Back to school is upon us, and with my my oldest going into Grade 6 and my youngest starting Grade 1 it’s going to be a big year. With 5+ years of back to school experience behind me you can see I’m a veteran at buying backpacks and making lunches and even making sure I empty those lunches into the compost bin every night. Yes, one of the things I’ve learnt is to check those lovely lunch boxes daily because what you don’t want to see is three-day old yoghurt mildew-ing away on a Monday morning. And you definitely don’t want to SMELL it!
The first day of school is important and stressful – for parents AND kids, and preparing for it goes a long way in making sure that day goes by smoothly.
18 School Backpack Essentials
So here’s my checklist of what will be in my kids’ backpack come Tuesday.
- Lunch box – lunch of course with two healthy and FILLING snacks. I believe in more rather than less till the routine settles down a bit. And think of the teachers – would you want 20-odd “hangry” kids in the room along with you?
- Lunch bags need to be easily and independently opened especially for younger kids. See my ultimate guide to back to school tips here for what you need to consider before you buy. Don’t forget the cutlery! I have many times and I never hear the end of it. Thanks to kind teachers who always seem to have an extra fork.
- Water Bottle – metal or glass are best options. Don’t be afraid of glass – the new ones come with silicon covers and are really tough to break.
- Hat – even though the weather will be cooling off in Toronto a sun hat is still essential because kids spend a fair amount of time outdoors as part of their DPA (Daily Physical Activity) and recess.
- Sunscreen – see above.
- A change of clothes in a clear zip lock bag for younger kids. There will be accidents on the first day and unless you’re ready for a phone call in the middle of the day, don’t forget this.
- Indoor shoes
- Pack of sticky notes – I don’t know what’s with sticky notes but my kids love them, and my youngest insisted on a pack even in JK though she didn’t really use them the entire year.
- – 15. Pencil bag with 2 pencils, a pen, a sharpener, an eraser, one sharpie and a glue stick. For the last I was glad to see earth friendly ones at Staples Canada.
16. Crayons especially for the younger ones. Keep the scented ones away from school in consideration of allergies, and who wants the additional bubblegum-sniffing distraction?
17-18. For older kids – a binder with a notebook and if it’s matching then you know your kids will be delighted.
Final tip for back to school
Everything MUST be labelled. My kids’ school has a lost and found table where all lost items eventually end up. I can’t tell you how many times our lunch bags and shoes have been returned safely only because they’re labelled. Mabel’s Labels are dishwasher and washing machine safe, and will set you up quite nicely for the new school year.
My list of school backpack essentials may sound like a lot and you have to consider the weight of the backpack and how comfortable your child will be. Sadly they will need many more things as the year starts and stationery lists get longer. A practice run wearing backpacks over the weekend will help especially with younger kids.
Back to School Giveaway worth $160
And to get us all organized with back to school essentials Staples Canada and Mabel’s Labels are offering one lucky reader this lovely giveaway valued at more than $160+. This contest is open to all Canada (except QC) over the age of 18. Terms and conditions apply. Last date September 6, 2016
Goodies from Staples Canada #ThinkSTAPLES
- Giftcard valued at $25 for Staples Canada
- Document Lifter valued at $34
- Locker Worx magnetic light-up mirror valued at $15
- Elmer eco-friendly glue sticks pack of two valued at $4.50
- Paper Mate pack of 3 stylo gel pens valued at $4
- Five Star notebook valued at $5
- Crayola crayons – 24 pack $2
- Expo Dry-erase markers 2-in 1 – $10
- Post-It combo pack $3
- Fuel 9 oz juice bottle $5
- Large sized #ThinkSTAPLES insulated reusable shopping bag
- 40 Mini Custom Name Stickers: 38mm x 8mm (1-1/2″ x 5/16″)
- 50 Tag Mates™ Stick On Clothing Labels: 21mm x 10mm (13/16″ x 3/8″)
- 16 Custom Shoe Stickers: 33mm (1.3″)
- 2 Personalized Mini Tags: 30mm x 20mm (1-1/4″ x 3/4″)
Disclaimer: I was provided with free product as a part of writing this article, and the giveaway is sponsored by Staples Canada and Mabel’s Labels. The narrative and opinion as always is all mine!