Back to School Checklists
Back to school can be a stressful time. Whether your child is entering school for the very first time or starting a new grade, you’ll want to have them ready for going back to school this fall.
So we’ve gathered a list of school essentials for your child. Whether you’re putting your little one on the bus for the first time or preparing your child for a new grade, we’ve got a checklist of what you’ll need.
- Backpack: Children going to school for the first time can expect to pack extra clothing like a sweater, a folder for school paperwork, lunch bag, water bottle, and school supplies. Backpacks should be big enough to fit everything they need, small enough for little bodies and whimsical enough to smooth the transition between home and school life. Brands such as Skip Hop, Crocodile Creek and Lug Kids have cute packs that feature kids’ favorite animals and characters.
- School Supplies: Your child will need a pouch for carrying crayons, washable markers, glue stick, safety scissors and other supplies to school. Check out Skip Hop Zoo versions with a cute dog, butterfly or bee face.
- Pocket Folder for School Paperwork: Especially during the first days of school, your preschooler will be bringing home a lot of permission slips and other school paperwork for you. Sending them with something durable like the Oxford Double Stuff Twin Pocket Folder will help make sure they don’t forget anything important.
- Lunch Bags: Similar to backpacks, kids entering school can bring along fun lunch packs from Parkland or critter lunch bags from Skip Hop.
- Meal and Snack Containers: Sugarbooger has some reusable food containers with fun colours and lids that are easy for little fingers to open. And Goodbyn Hero food containers, which come in bright colours, keep all your new kindergartener’s snacks and lunch separate from each other.
- Water bottle: A no-mess reusable bottle with a straw is a great way to make sure that your child’s first day (and year!) goes smoothly. Skip Hop and Crocodile Creek both have spill-proof bottles.
- Lunch Bag Essentials: Don’t forget to include ice packs to keep snacks and sandwiches fresh, and a napkin for spills and smears. And if you’re planning on packing a hot lunch, you’ll need an insulated food jar like the ones from Skip Hop that come with their own spoon!
- Snacks: Many schools are now nut-free environments, but there are still plenty of snacks to choose from. Small snacks like Simply Protein Kids Bars are perfect for your child’s first academic excursion.
- Face/hand wipes: Aleva Naturals Bamboo Baby Hand ‘n’ Face Wipes aren’t just for babies. A travel size of 30 wipes is perfect to send to school with your child for after lunch or after recess.
- Pocket pack of tissues: A small pack of tissues is perfect for playground sneezes.
- Band aids & other first aid items: Kid-friendly band aids are a must when your child is exploring a new playground. And don’t forget other first aid items such as Dimpleskins Naturals Boo Boo Goo and a small first aid kit.
- Luggage tag: For little ones who have yet to learn their address and phone number, a luggage tag for their backpack will be a lifesaver when their teacher asks. Just be sure to attach it to the inside of their backpack for privacy.
- Labels for their belongings: Grab a set of Emily Press Labels to put an end to lost items or unintentional swaps with other children!
And don’t forget to stock your home so that you can prepare your little kid before the first day:
- Vitamins: Make sure your child starts off with all the nutrients they’ll need. IronKids Gummies Multi-vitamins for Active Kids are perfect. Just be sure to keep them in a cupboard with a child lock! And to help with brain development, NutraSea Kids Omega + Vitamin D is an easy to administer liquid that tastes like bubblegum.
- Sunscreen: It may be fall soon, but the September sun will still be powerful! Make sure to apply a kids’ sunscreen like thinksport Kid’s Safe Sunscreen before they head to school.
- Lice Prevention & Treatment: No parent wants to get that phone call from the school, but with so many little children in one place, it could happen. Be prepared for your child’s first school experience by stocking up now. Prevention starts with Lice Shield Leave In Detangling Spray, and Lice Squad Canada Louse Trap Comb helps with treatment.
- Cold & Flu Treatments: With autumn chill comes cold season, and schools are breeding grounds for seasonal bugs. Stock up on Homeocan Kids 0-9 Cough & Cold Syrup or Badger Aromatic Chest Rub. And for seasonal allergies, try Hyland’s Complete Allergy Relief for Kids.
