Having your children around all summer can be a ton of fun, but they can run you ragged! And on top of everything else you have to do these next few weeks, you need to shop for school supplies and clothes. A few general guidelines to get you started for Back-to-School Prep:
Have the kids try on all their school-appropriate clothes so that you can do an inventory. You’ve been with them day in and day out all summer, so it may not look like they’ve grown, but they could have shot up inches since June, thereby requiring more clothes than you were anticipating. Unless you’re constantly doing laundry–or they attend a school that requires a uniform- it’s good to have a week’s worth of outfits on hand, plus a couple pairs of shoes and sneakers. If you live in a cooler climate, add at least a few sweaters and hoodies. Once you know what they have, make a list of what they need and go from there.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to shop early because different schools, grades and teachers have different requirements. Some schools do have a general list that applies to all grades, and if you’re itching to get shopping, you can start there. Check the school’s website for grade-specific lists, keeping in mind that your child’s teacher may have other requests before school begins. For grades K and above, you can usually rely on the list including lots of #2 pencils, blue or black pens, a few folders with pockets, and erasers and highlighters. If you see these items deeply discounted, grab them.
Regardless of age, kids all need a backpack or tote of some kind. If a good laundering can’t save last year’s bag, consider spending a little more this year for one with a lifetime warranty, like those at Land’s End, Under Armour, Jansport or LL Bean. Unless you’re springing for school lunch, your children will also need an insulated lunch box and accessories like sectioned containers, one or two thermoses, water bottles, ice packs and plastic utensils. And don’t forget to stock up on Tickle Water for a refreshing lunchtime beverage!