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High-quality back-to-school items can help your child stay organized, accomplish their goals, and enjoy their time in the classroom. Our team has compiled a list of the best back-to-school items available online, so your student can be fully prepared for this school season—whether they’re headed back to grade school or off to college.
Here are our top picks
Other Things to Consider When Back-to-School Shopping
When shopping for your child’s back-to-school items before the first day of school, you can get overwhelmed by the number of choices available. Using these factors will help you focus on finding the best quality products that your kids will use every day.
Back-to-school products should be easy for kids to carry around. Items should be small enough to fit inside a standard backpack without weighing it down too much while also fitting into their workspace.
For products like notebooks, folders, planners, and calendars, ensure they aren’t too wide for your child’s backpack and won’t fly open while in transit.
For smaller items like pens, pencils, and crayons, focus on products with protective cases that are easy to store and will keep them in place.
Ease of Use
Although you won’t be there to help them, you can make sure all of your kids’ back-to-school products are easy enough for them to use on their own. Avoid complicated gadgets unless they are necessary, and take time to review each item with your child beforehand to ensure they know how to use it properly.
Most back-to-school products bought in the summer will likely have undergone serious wear and tear by the end of the school year. To avoid having to restock with new supplies mid-year, purchase products made with durable materials.
For backpacks and other bags, this can mean looking for stitching that won’t come apart and zippers that won’t get stuck or fall off.
For products such as water bottles or lunch boxes, look for products made with sturdy materials like metal or hard plastic that can withstand a few drops.
Most Common Back-to-School Products
While the complete list may differ for every child depending on their school, age, and interests, some items are needed for every back-to-school situation. No matter if they’re heading to pre-K, elementary school, middle school, or high school, here is a school checklist you can use as you prepare to drop off your kids back at the classroom.
- Binders and folders
- Calculator (normal, scientific, or graphing)
- Hand sanitizer
- Index cards and sticky notes
- Lunch box
- Markers, colored pencils, and crayons
- Notebooks or composition books
- Pens, pencils, and erasers
- Tape and glue sticks
- Weekly planner or calendar
Frequently Asked Questions About Going Back to School
What should you do before going back to school?
Before going back to school, you should make a complete list with your child of what you need to buy before you start shopping. Then, make sure you’re giving yourself ample time to shop around to find the best deals. You should also leave time for returning online items if they aren’t what you were looking for.
How do I make it easier to go back to school?
To make it easier to go back to school, make sure you are prepared with every item you need on your shopping list. In addition to the list above of essential back-to-school products, read notes or emails from your teachers closely, as they may require specific products, textbooks, or other items for their class.
Do you need to bring a backpack to school?
While you don’t always need a backpack, keeping all your items in a drawstring bag, briefcase, or tote may be difficult. If your child finds their backpack too heavy, you can try to remove unnecessary items or give them a smaller bag in addition to their backpack that they can store in their locker or cubby.
How We Selected the Best Back-to-School Products
To provide our readers with the best recommendations possible, we rely on several key sources of information to help guide our selection process.
Initial Research: Our research process began by generating a list of back-to-school supplies with a significant number of verified-buyer reviews and an average customer review rating of 4–5 stars. We looked at positive and negative reviews alike, focusing on information from both satisfied and critical buyers.
Expert Insights: Through our years of experience, we’ve learned that listening to what others have to say is key to building accurate, well-rounded articles. To complement our in-house expertise, our team looked at reviews and videos from trusted publications and independent testers, spoke with subject matter experts, and drew insights from reader contributions.
Final Product Selection: We then began fine-tuning our list by replacing older models with the latest versions and eliminating any discontinued models. From there, we pared the list down further by comparing each model’s feature set and selecting the best-in-class options for various buyers, budgets, and scenarios.
Why You Can Trust Us
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Our team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content. To date, we’ve published over 1,600 reviews on products in the home space, from doorbell cameras and backyard fencing to pool vacuums and snow blowers.
Once we conclude our research, we craft a comprehensive, user-friendly article of recommended products and additional information to help our readers make the right purchase.
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