Must-Have Back-to-School Essentials You Won't Find on the Class Supply List

It’s that time of year again that most kids dread and most parents look forward to – back to school. The school supply lists come out; the stores are filled with everything students could possibly need to kick off a new school year. 

You’ve probably already stocked up on the pencils, markers, folders, notebooks, and all the other supplies on your kids’ lists, but we’ve compiled a different sort of list. Here are a few things you won’t find on any school-supply list: all the things that will make back-to-school easier, healthier, and more fun for both you and your kids.


Things to make back-to-school easier 

  • Dry erase calendar - school starting again means band concerts, school projects, practices and games, doctors appointments, and managing the daily life of a household of people. A good dry-erase calendar prominently displayed keeps the family on the same page, so to speak, as to where everyone needs to be at what time and what is coming up.
  • Similarly, a dry-erase board is handy to have at home for younger learners to practice writing, drawing, and math because they can easily write and wipe clean over and over again, mess-free.
  • For older kids (grades 5 and up), a good student planner can help your student remember homework assignments and project due dates and keep their own schedule organized. And for a lot of people, the act of physically putting pen to paper and writing something down helps commit it to memory better than typing it.
  • A pair of noise-canceling earbuds like these Bose QuietComfort earbuds for undisturbed study sessions anywhere.  
  • Fabric markers to label hats, mittens, boots, jackets, sweatshirts…all those things that usually end up in lost-and-found towards the end of the year. 

Things to make back-to-school healthier

  • Bento box lunch boxes - think your old metal or plastic lunchbox (minus the cool GI Joe or Rainbow Brite graphics) with dividers inside. Pack these little compartments with stuff like carrot sticks and apple slices and turkey and cheese slices, and a handful of almonds as a deviation from the traditional PB&J and chips. Or get more adventurous…the little compartments keep everything tucked in and separated.
  • Their own reusable water bottle. Since the pandemic, most kids have been bringing their own water bottles to school, but it never hurts to add a new one to the rotation. Check your current water bottles to ensure the spouts and straws are in good shape. If they’re chewed on and looking rough, get a replacement top or a new bottle.
  • Things you can’t buy, like a good diet, proper hand-washing, and healthy sleep habits, will do the most in keeping your kiddo healthy. Have healthy snacks on hand like fruits, veggies, cheese sticks, nuts, and whole wheat crackers. Make sure they’re getting enough sleep for their age, and limit screen time.

Things to make going back to school more fun

  • This cute kitty Post-It note holder will be a cheerful addition to their home workspace or locker and keep them organized at the same time. 
  • Keep their locker organized and aesthetic with this locker organizer combo. It has a shelf, mirror, magnetic cup to hold pens, markers, and other accessories, a marble-look whiteboard, dry-erase marker, and six magnets for notes and pictures.
  • Protect their ever-important charging cords with these cute cable bites - they come in all sorts of different animals and protect the end of the charging cord from excessive bending that can lead to fraying and breaking. We love the red panda, but there are plenty of critters to choose from. 
  • Their own alarm clock - waking up is never fun, but it could be a little more awesome with this cool dinosaur alarm clock with eight different alarm songs and a face that lights up.
  • A sensory band - this Sensy Band is the silent fidget that gives kids something to do with their hands so their minds can focus. It’s soft and silent, and when not being worn, it can bend and flex.


Armed with these off-list must-have essentials, you and your child will be ready for their best school year yet.

Bonus picks from our social team: 


Girl smiling at deskschool supplies for little kidsSchool supplies for big kids School supplies for moms 




  • A little @camelback water bottle in fun colors
  • Never get backpacks mixed up with a customized bag from @crateandbarrel
  • Make lunch fun and organized with a @bentgolunch lunch box
  • Help little kids get up in time with a playful alarm clock from @walmart
  • Keep hands germ-free with a cute and portable hand sanitizer from @bathandbodyworks
  • Teens can use a @checkablehealth melatonin gummy to get a good night's sleep
  • Never forget an assignment with a colorful planner from @papieruk
  • Study anywhere with these noise-canceling headphones from @beatsbydre
  • Moms can use this @potterybarn dry-erase calendar to keep on top of kids' activities
  • Stress less this year with the @checkablehealth ashwagandha supplement
  • Meal planning for the family is a breeze with a subscription to @hellofreshus
  • Use the @getwelly first aid kit for any bumps and bruises during kids' activities