Essential Items for Back to School
When you were a kid, back-to-school shopping was bittersweet. It signified that summer was almost over. However, it was exciting to think about what the new year could bring.
For parents, shopping for school supplies can be somewhat stressful. Stores feature so many items in their school supplies sections that it can be difficult to decide what you really need. These back-to-school essentials may not be on your list, but they’re indispensable for any student.
1. Lunch Box
Start the school year with a fresh lunch box. WebMD explains that a child’s lunchbox can harbor germs and bacteria. Because these microbes are invisible, you might think that the lunch box is cleaner than it is.
A nonporous lunch box can be washed in warm, soapy water, or cleaned with antibacterial wipes. Soft lunch coolers can often be tossed in the washing machine.
Easy Lunchboxes makes three-compartment meal containers, leak-resistant sauce containers, and four-compartment snack boxes. The company also makes a soft lunch bag cooler that fits the bento-style containers perfectly. The compartmentalized plastic food storage containers are BPA-free and safe for the microwave, dishwasher, and freezer.
They’re affordable; if you purchase several, you’ll always have one ready even when the others are in the dishwasher. You can even use them to prepare lunches in bulk at the beginning of the week.
2. Labeling Supplies
Most schools prefer children to label all their supplies, including notebooks, binders, and clothing. Therefore, it’s helpful to have a variety of labeling supplies.
Use a fabric marker to write your child’s name on clothing tags. Use only the last name if you’re concerned about keeping things straight when a particular wardrobe item is passed down to a younger child.
Companies like Sticker Kids and Minted offer labels that can be placed on a variety of items. Look for labels that won’t come off in the laundry or dishwasher.
3. Water Bottle
Between recess and after-school activities, kids can get dehydrated at school. Harvard School of Public Health reports that more than 50 percent of young Americans are inadequately hydrated. This can affect cognitive functioning as well as physical performance.
Cleveland Clinic explains that water is preferable to soda, sports drinks, or juice for keeping kids hydrated. A high-quality water bottle can keep water cool and refreshing. Children can refill their bottles using the water fountains at school.
The ideal water bottle is leak-proof, unbreakable, and made of non-toxic materials. Corkcicle sells canteens that come in nine oz. sizes, which are perfect for little hands. The durable stainless steel can take a beating, and the triple insulation ensures that the container won’t sweat all over your kid’s homework.
Many children have computers and tablets in the classroom. They’re often required to wear headphones while they use these devices, though. Adult-sized earbuds may not fit into little ears, making it necessary to find kid-sized headphones.
According to pediatric ear experts, kids should only use headphones that go over the ears and have a volume limiter.
Foldable headphones may be less likely to break as your child totes them around. Bluetooth headphones are convenient and work with many devices, but you’ll have to make sure that your child keeps them charged.
5. Tote Bag
You probably have a backpack for your child, but have you considered sending them to school with an extra tote bag? A foldable tote can be stashed in the backpack and used for emergencies, like bringing home library books or wet clothing.
Canvas bags are strong enough to carry heavy items. They can usually be washed with the laundry, which keeps them fresh and clean.
6. Socks and Shoes
If you’re like most parents, you likely run into delays when it’s time to head out the door. Limit this frustration by stocking up on socks. Purchase several in the same color, so your child can’t complain that there are no matches.
Investing in a few extra pairs of basic shoes or sneakers can help too. If your child can’t find their primary pair, they can throw on the backups.
Even though summer is over, you shouldn’t put away the sunscreen just yet. Experts have found that people who use sunscreen regularly as children are less likely to develop melanoma as adults.
Making sunscreen application a daily habit can be the best way to keep your child safe from UV rays. Apply it after they brush their teeth. Better yet, stock up on some clothing with built-in sun protection, like the options available at Cabana Life, so you don’t have to worry about the amount of sun exposure that your little one is getting.
8. Healthy Snacks
Life gets a little more hectic once the kids go back to school. It can be hard to make sure that the whole family is eating well when you’re shuttling everyone around all day. Stocking up on healthy snacks can reduce the chaos.
You can often find affordable bulk options at wholesale stores, like Costco and Sam’s Club. You may also want to purchase groceries directly from websites like Thrive Market and Amazon.
Some nutritious packaged options for kids’ snacks include:
- Kale chips
- Plantain chips
- Trail mix
- Pureed fruit
- Freeze-dried fruit
- Nutrition bars
Eat This, Not That has a list of 25 healthy snack foods that you can order on Amazon.
Even if you have accumulated a year’s worth of pencils, pens, crayons, paper, and rulers, you might not have considered purchasing these other back-to-school essentials. Getting prepared with these critical items now can save you a headache once the school routine gets going.