It’s about that time when kids will head back to school! Eager students are excited to rush to stores to find the long list of supplies that they will need. Due to inflation, the cost of these supplies will be much more expensive in comparison to last year. Here are some tips for getting the back-to-school supplies that you need and ways you can save money!
The time has come for your little one to head off to school! Preschool is a new and exciting time in a kid’s life! Most likely, this is the first time that they will be away from you for an extended period of time. Parents often want to be overprepared, when in reality they don’t need much for the start of school. Below are some items that are commonly included in the preschool supply list, but be sure to check with your kid’s teacher.
- Backpack – Although the tiny preschool-sized ones are a great fit for your kid, they often don’t fit the large craft projects and papers that end up coming come. Opt for an inexpensive one that is a standard size, with minimal pockets and places to put things. Just make sure it has adjustable straps. These are the years to let them pick out what they like to encourage independence and know that it most likely will not last for the next year.
- Nap Map, Pillow, Blanket & Reusable Lunchbox – If your preschooler will be staying all day, they will most likely need these items. A great cost saver is to pick a washable lunchbox with separate compartments. This will help keep portions small and will save you the hassle of buying plastic bags.
- Water Bottle – Different preschools prefer different water bottles. If they don’t have a preference, find one that is light, spillproof, and easy to open for them.
- Clothing – Preschool is fun, and with the fun comes mess! Send your kid to school in clothing that you don’t mind them getting paint or marker on. Make sure that they have a jacket that they put on and zip independently; shoes without laces are always a plus! Also, be sure to include an extra change of clothes in their backpack.
- Crayons, Scissors, Paper, Stickers, and Art Supplies – Your preschooler will be learning important skills at school that you can help reinforce at home. Set up a safe space, or a craft bin, that they can use to create things under your supervision. It will help improve hand-eye coordination as well as strengthen muscles to work on fine motor skills. Ask them to name the colors they are using and how adding more pressure to the crayons can differ the way the color looks. Keep your eyes open for discount bins at various stores to add to your art supply stash!
Once you reach elementary school, kids will need more back-to-school supplies. Every school’s supply checklist will look a bit different. Here are a few essentials that you can prepare for prior to the first day and replenish throughout the year as you shop.
- Backpack – These are the years where investing in a strong and durable backpack is a good idea. If you find one with a warranty, it is even better! Work with your kid to find a good balance between what they think is “cool”, but also functional and within your budget. Check out these product reviews to help you with your search.
- Water Bottle – Staying hydrated is so important! Each teacher might have their own preference for what they like in their classroom, but find one that doesn’t leak, sweat, and won’t spill if it’s knocked off of their desk.
- Crayons, Markers, Pencils, Glue Sticks, and More! – This is an area where things can really add up! Before heading out to the store, take an inventory sweep of what you have left over from last year or what you can reuse. At the store, stick to your list and know trusted brands where you will get the most bang for your buck! Many stores offer back-to-school sales. Also, be sure to shop around, compare prices, and even look online.
- Clothing – To start off the school year, you only need a few basic pieces that you can mix and match. Plus, you don’t want to go overboard because kids grow so quickly. For most areas, the temperature will be changing soon and it’s better to purchase items to prep for the seasons to come. Invest in good outwear as schools try to take the kids outside as much as possible, and be sure to write their names on EVERYTHING! It’s also a good idea to send them to school with shoes that they can tie on their own or opt for no tie laces!
These are the years where kids are gaining independence, learning to become more responsible, and a ton of focus is on organization. The communication between school and home is different and they need resources to relay information to and from home successfully.
- Planners – Planners are very important for these years. It keeps all of their assignments and due dates in one place. They are also fun for the kids to decorate and customize! Some schools have a preference on what organizer to use. If your kid has a phone, there are many free apps available to help them stay organized with their assignments.
- Binders and Notebooks – In middle school, binders will help keep materials for their classes organized. Each binder will most likely require additional materials such as three-hole punch paper, dividers, a thin notebook, or folders. It’s a good idea to color coordinate classes with specific binders to make it easy for them to grab materials in their locker throughout the day. Depending on their schedule, a way to save is to get one large binder for several classes instead of individual ones. Also, notebooks with durable covers will last throughout the year versus the paper ones.
- Mechanical Pencils – Middle schoolers love mechanical pencils! Although, they do require you to keep purchasing extra led and erasers. Find value packs that include the extras.
- Locker Accessories – Typically in middle school you get assigned a locker. It’s always fun to decorate and personalize it for the school year with shelves, pictures, magnets, and more! Many stores offer these accessories, but make sure to save and reuse them next year.
- Computer/iPad – This is a must as most assignments are turned in or given to students online. Often schools will provide these devices. Some schools offer a warranty should something happen to it. Although it’s an added expense, purchasing protective covers might help keep the device safe from minor accidents.
- Pens – Tests, quizzes, and all sorts of exams may state that you can only use a pen. This typically happens in English class. Black and blue pens are good for writing information, red pens are good for marking and correcting mistakes.
- Scientific Calculator – Typically, calculators are required for certain classes. Investing in one scientific calculator that you can use throughout high school, and into college, might help reduce costs.
- Parking Pass – If your teen is old enough, the option to drive to school is something you might consider. Schools will often charge a fee for a parking pass and you will need to factor in the increase in gas prices. An inexpensive solution is to ride the bus.
Making sure that your kids have what they need will set them up success! Do you know someone in need of school supplies? Check out these resources that can be of assistance! We hope you have an amazing 2022-2023 school year!