The start of the school year can be both an exciting and stressful time. From shopping for supplies to filling out forms, there’s a lot for parents to accomplish before school is back in session. To avoid first-day mayhem, you’ll want to do a little homework too. That’s why we created editable back to school checklists to help you and your child hit the ground running.
To use our interactive checklist, simply find the list of school supplies for your child’s education level and delete, edit, or add any items. Then, take a look at our planning checklist to get organized during the months leading up to the first day. You can also check below to download our comprehensive checklists for every grade and put them on your fridge for easy reference.
After you’ve determined your back to school preparation plan, make your child’s first day extra special with a back to school gift. School years pass by quickly, so remember to enjoy this experience with your child. Before you know it, you’ll be sending college care packages and organizing their graduation party!
Kindergarten students will learn about words, numbers, shapes, and social skills and connect these concepts to their everyday lives. They will need some creative supplies to get their brains thinking and playing.
No. 2 pencils
Assorted multi-color construction paper
Pack of tissues
Lunch bag or box
Hooded waterproof jacket (for rainy days)
As your child moves through grade school, they will develop more complex skills in math, science, social studies and technology while completing more hands-on assignments. They will need a mix of writing and art supplies.
Wide-ruled notebook or paper
Packs of tissue
Middle & High
Middle and high schoolers will have less hands-on, crafty assignments and more writing and research-based homework. Look for school supplies that will help them stay organized and tools that will assist with calculations, research, homework, and tests.
Planner and calendar
No. 2 pencils
Highlighters in different colors
Three or five subject binder
College-ruled paper or notebooks
Protractor and compass kit
Reusable water bottle
It’s the moment your kids are turning into adults. They’ll need supplies that will help them keep up their studies and prepare them for living on their own.
Three or five subject notebook
Highlighters in different colors
Printer and printer paper
USB drive to save assignments
Air fresheners for dorm
Full-length mirror for dorm
Plastic storage bins to hold supplies
Back to SchoolPlanning Checklist
While preparing two months before school starts may sound a little silly, you’ll find that the school year will creep up on you before you know it. Use this back to school checklist as a guide to stay organized and to make things easy for you and your student as they start the new school year.
Two Months Before
Schedule doctor’s appointments. Make sure your child’s health records are up to date and make appointments for any physical exams (helpful for sports) and eye check-ups needed.
Sort through closets before shopping for clothes. You may find forgotten clothes that are still nice to wear, as well as clothes that you can donate to make room for new purchases.
Sign up for school activities. Remember to sign your kids up for any fall sports or after school enrichment programs before space fills up.
One Month Before
Purchase school supplies and clothes. Avoid the rush (and potential low stock) by shopping a month ahead of time for supplies. Keep receipts in case certain supplies aren’t needed or allowed by teachers.
Create a study area. Dedicate a clean, distraction-free space for your student to focus and do their work. Fill it with the plenty of snacks and supplies.
Set academic goals. Have a talk with your children about goals and priorities for the upcoming year to help them succeed. When should homework be completed? How much time do they get for TV?
One Week Before
Get a headstart on sleep. Slowly adjust your kids to a school night schedule. This will make the transition a lot easier and ensure they will get enough rest.
Do something fun before the first day. Go on a weekend trip or do a family activity to alleviate the new school year jitters.
Get haircuts. Keep your student looking fresh with a haircut a few days before the first day. This will give their hair time to grow in case the cut is too short.
Get a copy of your kid’s class schedule. It’ll make it easy to to not only know what your kids are doing, but also to ask them about specific parts of their day and express more interest.
Plan for meals. Put together a list of your child’s favorite foods and go grocery shopping for healthy snacks to mix in throughout the week. Get a copy of the cafeteria menu to see which days your child may want to eat food at school.
Create an organization station for belongings and forms. Dedicate a space for kids to place their backpacks and items, as well as a station for you to organize all school forms (you’ll have a lot to of them go through).
Lay out clothes. There’s nothing worse than wasting time in the morning not knowing what your child should wear. Pick out their clothes the night before to avoid stress and put together an outfit they will like.
Gather supplies. Pack their lunch and load up their backpack with all the necessary supplies. Put these items together so they won’t forget anything in the morning.
Set alarm clocks. The last thing you want to do is oversleep. Set your alarm ten minutes earlier to make sure your family is ahead of schedule.
Get your student excited for school with personalized school gear like binders, custom backpacks, lunch boxes, pencil cases, and more that showcase their personality. Personalizing their school supplies are a perfect way to make back-to-school essentials more fun, colorful, and special.
Staying organized and planning well in advance will help your child have a positive start to the new year. Although the first day is a major milestone, it is only the beginning. Be sure to check in on your child’s progress throughout those first few weeks. Don’t forget to have show appreciation to the teachers who also help your child in having a comfortable and enriching school year.