- Back-up Snacks and Drinks: For when there’s no time in your schedule for a trip to the grocery store, Made Good Granola Minis and Kinnikinnick KinniKritters Animal Cookies are great options for grab-and-go snacks.
- Second Lunch Bag and Water Bottle: Inevitably, your child may forget their lunch bag, water bottle, or snack containers at school. Be prepared with extra ones so that you won’t have to scramble.
- Backpack: As your child enters higher grades and school work gets more involved, backpacks for elementary school will have to be bigger. Also, your child might not be as interested in animal figures as they once were. For grade school, look for supportive packs for ages 6-11 in bright colours like those made by Parkland and Fjallraven.
- School Supplies: Grade school students will need sturdy cases like the Parkland Fraction that features critter patterns. Stash pencils, pens, pencil crayons, glue stick, eraser, pencil sharpener and scissors inside.
- Organization: Don’t forget a pocket folder for all those permission slips and pizza day sign-ups! An Oxford Twin Pocket Folder is perfect for their backpack. And add to that backpack notebooks and an agenda.
- Lunch Bags: Striking lunch bags from Fluf and sandwich bags from Colibri are great for elementary school aged kids.
- Meal and Snack Containers: Apples & Oranges snack packs from Fluf are machine washable, so they’re great for any snacks you’ve got. Colibri has reusable bags for snacks or sandwiches. And if you’re packing a hot lunch, be sure to use a Zoli Dine Insulated Vacuum Food Jar to keep it warm until the lunch bell rings!
- Lunch Bag Essentials: You’ll want to throw in a freezer pack, napkin and cutlery like the pack from Monbento to make sure your grade schooler has everything they need for lunch.
- Water Bottle: Children starting grade school can graduate to bottles that don’t have straws. Small bottles that can hold 250 to 350 millilitres from Klean Kanteen and S‘well are great choices for elementary school kids.
- Snacks: Healthy snacks that are also fun enough to avoid trading with friends are perfect for grade school kids. Three Works Apple Chips, for instance, get them some much needed fruit servings.
- Hand Sanitizer: For before meals or after recess, or any other time they can’t get to the bathroom to wash their hands, Bio Green HandSan Organic Hand Cleanser kills germs without drying out hands.
- Pocket Pack of Tissues: Grab a pack of environmentally friendly Caboo Bamboo & Sugar Cane tissues to get you from home to school and back.
- Band Aids & other First Aid Items: Band aids are a must as kids become more independent, learn to ride a bike, and the scraps and scratches that go with growing up. Me4kidz Medibuddy First Aid To Go Kit has everything they’ll need in a convenient package.
- Labels for their Belongings: Emily Press has got you covered for preventing loosing lunch bag, water bottle, or backpack entirely!
You’ll also want to keep these items at home for school day prep throughout the year:
- Vitamins: As kids grow up, you might want to try a chewable tablet rather than a gummie. Nature’s Plus Animal Parade Chewable Multi-Vitamins support overall health and the immune system, and come in cherry, orange and grape flavours. Also, try Flora Kindervital to support your child’s growth of healthy bones and teeth.
- Sunscreen: Long afternoons of soccer practice under the (still hot) September sun call for Green Beaver Natural Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Kids.
- Lice Prevention and Treatment: Lice is still a risk throughout grade school. Help prevent it with Lice Shield Shampoo & Conditioner in One and if needed, treat with Thursday Plantation Head Lice Kit.
- Cold and Flu Treatments: Be sure to have Boogie Wipes Simply Unscented and Homeocan Kids 0-9 Flu Buster on hand for when the inevitable sick days come.
- Back-up Snacks and Drinks: Made Good Granola Bars and home free Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies are perfect to grab on the go.
- Second Lunch Bag & Water Bottle: No matter how hard you try to teach them, kids might forget their lunch packs. Or they may bring home the lunch bag without any of their containers inside! Be sure to pick up some extras just in case.
There’s so much to organize for the first day back to school. So we always have a handy, printable list for kindergarten and grade school. They list everything you’ll need for the new school year!