Category Archives: Schools

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!


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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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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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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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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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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Filed under 2023, Schools, Shop

Learn About Silver Oaks Cooperative School at a Virtual Open House

Click the image for more info or RSVP to!


This post is paid for by Silver Oaks Cooperative School, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2022, Gradeschoolers, Maryland, School Event, Schools

Bright Horizons: Early Education & Preschool That’s More Than Daycare (+ Giveaway!)


At Bright Horizons®, your child will be safe, well cared for, and supported by professional trained teachers who love what they do. Bright Horizons’ curriculum is age appropriate and custom designed to encourage curious, happy, and confident children at every age and stage.

Through Bright Horizons Smithsonian Discoveries, children will have the opportunity to participate in a series of project challenges: Collections, Music and Sound, Buildings and Construction, Self-Identity, and Patterns. Each project challenge begins with children engaging with artifact images from the Smithsonian®, offering additional learning opportunities as teachers observe and reflect on children’s interests and ideas.

Children see patterns all around them — in their homes, schools, and more — and they start recognizing and associating them with thoughts, feelings, and memories at a very young age. Hands-on exploration gives children the opportunity to design and create their own patterns; it helps them make sense of what they see in their communities and the world around them; and it helps them understand why patterns are important.

To learn more about Bright Horizons and their early childhood education programs, visit their website and find a Bright Horizons center near you.  And  be sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a set of Magna-Tiles!

Giveaway: For a chance to win a classic set of Magna-Tiles (value $50) — the original 3D magnetic building sets for ages 3+ that engage young minds by fusing together math, science, and creativity — simply leave a comment below naming your child’s favorite toy or game.  This giveaway will run through Friday, October 21, 2022, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


This post and giveaway are sponsored by Bright Horizons, however, I only promote places, programs, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


Filed under 2022, Babies, Child Care, Daycare, DC, Fall, Maryland, Preschoolers, Schools, Toddlers, Virginia

Acton Montessori Preschool/Kindergarten Open House


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This post is paid for by Acton Academy of Washington, DC, however, I only promote programs and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2022, DC, Preschoolers, Schools

Preschool & Kindergarten Open House Events at Washington Waldorf School


This post is paid for by the Washington Waldorf School, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2022, Maryland, Preschoolers, Schools, Summer