Summer may be a magical time for kids, but parents typically breathe a sigh of relief when school rolls around again. Of course, this most wonderful time of the year equals back-to-school shopping—and a school supply list as long as a fifth grader’s arm.
Engaging elementary-school-aged kids in the online buying process can help soften the end-of-summer blues, as well as help you avoid the inevitable picked-over store shelves and back-to-school crowds vying for the last three-ring binder. If you’re lucky, your child’s teacher has already clued you in on what to buy. If not, you can still nab the must-haves that kids always need from kindergarten through fifth grade, such as these:
Classic Classroom Supplies
Once upon a time, all kids needed was a pencil, a notebook, and an apple for the teacher. Now, it’s customary for parents to forgo the fruit in favor of computer paper, tissues, hand sanitizer, wipes, and enough pencils to kill off a forest of trees.
Younger kids also go through craft materials like mad, so sending them to school with glitter, Elmer’s Washable Disappearing Purple Glue Sticks, markers, and construction paper will always make teachers smile. If your goal is to be parent of the year, load up on go-to items like crayons in bulk. The Crayola Classpack Standard Crayons box is filled with 800 crayons in 16 assorted colors. That should be enough to keep the whole class happily making holiday posters ’til June.
You need to find a cool backpack with adequate storage that your kid won’t get sick of in a few months’ time. That’s a tall order, especially when you throw in much-needed durability. Your school supply list has got to include a backpack your child will love, and one that will last. Throw in a matching lunchbox, and they’ll be set for the year.
The Lollipop Kids Rolling Backpack with Lunch Bag by J World is sized for younger kids and comes in a variety of fun patterns, like umbrellas and polka dots. The light-up wheels are a kid-happy plus. If you’re looking for a stylish backpack (one you’ll want to steal when your tweenage daughter isn’t looking), the Pink Turquoise Twizzler Sidekick Backpack by Widkin is a fabulous choice, guaranteed to win her most-popular-girl status—and you big hug.
Colorful, Classy Notebooks
Amazingly, the paperless revolution has not yet reached the elementary school level. Many have no-tablet policies and require lots of hand-written work. A younger child’s school supply list often includes color-coded notebooks and matching folders, but older kids typically get to choose their own note-taking gear.
If you want your child to feel really special and grown-up, go for Moleskin Cahiers Set of 3 Ruled Journals in paperback. They’re lightweight, portable and have a graph paper option, which is perfect both for fifth graders and younger students learning cursive.