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This Is The Only Back-To-School Checklist You'll Need

All of the basics, essentials, and extras your kid might have to get when they return to school this year.

The new school year is upon us, which means it’s time to take inventory of what your kid has, and stock them up on the supplies they need. There are a lot of things to get before the first day of school and a back-to-school checklist will help you stay organized. If nothing else, it will at least help you stay on track when you’re taking advantage of all of those back-to-school sales.

Back-To-School Clothes

As a kid, this was by far my favorite part of back-to-school shopping (who among us didn’t plan out their perfect first day of school look?). Now that we are adults, we are the ones tasked with making sure our kids are stocked up with clothes that will fit them and are durable enough to last them at least through the first half of the year. While our kids shop with tunnel vision, looking only for outfits for that first week of school, we have to think practical and long-term. Here’s what to make sure they’re stocked up on.

  • Bottoms such as jeans, pants, shorts, skirts
  • Shirts in different styles and sleeve lengths
  • Sweaters and sweatshirts
  • Coats/jackets, depending on where you live
  • Bras, both regular and sports styles
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Gym clothes
  • Sneakers
  • Dress and/or casual shoes

School Supplies

Now that all of the clothes are out of the way, it’s time to focus on the things they actually need for their learning environment. These will vary depending on their age and grade. There are so many different styles, colors, and designs of a lot of these supplies, so let your kid help with the shopping because when else will they ever be this excited about purchasing #2 pencils?

  • Backpack
  • Face mask (if required/unvaccinated)
  • Required electronics (tablet, laptop, graphing calculators, etc.)
  • No. 2 pencils, erasers, pencil sharpener, and pencil case
  • Ruler, protractor, and/or other grade-appropriate measuring tools
  • Art supplies including crayons, washable markers, colored pencils, glue/glue sticks, washable paints, paintbrushes, and scissors
  • Dry erase markers
  • Notebooks
  • Index cards
  • Pocket folders
  • Textbook covers
  • Highlighters
  • Pens
  • Whiteout
  • Small stapler and staples
  • Box of tissues
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Three-ring binder
  • Student planner or calendar
  • Sticky notes and dividers
  • USB storage
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Lunch Essentials

If you’re planning on packing a lot of lunches this year, it’s a good idea to invest in reusable materials as much as possible. Not only will it save you money in the long run, but it’s also good for the environment. Some things to buy include:

  • Reusable lunchbox, ideally one that is easy to clean
  • Reusable food storage containers in varying sizes
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Reusable eating utensils
  • Coinpurse/pouch with zip closure to carry lunch money or ID card

The Extras

Beyond the everyday supplies, your kid may also need some extras depending on what kind of school or activities they’re enrolled in, their grade level, and what their school requires. Some things to consider:

  • An emergency kit with backup clothes, water bottle, and snacks
  • Clothes and supplies for extracurricular activities
  • Props for “First Day Of School” pictures
  • Locker organization, magnets, mirrors, etc.
  • Gym class hygiene products like deodorant, hairbrush, etc.
  • Pre-filled out paperwork or permission slips due on the first day of school

It’s hard to believe another summer has gone by and it’s time to get back into the school mindset. Hopefully, with this back-to-school checklist, you can zoom through your shopping so you can spend your time enjoying the final days of summer break with your kids.