Back-To-School Shopping 2020 Data From Etsy Shows What The New "Normal" Looks Like

This time of year is typically filled with much anticipation for the start of a new school session, where purchasing the perfect pencil pouch, backpack, and lunchbox combo is at the top of every parent's to-do list. In the middle of a pandemic however, back-to-school shopping data from Etsy suggests that 2020 has shifted parents' shopping habits.

Whether your child will be learning virtually from home, attending face-to-face instruction, or a hybrid of the two will of course make a major difference when it's time to shop for the coming school year. With the inclusion of new health and safety regulations at schools where students will return in-person, many parents are now tasked with finding the perfect face mask for their kids. Etsy's data found that "face mask" was consistently the top search for their users over the past three months.

On the flip side of that conundrum, parents with kids who will be learning strictly from home are consistently looking for ways to make the entire process a bit easier. Searches for homeschool planners have increased 216% from this same time last year, according to Etsy, while searches for desks and desk accessories is up 131%.

The list below features a just a small sampling of the items that shoppers for students of all kind can find trending on Etsy during this unprecedented back-to-school season.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.


Kids' Face Mask Bag

What exactly will your kids do at school when they're allowed to have a mask break or it's time to eat their lunch? Instead of putting it down on their germ-infested desk, a personalized face mask bag gives your kiddo a clean place to stash their mask when not in use.


Bear Face Mask

One of the best ways to get your child to agree to wear their mask is by letting them pick out a fun one like this bear face mask. Over the past 30 days, Etsy reported one reusable or washable face mask-related search every second, so clearly many parents are on the hunt for the perfect mask this back-to-school season.


Teacher Appreciation Box

Etsy reported that searches for teacher gifts are up 26% in the past month as compared to this time last year. While it might be tempting to wait until the end of the year for this type of gift, you can show your child's teacher your unfailing gratitude right now with a gift like this box full of teacher-themed goodies.


School Nurse Bag

Many parents are looking to show some love to not only teachers during this trying time, but the rest of their hardworking school personnel as well, as Etsy reported a 27% increase in searches for school faculty gifts. This personalized nurse bag is an adorable way to show your appreciation for the health professionals who help keep your kids safe at school.


Periodic Table Poster

For parents who suddenly find themselves decorating a homeschool classroom, this periodic table poster is a stylish way to outfit your child's new learning space. Etsy reported that compared to this same time last year, searches for learning charts have increased by 68%, and searches for periodic tables have increased 31%.


Desk Organizer

If your child will be learning from home, creating the perfect desk space that is both fun and functional is key. Investing in a desk organizer like this one is a simple way to help them maintain space for all of their school time essentials. Plus, it can double as a prop stand for their tablet when it's time to watch their teacher give a lesson.


Solar System Wall Decals

In the past month, Etsy has reported a 500% increase in homeschool decor, thanks to the myriad of parents now trying to transform part of their home into a classroom. In spite of all of the yuck that 2020 may have thrown your way, at least these adorable solar system wall decals can help brighten up your child's leaning space.


Mini Travel Collage Kit

Etsy reported that their users have searched for wall collage kits 866% more in the past month than during this same time last year. It's not surprising that the stress of school, combined with staring at your own walls each and every day, has only intensified the desire to explore the world outside of your own backyard, like with this mini travel collage kit.


Distance Learning Sign

Your traditional first-day-of-school sign may need a bit of an update this season thanks to a change in how and where your student might be learning. With more than 24,000 variations of back-to-school signs on Etsy, signs like this one for the first day of distance learning are trending.


First Day Of Virtual Kindergarten Sign

So, this is not exactly how you imagined your little one's first day of kindergarten would look, but signs like this one show how parents everywhere are making lemonade out of lemons this school year. Reimagining the traditional chalkboard sign in favor of a printable virtual learning version is on trend this year.


Goal Getter Notebook

Whether they'll be learning from home or heading off to campus to brave this pandemic world as brand new adults, Etsy hasn't forgotten about the college kids. College students will need all of the help they can get in the form of cute notebooks like this one, fancy pens, and plenty of accessories to help keep them motivated to learn this year.


Mi Casa Es Su Casa Blanket

If your college kid isn't thrilled to stay home this year, you can help cheer them up with a tongue-in-cheek gift like this Mi Casa Es Su Casa blanket. (That's "my house is your house" in Spanish, by the way.) This throw also makes a great going away gift for new grads heading out on their own as a reminder that they always have a place to call home.