or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Let's make a Back To School supply list!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Let's make a Back To School supply list!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Not like the printed page we get to send our kids with on the first day, but a real list.  A great list for moms full of stuff that is good to use, great to have, holds up and the kids like.

 

This can be anything from backpacks to school supplies to shoes to anything!!

 

What are your favorite Back to School supplies?  Include links and why you love it and let's make this a really great list!

post #2 of 28

I'm always enthusiastic about LL Bean backpacks. They are fantastic quality. I still have mine from high school and it shows very little wear. DD had one all through elementary and only replaced it because it got too small. DS has had 2. The first one still perfect but too small. This second one will get him through the rest of middle school and high school easy. Not the best for those kids who like a new back every year for style but for those happy to now buy new bags yearly, you can't beat the quality and washability. DD has a Jansport that has held up ok. We are replacing it this year for wear but she's had it 3 years. Not bad.

 

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/506219?qs=3068958_pmd_google

 

My kids are in middle and high school so it's not really the same for us supply wise. I load up on spiral notebooks and notecards before school starts but that is typically all we need outside the occasional calculator upgrade. Just go for the Texas Instrument Calculators when your kid gets to the high maths. We got a deal on a graphing calculator that turned out not to have every function she needed to all her sciences and maths. Ended up geting a TI graphing calculator anyway.

post #3 of 28

I agree on the LL Bean backpacks. Just bought the owl print for my dd, going into K, and she is thrilled. I expect the size to last her about 3-4 years. http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/62782?feat=506219-GN2&page=junior-original-book-pack-print

I try to do a waste free lunch for my kids and I've been really pleased with the lunch bots I bought a few years ago for my ds. I've used a pbk retro bag and I can fit an ice pack, 2 lunch bots and his 12 oz thermos funtainer in the top.

 

PBK retro - http://www.potterybarnkids.com/search/results.html?words=retro&cm_sp=OnsiteSearch-_-GlobalNav-_-Button&type-ahead-viewset=ecom

Lunchbots - http://www.lunchbots.com/products/food-containers/

 

Funtainer - http://www.amazon.com/Thermos-12-Ounce-Funtainer-Bottle-Blue/dp/B00DAPQV0K/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1375455172&sr=8-9&keywords=thermos+funtainer

 

All products I would recommend. My dd will take a smaller lunch and I waited and stalked for a good price ($29) on a planet box w case for my dd. It looks great and I'm looking forward to trying it out. http://www.potterybarnkids.com/search/results.html?words=planet+box&cm_sp=OnsiteSearch-_-GlobalNav-_-Button&type-ahead-viewset=ecom

 

All of these have a higher upfront cost but I've asked for them for bday gifts or found them super on sale. And they are all workhorses!

post #4 of 28

Wine of the month club!
 

post #5 of 28

I have to third the recommendation for L.L. Bean backpacks. DS went through 3 cheap character backpacks in kindergarten. Before 1st grade we got him an L.L. Bean backpack and it still looks great 2 years later. We'll probably get him a new backpack when he starts middle school, but it won't be because this one has worn out.

 

If your kids don't like the styles L.L. Bean has, I also recommend Land's End. DS has one for travel, and it has also help up well. DD starts preschool once a week this year, and I actually can't decide which of the two brands to get her :).

 

If you want an easy, waste free lunch I recommend the Goodbyn containers: www.goodbyn.com. Their binto box is great is your kids bring only things that don't need to be kept hot or cold. They also sell insulated bags, ice packs, and containers to put in the bags.

post #6 of 28

My list is different because DS goes to a free school and is older.

 

As many books on liberation ideals as we an get our hands on, In a perfect world they would include a ton of Howard Zinn, Eric Hobsbawm, Etc. to donate to the school.

Notebooks, pens, paper, all that usual stuff but also:

Stocking up on shelf stable foods for the weekly 'lets make lunch together' at school.

