Getting organized for the school year comes with a different set of demands for every student and, of course, the last thing you want to do is leave your shopping to the last minute.
But with back-to-school needs varying from grade to grade, how do you know where to start?
We have the answer! Here is the ultimate back-to-school checklist that's sure to help you get a jump start on the school year, no matter what age your little learners are.
For The Little Ones
Art Supplies: One of the best parts about being a kid is the ability to get creative and let your imagination soar. For this reason, crayons, markers, and coloured pencils are a sure bet, as they'll likely need them for their artistic endeavours, both at school and at home.
Lunch Box: Lunch is a pretty important part of the day for hungry children so make sure to purchase a lunch box that will cater to a variety of different items (including a thermos and Tupperware containers), as well as an ice pack to keep items cold.
All the Snacks: Speaking of hungry kids, you'll want to have a variety of kid-friendly snacks on hand for quick and easy lunch prep. There are several items you can purchase ahead of time such as crackers, applesauce, fruit and pudding cups, and granola bars that are perfect for snack time.
Indoor Shoes: Elementary school aged children especially are often required to keep a pair of indoor shoes (usually sneakers) on hand. Most schools ask that they be in good shape and without black soles (to avoid scuffing). While indoor shoe rules vary from school to school, this is definitely something you can purchase well ahead of time.
Somewhere in The Middle
Organizational Supplies: Junior high is usually where learning becomes more regimented and good organization is important for kids' success. Make sure your child has folders, dividers and, perhaps most importantly, an agenda to keep track of their assignments.
Hygiene Stuff: While this isn't always the most "fun" conversation to have with a pre-teen, it's important they understand the importance of maintaining their personal hygiene, especially as they get older. Stocking up on deodorant, facial cleansers or wipes, and mouthwash will help give them everything they need.
Locker Organizer: Junior high years may also be the first time your child gets their own locker. Here too, you'll want to give them a way to keep organized. You can make a DIY locker organizer or purchase some at the store of your choosing. Either way, having a locker organizer will help prevent your child from losing things and keep their supplies easy to find.
A Little Higher Up
Water Bottle: In high school, you have to go from classroom to classroom and often have little to no time in between. School sports also become more intense at this level. For these reasons, it's a good idea to ensure your child has a decent water bottle. This will help them keep hydrated all day long.
Bus Pass: By the time your child is old enough for high school, they're generally able to make the commute themselves. So, if the school isn't within walking distance, now might be a good time to purchase their bus pass or work out their transportation plan, which will prevent having to make a last-minute drive on the first day.
Headphones: Whether walking to school, taking the bus, or enjoying breaks outside, a pair of cool headphones is a treat your child is sure to appreciate. With so many varieties available, you're sure to find a great set of headphones for any budget.
The Eager Undergrad
Citation Style Manuals: These are a life saver - especially for students entering the first year of their degree or diploma. Because MLA and APA formats are not always taught in high school, these writing styles can come as a surprise. With these on hand, your child is sure to have an advantage.
USB Stick: Each professor will have a different system for students to submit essays and projects. But it’s always a good idea to have a couple of USB sticks on hand in case they need to transport some of their work from place to place. Make sure they have a lot of memory space, especially if your kid will be using a lot of graphic elements in their projects.
Computer Access: Whether this means buying a laptop or a keyboard-equipped tablet, computer access is essential for any student. Either way, the best student laptops or tablets are lightweight and come equipped with plenty of memory.
Index cards: A tried and tested method, index cards are ideal for studying. You can pick up index cards ahead of time, or download a few mobile flashcard apps for your scholar to try out ahead of time.
With this checklist in hand, we're confident you'll be able to get a head start on the school year no matter what age your kids are. Happy shopping!