack comes in a variety of adorable patterns and sizes. We especially love that it’s made with organic material and is machine washable. PS: If you aren’t investing in a new lunch box, now is the time to make sure you unpacked the one from June.
If you need an insulated lunch container, we like this freezable lunch box. It folds down compactly and you can put the whole thing in your freezer overnight. It keeps your lunch cold the next day and you don’t have to worry about your kids losing ice packs. Anything that makes life simpler is a win.
- First Day of School Sign
I always love to see pictures of kids heading back to school with their new outfits and fresh tennis shoes on. This first day of school sign makes it easy to snap a cute back-to-school photo even if you aren’t super crafty like me. I love that this classic design can grow with them from kindergarten all the way through graduation (which is approaching waaay faster than I would like). My kids will roll their eyes, but they are totally posing this year.
- Water Bottle
Of course, you can never have too many water bottles, am I right? Our current fave is our very own “Please Don’t Lose This” water bottle with the not-so-subtle reminder.
You may need to check with your school first, but, in our experience, most teachers will allow quiet fidget toys as long as they don’t create a distraction in the classroom. Many kids really benefit from having something to fidget with to help their busy minds focus. Be sure to get something that doesn’t make noise such as these Monkey Noodles or Pea Poppers.
- Pencil Pouch
This expandable pencil pouch has several handy storage compartments. I love that it can expand to include room for larger items like those big calculators for the older kids doing the fancy math.
- Locker Accessories
Lola is so so excited to get a locker this year so locker accessories are a must. If I remember anything from my locker days, it was so awesome to be able to make it your own space.
- Extras for Teachers
When you are back to school shopping, don’t forget to pick up an extra item or two for your new teacher. I don’t think anyone else gets more excited about new school supplies than teachers themselves. Even a simple purchase of new pens (trust us, these pens are teacher faves), dry erase markers, or disinfecting wipes goes a long way to supporting these well-deserving teachers.
What’s on your back-to-school shopping list? Tell me any good finds in the comments!