Every single time your kid heads off to school, you want to feel confident that they’ll be totally set for the day. After all, they should be able to focus on learning (well, and on having fun at recess, of course) without having to worry about being unprepared. Having exactly what they need for the day in their backpacks can make all of the difference when it comes to their ability to absorb the day’s lessons and, when not in class, enjoy playing around with their pals.
Of course, before you know what your kid will need in their backpack, make sure you’re also in the loop with any school or class-specific essentials they’ll need. This is especially important for kiddos when they start a new grade or start at a new school, as different teachers and schools will have specific requirements of what to bring, and definitely some rules about what not to bring as well. So, getting organized around all of this information is an important first step. Once you and your kiddo both know all of the ins and outs, you can help them have a successful (and fun!) school year—one day at a time—by ensuring they have the essentials with them at all times.
Read on for our top school day essentials every kid should have in their backpack.
Lunch is an important part of any school day. It’s a chance for your kiddo to stay fueled for the day and take a much-needed break from class to socialize and form new friendships. That’s why it’s essential for them to always carry a lunch box chocked full of their favorite nutritious goodies. Beyond just any old lunch box though—it’s key that they have one that they love.
A durable, insulated lunch box with mesh pockets to tuck away surprise snacks (or even a cute note if it won’t embarrass them!) will help them feel extra excited as they embark on their school day—after all, don’t we all want to dig into a lunch that looks and tastes fresh as a midday break?
Just like how they decorate their cubby or their locker, or what they wear to school, both backpacks and lunch boxes can also be ways for them to express themselves. So, make sure you pick a practical and sturdy lunch box or bag, but also one in a pattern that speaks to their interests or preferences, like a glittery stripe print or a fun dinosaur or galaxy design. You should also consider adding a personalized monogram to make lunchtime feel extra special!
Your kiddo will always head off to school in an outfit that keeps them feeling comfortable throughout the day. From the classroom to recess or lunch, it’s important that kids wear clothes that don’t distract them from learning, or playing, which is why comfy fabrics and clothes that fit their school’s dress code are both key. That said, whether your kid rocks a fun print t-shirt or a school uniform shirt or a polo dress to school, they should always have an extra layer in their backpack.
You never know when the day’s weather might take a bit of a turn, or what lunchtime spills might deter your kiddo from wearing the sweater or pullover fleece they went to school in. Having an extra layer of kids' outerwear can ensure they can focus on the day in total comfort. This is also key on days your kiddo has afterschool activities or a playdate on the agenda.
If you’re worried about them having enough room in their backpack, you can also opt for a packable kids’ rain jacket that they can just stick in one of their backpack’s mesh side pockets when not in use.
Just like their bedrooms, kids' backpacks can quickly become chaotic without the right accessories to help them stay organized. Even backpacks with lots of zippered pockets won’t always do the trick—especially if your kiddo tends to lose track of certain things (don’t worry, it happens to the best of us!).
Items like a fun print pencil and pen case, protective sleeves for any of their tech (for older kids), accordion folders for their homework, and other smaller pouches for organizing essentials are all must-haves for your kids’ backpack.
Anything that helps them keep their things organized throughout the day can help them avoid losing important items and also cut back on time searching for the various things they need at different points in the school day.
School is a huge part of your kids’ life. From absorbing lessons in the classroom to forming bonds with their classmates and figuring out their interests, so much of your kiddos’ very being takes shape during the school day. By sending them off for the day with an organized backpack full of the essentials, they can feel prepared for whatever the day brings.