Back to school time always makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I love newly sharpened pencils, new backpacks, school clothes and supplies shopping and all the preparation that comes with a new school year. Over the years, I have acquired a few favorites that have become staples in our yearly back-to-school must-haves that I wanted to share with you!
- Good Backpack—We have a lot of books to lug around, so we have fallen in love with the Jansport Driver 8 Backpack. The price tag might frighten you away, but read this first before you panic. When it comes to backpacks, you get what you pay for. First, take a look at how many compartments there are. In the photos, they look like normal compartments, but they are all huge! My daughter can fit all of her books in one compartment, notebooks in another and her lunchbox in the 3rd. These are amazing backpacks and are very durable. The other perk is the warranty. If something breaks or rips, Jansport guarantees it. You simply submit a warranty claim, ship the backpack (shipping is on you), and they will either repair it or send you a gift card for the amount your backpack is worth. Last year we received an $85 gift card and only paid $53 for a brand new Driver 8 backpack.
- Durable Lunch Box—If you like bento-style boxes, check out the Planet Box lunch box! We purchased the Rover when our daughter was 5, and she is still using the same one 6 years later. We just purchase a new lunch bag every few years to spice things up a bit. It is the most durable lunch box I have found, and I even have my own Launch! These boxes are also plastic-free, dishwasher safe, rust-proof, (not a single big of rust on our boxes) and they’re a great way to motivate you to provide your children with a variety of foods, and the way they’re arranged are visually appealing to children!
- Fun Water Bottle—There are so many water bottles to choose from! We gravitate toward stainless steel, so there is a lot of clanking around our house when we drop them. Our newest favorite is the Owalla. This water bottle comes in a few sizes with fun mis-matched colors, and it gives you the option to either sip or gulp! Our water stays cold for a good 10+ hours!
- Fancy Pencil Box—If you’re looking for a pencil box that is a little different from the rest and one that isn’t really a “box”, this pencil case from Amazon is a fun choice. It offers more organization than the traditional pencil box where everything is dumped into one compartment. This case has several zipper compartments and pockets to store pencils, pens, erasers and more.
- Coat/Rain Jacket—Many of us aren’t thinking about cold weather right when school starts, especially if you live in Texas like I do! But take it from me. . . .cold weather creeps up on us, and I have been caught unprepared more than I want to admit! Sam’s Club has affordable options for coats, but they do sell out quickly. If you see them in stock, grab them while you can!
- Comfy Shoes—Kids tend to be very rough on shoes, especially the older they get. So when I buy school shoes, I go with the inexpensive ones! If your child wears a uniform, Children’s Place has a great collection of uniform shoes/socks and other items. If you are not bound to a uniform, Payless is back as an online store. They have really affordable shoes for all ages, and it won’t be so painful when they wear them out quickly!
- DIY Labels—We have so much to label! Coats, water bottles, lunch boxes and more. I know many families who use Mabel’s Labels and love them. Personally, I love Inchbug labels for our water bottles. They are super stretchy/durable and fit every size water bottle we have used since our daughter was a toddler. She is now 10, and we still use the same ones! They tend to market them to parents of babies/toddlers, but they work for ALL ages! For our clothing or anything with a cloth material like a backpack or even a cloth covered glasses case, we have used Avery fabric labels. They aren’t as durable as permanent iron on labels, but I have to say. . . .they impressed me. Our labels stayed on all year. We used them on a backpack & a glasses case. And for a busy mom, they’re so quick & easy to use!
Enjoy shopping, and have a great school year!