Back-to-School Gear Recs — for Elementary Students to High Schoolers

 

And just like that, summer break is over — for us, anyway.  My kids headed back to school today, the first day of high school for one of them, and the last first day — senior year –for the other.  (No, I’m not crying, I just have something in my eye.) Whenever your kids are starting and whatever milestones they’re hitting as they begin the new school year, they’re going to need to gear up for it.  So, I’ve rounded up some items that might come in handy, both for the students and us parents. Some of these have been mentioned before, but others are new recommendations…and now they’re all in once place. Happy BTS!

 

Backpack
Just recommended by Wirecutter (and mentioned by me) as the best, this backpack is the one my kids used all through elementary school, and it served them very well, especially for the price. Here’s another style to check out. And this is the best one for teens, according to my teen daughter.

 

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Lunchbox
Another one I just mentioned, when I recommended this bento box-style lunchbox (another option).  Of course, a more traditional style works, too, especially one that’s insulated. And something basic like this is what my teens would carry (solid colors only for them) when they don’t do outside lunch.

 

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Reusable Sandwich Bags
Packing lunches can create so much waste, but not if you use reusable sandwich bags. The linked set includes both sandwich and snack-sized silicon pouches as well as larger gallon freezer bags (so you can save leftovers and pack them for lunch).

 

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Thermos
Having a thermos like this opens up the lunch possibilities because you can send hot meals like pasta, mac-n-cheese, noodle soup, fried rice, even chicken tikka masala (Trader Joe’s has a frozen one that just takes a few minutes to microwave). This one comes with a foldable spoon that nestles right into the lid.

 

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Water Bottle
Whether to stay hydrated during the day, for a drink at lunch, or to use for after school sports, a water bottle comes in handy for so many reasons. And back-to-school is a prfect time to pick out new ones. These bottles come in both solid colors and pictures that little kids will like. This one is trendy with the teens. We recently bought a few of these and really like them.

 

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Pencil Case
They’re great for pencils, but a pencil case is also handy as a catch-all for the little school supplies odds and ends or other random things kids seems to acquire throughout the day or insist on bringing to school.  This one is as basic as they come, or kids might like something fun like this. The t(w)een set might like one with more pockets, a trendy brand like this (that also makes a great BTS gift), or something more camp-style like this.

 

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Alarm Clock
Just bought this alarm clock that simulates the natural sunrise for our senior to help him wake up for school. Echo Dots are also great for their many features. This one is particularly cute for younger kids.

 

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Hoodies/Sweatshirs
Kids love their hoodies (mine do, anyway), and I always recommend they keep one in their locker or backpack in case it gets cold in school. They also just seem to be part of the BTS shopping repertoire. Adidas has a bunch for kids of all ages. Owen really likes these sweatshirts (and you can’t beat the price). Sash prefers a zip-up like this. And there are tons of options for younger kids here and here.

 

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Clothes
I just mentioned this sale a couple of weeks ago on trendy teen pants and jeans (guys here). You can find lots of cute styles for younger kids here and here. And this brand is always great for easy, comfortable basics for little kids — including uniforms.

 

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Cool Kicks
Shoes may just be the most important part of my kids’ ‘fits. Both of them have these popular sneakers. And according to them, this 90s style is back in, too. New Balance seems to be everywhere. Also, Crocs and Birks — with socks.

 

What kinds of gear are you adding to your back-to-school shopping list?

 

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