Essential School Supplies Every Student Needs

With the start of the new school year just a few short weeks away, many families are on the hunt for school supplies. While specific supplies may differ from class to class and teacher to teacher, there are several essentials that every student needs. Because supplies are far cheaper during the back to school season than any other time of the year, now is the time to stock up on these school-time essentials.

  • Pencils and erasers: Classic yellow No. 2 pencils never go out of style; if you end up buying too many, you can always save the extras for the following year. Older students often prefer the ease of mechanical pencils, but make sure to buy enough loose lead sticks to last all year. Equally important are extra erasers, as many pencil erasers break off or are used up long before the pencils wear out.
  • Crayons, markers, and colored pencils: While these art supplies are standard for elementary students, middle school and high school aged kids may need them as well. Art supplies can be used to color in charts and graphs, as well as add visual interest to poster or presentation boards.
  • Hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes: Schools are a veritable breeding ground for bacteria; to keep your child - and the rest of your family - healthy, invest in hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes at the beginning of the year. Not only will the teachers be thankful to have these supplies for their classroom, keep an eye out for smaller, individual packs that can go in a backpack or purse.
  • Folders: For older students, having one folder per class is often the best way to keep papers, homework, and assignments for each subject organized. Elementary students may also use folders for homework, notes, or as a way to store work throughout the year. With seemingly unlimited choices in colors and styles, your child can find folders that help their personality shine through.
  • Backpack: The most important - and often most difficult to pick out - item on many student’s back to school shopping lists is a backpack. While it may be tempting to grab the first one with their favorite color or character, make sure the backpack is sized appropriately, fits comfortably, and is large enough to hold several books and notebooks. Reinforced straps and bottoms are extra features that can help ensure the backpack can last until the last day of school.
  • Other essentials: Pencil sharpener, black, blue, or red ink pens, spiral bound notebooks, composition notebooks, loose leaf notebook paper, ruler, calculator, pencil case, hole punch, three ring binder, index cards, highlighters, construction paper, glue sticks, white glue, scissors, and planners.

Because required materials vary from class to class, it is best to check with your child’s individual teachers for a complete list of supplies before shopping. However, this general guide can help you when shopping for school supplies.