The Ultimate Back-to-School Checklist

As summer comes to a close, parents, teachers, and students alike are preparing to go back to school, whether in person, virtually or a hybrid of both. As a parent, back-to-school in whatever form means more than buying all the right supplies. It’s also about making sure your child feels ready and confident to have a successful school year.

Avoid last-minute stress by preparing for school now. This ultimate back-to-school checklist will help you complete all your must-do tasks, so you and your child start the new school year off right.

Start Getting Your Child Used to the School Routine Before School Begins

Whether your child enjoys school or wishes summer would last forever, most kids don’t want to return to their typical school routines. Fortunately, you can ease your child into their new routine early, so they’re back on a school schedule by the first day.

1. Start adjusting your child’s sleep schedule

Summer is for late nights and sleeping in for most kids. This schedule doesn’t work well for school, though. Start getting your child adjusted to a sleep routine that fits their school schedule. A few days before school starts, have your child go to bed and wake up at the times you typically set during the school year.

2. Create a morning routine

No one enjoys frantically rushing about in the morning, so create a morning routine ahead of time that helps reduce the madness. Review the routine with the whole family, so they know what they need to do each morning. Then post the schedule in a high traffic area (like on the fridge) so everyone sees it.

3. Make a to-do list for the night before

Even well-planned mornings can go sideways unexpectedly. Make mornings easier by doing as much as you can the night before, such as packing backpacks or prepping lunches. Go over the list with your family and post it for easy reference.

Use This Checklist to Get Your Back-to-School Shopping Done Stress-free

Back-to-school prepping and shopping can be fun, but also overwhelming. We’ve got you covered! This back-to-school checklist will ensure your child is ready on the first day of school.

1. Be ready to label everything

Kids lose stuff—frequently. Fortunately, labeling all their items will increase the chance that they find the lost item (or items), so you don’t have to buy another. You can use a permanent marker on some items like clothing and backpacks.

Another option is to buy all-purpose waterproof labels. These labels work on everything, including:

  • Water bottles
  • Lunch boxes
  • Backpacks
  • Jackets

2. Shop for everyday essential back-to-school supplies

Most schools provide a specific list of everyday supplies that each student needs based on their grade level. Check your school’s website or contact them for a list.

However, it helps to have some of these essential supplies at home for completing homework or if some schooling is taking place at home. Here are some everyday school supplies you’ll want to have on hand:

  • Pre-sharpened number two pencils
  • Erasers
  • Ruler and a protractor for late elementary and older grades
  • Several one-subject spiral notebooks, either wide-ruled or college-ruled
  • Set of markers
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Crayons for younger children and highlighters for older children

3. Shop for back-to-school gear

Many kids look forward to shopping for these back-to-school items since they can select gear that reflects their personality and interests. Letting your child help pick out what they want can get them excited about starting the school year.

  • Backpacks: Look for ones with a dedicated water bottle holder, so items don’t get wet if it leaks. Also, select one that has a padded internal area to hold a laptop or electronic device if they use one.
  • Lunchbox: A lunchbox helps keep food fresh and safe. Look for a lunchbox that makes it easy to add an icepack. Some also have a handy zippered exterior pocket for storing a napkin and utensils.
  • Reusable food storage containers: Food containers are perfect for snacks or for lunches. There are many styles of reusable and BPA-free food containers to choose from, like sets with different sizes or an all-in-one style container that uses dividers.
  • Reusable water bottle: Look for a water bottle that is spill-proof and easy for your child to open and refill on their own. Ideally, find a water bottle that minimizes how much they need to touch the part they drink from to reduce the spreading of germs. 

4. Shop for back-to-school tech gear

Even elementary-aged children as young as kindergarten are using electronic devices for school. Here are a few things to consider when looking at back-to-school tech:

  • Kid’s headphones: Whether at home or at school, kids often need to use headphones. Look for ones that limit the volume, so your child doesn’t have the sound too loud. If your child takes them to and from school, consider headphones that fold up, making them easy to tuck into a backpack.
  • Phone case: Whether your child brings a phone to school or only uses theirs at home, now’s a great time to make sure their phone case is in good condition.
  • Laptop: With more kids using laptops for studying, your child may need their own computer. Many students use web-based devices which allow them to access the programs and apps they need to complete their work. Older students or those who participate in activities like advanced coding may require a more multi-purpose laptop.
  • Protection plan for your child’s new technology: If you bought your child a laptop or new phone, consider purchasing a protection plan. Even when they use their devices carefully, accidents and problems can happen. A protection plan will help you solve problems and accidents efficiently, so your child is back to learning in no time.

Let us know your back-to-school checklist items in the comments below!