Shoes. I have no idea where these go, but somehow they disappear.

post #7 of 28
A supreme website for all things reusable and toxin-conscious, check out http://mightynest.com/

Looks like you can even donate %15 of your purchase to your school!
post #8 of 28

The lists the middle school teachers sent home just killed me.  The teachers were trying to be very helpful, and teach the kids how to organize their paperwork. So the math, history and English teachers each have separate notebook/binder requirements, which you then need to figure out how to work with the big zip-up binders ( that range from $10 to $25).

 

Perhaps this was more a problem between dd and me eyesroll.gif, but then there were the arguments about whether to get the plain folders that cost $4 for a bunch of them versus the pretty ones with designs that cost, like, $1.50 each. The worst was the insisting that the cute brand-name pack of multicolored highlighters was necessary versus the much more practical 3-pack of yellow highlighters.  Argh.  Saying 'no' to dd was my own particular issue.  blush.gif

 

Anyway, ds is entering high school and dd and I were telling him how this supplies thing is sooo much less stressful because the teachers don't care one bit how you organize your binders.  You can use one big zip-up binder and a 5-subject spiral note book if you want, or multiple binders, etc  -whatever works best for you. 

 

It helps that ds isn't the least bit interested in coordinating colors. We did decide you need to pay the extra dollar for brand name glue sticks.  The off brands are worthless. 

 

Don't forget the combination lock.


Edited by journeymom - 8/3/13 at 11:30am
post #9 of 28

Anyone come across any great college shoulder bags? My daughter is starting this year and is not keen on a backpack. I'd like to get her something nice but really functional too. She'll carry her Macbook in it as well so must have a laptop area. 

post #10 of 28

Both of these are great, http://www.chromeindustries.com/ I've never seen one of these get destroyed.

This person takes customer orders and is a more classic style then the above ones https://www.etsy.com/shop/CrookedSmileCreation
 

post #11 of 28

I love colored pencils with erasers for preschool and elementary school age children. In case you can't find it at your local store here is a link:

http://www.shopping.com/Binney-Amp-Smith-Color-Pencils-W-Eraser-10-Box-Bright-Colors/info

 

(I don't know if they are on any school lists but we use them at home)

 

Also we can't seem to have enough composition books. My older son and daughter went to school last year and they each had at least one "homework book" for the whole year (I don't remember doing that when I was in their grades so that was new to me) - the teacher wrote down my kindergartener's homework, and my second grader wrote down her homework, and when they completed the work at home I signed it and sent it back for the teacher. (One less book we'll need for homeschool, woo hoo!)

post #12 of 28

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdinaL View Post

What are your favorite Back to School supplies?  Include links and why you love it and let's make this a really great list!

DC's elementary school did a supply coop so all we had to do was give some money and then were done. I loved that!  She's entering middle school next year so has a more traditional list. Plus uniforms. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by all the shopping and "stuff".  

 

For lunch my favorite find was these little plastic containers. I think they were called "snack size" and they're small, deep rectangle boxes that hold a sandwich cut in half or a perfect serving size of fruit or salty snack. I think they may be discontinued...  irked.gif orngtongue.gif

 

DC has had her middle school backpack picked out for like two years. It's all spikey and adorable AND her aunt bought it for her at our favorite and local toy store. 

 

As for uniforms and other supplies... 

 

I'm doing some from Old Navy and a lot of the supplies came from the dollar store or Target. I'm conflicted about buying so much new stuff from crappy stores but I'm also a bit disillusioned by some of our "buy local" options in our city because the locally owned store rarely buys local themselves. Sigh... My alternative is usually to buy second hand but that's not possible for things like a glue stick. ;-)  And, my DC is rebelling a little against second hand clothes. I want to be respectful about her values for that. Also, she has some mild sensory things (I guess you'd call it?) and really needs clothing to fit well. Having 7 pairs of the same.exact outfits that fit and are comfortable will go a long way to help move the morning along. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post

Anyone come across any great college shoulder bags? My daughter is starting this year and is not keen on a backpack. I'd like to get her something nice but really functional too. She'll carry her Macbook in it as well so must have a laptop area. 

