For those of you in the northern hemisphere, it’s back-to-school time; here in Australia, we’re just about to embark on the final term of the school year. Whenever the kids go back to school, parents everywhere are rejoicing as they get their kiddos ready for another great time at school. Here’s a list of essentials (and some fun non-essentials) you’ll need for your little darling to be prepared for school!
There are few back-to-school traditions my kids look forward to more than getting to pick out a brand new backpack each school year. They love choosing their own, and it gets them super excited about getting to use it the first day. You can even get their backpacks embroidered with their names or customize them with patches. Even if you homeschool your child, a new backpack is still a great way to get your child excited to learn and tote books around.
2. Lunch box
Kids love picking these out almost as much as backpacks. There are lots of styles, prints, and colors to choose from. Most lunchboxes are insulated and pretty easy to wash. Plus, cute lunch boxes will make meal planning much more satisfying.
Chances are pretty good your kids have grown out of last year’s clothes, so it’s time to refresh their wardrobe. We start our new school year late January here, so they are still wearing summer clothes for the first month or two of school. I tend to only buy new clothes for autumn or winter. Shirts sometimes last two years, but most pants are high-waters by the following year.
Jeans with reinforced knees are great for active little ones. And don’t forget about yourself! As a parent, sometimes you need an excuse to bust out some stylish high-waisted jeans.
My kids outgrow their shoes pretty quickly, which can make this a big expense each year. Good quality shoes will last longer, so buying the best ones you can afford is best. I buy one pair for colder months and one in spring for each child. These girls loafers are so cute – Miss 5 loves the leopard print ones which would work all year round!
5. School supplies
How much you need to buy depends on your child’s grade level and your school’s needs. Some schools provide everything they’ll need, and some schools depend on parents to supplement school supplies. For younger kids, basic things like pencils, notebooks, crayons, glue, and erasers are probably all they need. Older children may need more specialized items like graphing calculators, planners, electronic tablets, and laptops.
6. Water Bottles
Go green and get reusable water bottles for your kids. I recommend the stainless steel insulated bottles to keep their water cold all day during the hot months. There are lots of kid-friendly water bottles to choose from. I look for the styles that are easiest to use and easiest to clean. And nothing made out of glass for kids in elementary school.
7. Laptop Case
If your child or teen has a laptop for school, they’ll have fun personalizing it with a laptop case of their choosing. Your teen may or may not have to carry a laptop or tablet to school with them, but keeping it in a case is a good idea to keep it safe from accidental drops.
Schools are getting more and more into technology with students. They will likely spend some of their class time on computers or tablets. Schools may provide headphones, but having their own set isn’t a bad idea. Just be sure to label them with your child’s name in permanent marker.
9. Health supplies
School season also means germ season. Lower their chances of catching the sniffles with hand sanitizer they can keep in their backpacks. Just remind them to use it!
You’ll also need lots of tissues. Every autumn and winter, I tell myself we should buy stock in Kleenex. Stick a travel sized pack in their backpacks and if your school accepts them, donate a few big boxes to their classrooms as well.
This is plenty to get you started for the school year! The more you can let your kids pick out themselves, the better. It makes them a part of the process and gets them excited for school to start!