Summer went by pretty fast and I am thankful that I got to spend the warm beautiful days with my daughter. We created chalk arts, splashed water, blew bubbles, went for long walks, read lots of books and introduced her to my favorite songs. Now that we are in the back-to-school phase, I am wondering if we could have done even more!
Anyways, school is starting very soon and this year, instead of buying absolutely necessary supplies and wasting money on stuff that looked just “cute”, we shopped smartly. My daughter can reuse and repurpose some of the supplies we already got her last year. Some supplies we need to upgrade or get in bigger sizes. So if your child is going to elementary school this year, here are some back-to-school essentials (for both the kids and parents), you might want to take a look at.
Back to School Essentials for Elementary School:
The schools will provide a list of essentials, so I will not be going into detail and talking about pencils or crayons. But I will mention some supplies that are necessary to mention due to their role in the school year. After some trial and error, I have found that investing in these items makes the kids’ and parents’ lives easier. To make the list easy to follow, I will be dividing it into kids and parents sections.
Back to School Essentials for Elementary kids:
1 . Backpack:
A well-built, easy-to-carry, and waterproof backpack is a good investment. If the backpack is good, your kid can use it next year. We have been using this backpack since last year, and it’s still looking new. The kids drop their backpacks anywhere, so I can vouch that this backpack is going to last at least a year for your kid too!
2 . Lunch box and Water bottle:
For lunchtime 3 things are crucial: A sturdy lunch box that little kids can open, a leakproof, sturdy & easy-to-carry water bottle and a lunch bag to carry these things. For lunch boxes, we love Bentgo lunch boxes. My daughter has been using one since last year and despite using it 3-4 times per week, it’s still looking new!
For the water bottle, the one she was using is scratched and so I got her a new one. This is from Amazon and it’s Bunnytoo Kids Water Bottle with Straw and Time Marker (16oz). It comes with a Shoulder Strap, is also Tritan & BPA Free, has a soft Silicone spout, and leak proof. You can find it online here.
Quick tip: let them practice on the box and bottle before they go back to school.
Now for the lunch bag, her old one was tearing on the bottom so we got a new one. And this new one, thankfully, can hold both the lunch box and the water bottle.
3 . Name tags or Labels:
For kids, you will need to label or use name tags on everything. Or else, shoes, rain or winter gear can get mixed up and the kid will be in trouble. This is why I am LOVING Mabel’s Labels School Label Packs. These are durable, waterproof labels & more that are ideal for getting your kids organized for sports, dance, camp, or any other activity. These labels are laundry safe (they stay on through the washer and dryer), dishwasher and microwave safe, also customizable with a name and design and the brand offers FREE Shipping on all orders.
I got the School Label Pack and I am confident it will lessen the headache of losing or mixing stuff this year.
4 . Stain-resistant T-shirts:
Little kids will make a mess and I came across these stain-resistant t-shirts, which are a lifesaver, specially in arts and crafts class. I got 2 of these t-shirts last year for arts and crafts class, and we saved a lot of tearful moments because of that. She can easily put on the t-shirt on top of her regular dress during class, or she can just wear these as her regular t-shirt.
5 . Rain gear:
I thought rain gears will not be necessary because why the h*** they will be outside during rain?! But I was soo wrong. When the weather gets warmer at the end of winter here in North Dakota, the children are allowed to play outside in the muddy, damp playground and rain boots and pants are necessary at that time. It may be wiser to get them ahead since we had to go through a lot of trouble to find her size during that time.
6 . Snow gear:
If you live in a moderate cold-weather city, then you might not need all of the following, but here in North Dakota, the kids are permitted to play in the cold and snow during Winter. So it’s crucial they are bundled up with layers of protective clothing.
For layering, I like to start with lightweight inner layers that provide warmth and comfort (aka no itchiness). For the outwear, we need a heavy snow jacket, winter cap, gloves, and snow boots. I am not comfortable giving her a scarf which is why she wears a monkey cap that covers most of her face, neck, and head during the harsh winter. She can take off the extra layers once she reaches her classroom, and this is why layering is important.
Back to School Essentials for Elementary parents:
1 . Dry Erase Calendar Board:
This is something we use every day in our household. A dry-erase calendar board is helpful to keep you organized and plan ahead. Keep it around the heavy traffic area, like the kitchen or dining space. Whenever we have an event, test, meeting, or off days coming- we scribble it down on the calendar board with the time. I also use my phone’s calendar, but writing it down on the board somehow helps more.
2 . Folders:
The teachers give out a lot of information to parents, including what’s coming up, how is the child doing, etc. It’s practical if you keep a folder specially for these papers. By the end of the year, there will be so many papers, you will lose track if you do not keep them organized from the beginning.
3 . Storage bins:
Along with papers, the kids will bring a lot of arts, and crafts from school. Not everything can be displayed on the fridge, so keep these safe and organized by storing them in bins. If you keep a separate bin for this, the kid will learn and they can put their work inside the bin.
4 . Craft and Sewing Supply:
There are so many special days in a school year, I can’t count! For most of these occasions, the kids need to make something crafty. By kids, I mean us- as parents. I had no idea what to do for 100 days of school, friendship day bracelets or valentines’ gift boxes. We just improvised and made something with whatever we had lying around. This year, I got 3 kits to help her out, one is an art & craft supply kit (I love this one!), a sewing kit and a fabric acrylic paint set. The last one I got specially for myself so that I can relax with some coloring (I used to paint a long time ago), but I know it will be handy for my kid when the time comes.
5 . Sticky Notes:
This one is not actually “necessary”, but falls under the nice-to-have side. Write a small note (according to your child’s age) and put it in their lunch bag. Kids get stressed too, and a small handwritten note or a doodle from their parents truly makes their day.
6 . Ready-to-eat healthy food options:
I can not stress this enough, between your kid’s school and extracurricular activities- things will be hectic, chaotic and stressful. The more kids you have the more stressful it gets. So even if you are a super-mom cooking meals every day (or every other day), some days will be hard and you will need help. Keeping some healthy snacks like Sweet Chaos Popcorn, yogurt, cheese sticks, veggies (carrot, celery, cucumber) or fruits, or these pizza crusts or naan bread from Atoria’s Family Bakery will be a lifesaver. You can improvise the food options according to your child’s taste, but you get the idea!
Follow Sifa’s Corner on,