 

I second the recommendation for the LL Bean bags, Cynthia. They have a lot of nice designs. Then, of course, there are all sorts of higher-end bags for college students. Though, it may be that she ends up just using a big purse or tote. In that case, you could have all kinds of fun looking for a bag. ;-) 

post #13 of 28

Wow I wish we could afford 7 pairs of the exact same outfit! Our school does Dennis uniforms and they are pricey, especially for more than one child.

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic Mama View Post

Wow I wish we could afford 7 pairs of the exact same outfit! Our school does Dennis uniforms and they are pricey, especially for more than one child.

I imagine that our district is responding to financial issues when deciding on uniforms. They do general guidelines like "Blue polo/khaki bottoms" so a thrifty family can outfit a kid for over two weeks for about a hundred dollars with all NEW clothes.  Second hand, a family could find a week's worth of uniforms for $20, and I am also sure that schools offer assistance to families who need help. Our elementary did a uniform swap, which was wonderful!   

 

ETA: Plus, I can't imagine that budget/ethics issues would allow a public school district to contract with a specific uniform supply shop. At least I would hope. ;-)  

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

I imagine that our district is responding to financial issues when deciding on uniforms. They do general guidelines like "Blue polo/khaki bottoms" so a thrifty family can outfit a kid for over two weeks for about a hundred dollars with all NEW clothes.  Second hand, a family could find a week's worth of uniforms for $20, and I am also sure that schools offer assistance to families who need help. Our elementary did a uniform swap, which was wonderful!   

 

ETA: Plus, I can't imagine that budget/ethics issues would allow a public school district to contract with a specific uniform supply shop. At least I would hope. ;-)  

That sounds nice. Mine went (and might go) to a private school though, so it's a bit different.

 

In addition to the homework books (composition books), last year my then-kindergartener and second grader needed photo boxes. My daughter told me that they used them for crayons, colored pencils, and scissors.

post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

 We did decide you need to pay the extra dollar for brand name glue sticks.  The off brands are worthless. 

They really are - why is that??? We have several off bran ones and they just don't work.  Which have you found to be the best? Even the Elmer's we have are slightly unreliable.

post #17 of 28

Elmer's is the best we've found so far, though I admit we haven't done a lot of searching for alternatives. lol.gif  Mostly it's good enough.  I think it might be the limitations of glue sticks, generally.  But I do like the ones that go on purple...

 

What did we do before glue sticks?  We used glue, which was ridiculously messy, but once it dried it worked.  Aaannnd you can rub a dollop all over your palms and have fun peeling it off. (Tell me I'm not the only one who did that??)

post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

Elmer's is the best we've found so far, though I admit we haven't done a lot of searching for alternatives. lol.gif  Mostly it's good enough.  I think it might be the limitations of glue sticks, generally.  But I do like the ones that go on purple...

 

What did we do before glue sticks?  We used glue, which was ridiculously messy, but once it dried it worked.  Aaannnd you can rub a dollop all over your palms and have fun peeling it off. (Tell me I'm not the only one who did that??)

Totally not the only one. lol.gif  

 

I like the purple ones...though they seem to have a shorter shelf life than the regular elmer's ones.  I had a "scrapbooking" one that was awesome, but can't remember the brand.

 

Okay, any recommendations for lunch containers? Not bags, but thermos type things?

post #19 of 28

Well, there are these, and they're ridiculously cute and clever. Scroll through the hundred or so pictures of lunch ideas. 

 

http://www.laptoplunches.com/

 

I'm pretty sure I learned about these from someone here at MDC

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdinaL View Post

Totally not the only one. lol.gif  

 

I like the purple ones...though they seem to have a shorter shelf life than the regular elmer's ones.  I had a "scrapbooking" one that was awesome, but can't remember the brand.

 

Okay, any recommendations for lunch containers? Not bags, but thermos type things?

 Rubber cement was my favorite! You could make rubber balls out of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

Well, there are these, and they're ridiculously cute and clever. Scroll through the hundred or so pictures of lunch ideas. 

 

http://www.laptoplunches.com/

 

I'm pretty sure I learned about these from someone here at MDC

I love those Laptop Lunches! Mine work great!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at School
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Let's make a Back To School supply list!