The Ultimate List of Back to School Must Haves

Aug 07, 2017

Sometime around mid-summer, stores begin to transform their seasonal section into back-to-school, stacking reams of notebook paper, cases of glue sticks and boxes brimming with number two pencils. This retail reminder seems to get earlier each year, often beating the receipt of official back to school supply lists by over a month. But what about all of the back to school must haves that aren’t on the school supply list? Not to worry, we’ve prepared the ultimate list of back to school must haves, featuring all of the fun items your child’s supply list is missing.

School Lunch Must Haves

The environment is not the only reason to use reusable and sustainable food packaging, you also save money and never have to worry about being caught without a sandwich baggie. Here are a few of my favorites:

Sandwich and Snacks

Reusable sandwich and snack bags have been a household staple since my son began eating finger foods, and these days consumers have a variety of options to choose from. When they get soiled, you need only wipe out for reuse, or throw in the wash with your kitchen linens for a quick clean.

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Water bottle and thermos

Instead of juice boxes, which create a lot of unnecessary waste, I send my kiddo to school with an insulated, stainless steel water bottle. I like to switch things up in the winter months, so I also have an insulated thermos to pack hot soups.

Napkins

I’ve used cloth napkins in my home for many years, so I love kid-friendly Funkins napkins in bold prints and little hand sizes. Handmade in the USA from 100% cotton, Funkins cloth napkins are machine washable and incredibly absorbent; for your super messy eater, grab one of their 2-ply cloth napkins and use it as a placemat. Not only do Funkins cloth napkins help cut down on paper waste, their colorful and whimsical prints are a great way to brighten your kiddo’s day!

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Cool pack

If small cool packs existed when I was in school, I was completely unaware. I remember times when the cheese had pretty much dissolved into my bread after being stuffed in my locker for half the day. Today’s kids are lucky enough to have tiny, lunchbox-sized cool packs, perfect for keeping meat, cheese and produce chilled until lunchtime.

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I like these funky, reusable, biodegradable and non-toxic cool packs from Bentology, available in an array of fun prints and bright colors.

Lunch Container

Ditch boring paper bags and invest in a lunch box with a little personality. From bento boxes to insulated lunch packs, you can pick from an endless array of options to find the best box for your child’s food preferences.
I’m partial to the Classic lunch bag from Pottery Barn, with an interior made of PEVA, an interior mesh pocket that’s perfect for holding cool packs or napkins and utensils, and a mesh bottle holder on the outside. I also have a bento box insert, perfect for finger food days.

Cool School Supplies

Depending on your child’s age, your school supply list may be detailed and specific. But if you have some choice in the supplies, these are a few of my favorites.

Notebook

If you have the option of using a binder with loose leaf paper, or a bound notebook, recycled paper products are the way to go. But, my friends, I have something even better: Rocketbook Wave.

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Our kids are digital creatures, so it makes sense that they would want to digitize their notes, right? I’m actually a Rocketbook user, which to me, is the perfect blend of tech (I still use a paper planner). With Rocketbook, users jot notes just as they would with a regular notebook, and then use their smartphone to scan and send those notes to organized cloud storage. The best part is that, when used with Pilot Frixion pens, you can simply pop your notebook into the microwave to erase all notes and reuse (it really is magical).

Tech Protection

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Many schools now require students to have laptops or tablets, which are expensive tools to replace. Laptop sleeves are perfect for providing insulated protection without the bulk, and there are many options for protective tablet cases. One of my favorites (and soon to be yours) is Rug-Ed, which provides unparalleled protection for my son’s iPad.

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While my son has primarily used his iPad while at home, his school uses iPads in their curriculum, so he’ll now be taking it with him each day. With a young kiddo, I’ll feel more confident knowing that my son’s iPad is being protected in a Rug-Ed ProLOCK case.

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Rug-Ed ProLOCK’s bumper corners absorb the shock of a fall, as well as providing increased surface area for grip. A tempered glass screen protector provides scratch and shatter protection, and the locking system keeps your iPad securely in place; should the case malfunction, Rug-Ed will repair any damage done to your tablet. Designed to fit your specific model, Rug-Ed cases allow you to easily access any of the buttons or ports, and features a removable stand with two settings, perfect for viewing videos or typing emails. Rug-Ed’s reputation precedes them, with school districts across the country already using ProLOCK cases. Do yourself a favor and ditch the insurance plan, instead, invest in Rug-Ed protection!

From reusable foodware to ironclad tech protection, we’ve thought of those things that aren’t on the school-issued supply list, but are just as important, including Net Nanny. Back-to-school shopping can be tedious and uninspired, but we hope that this list of back to school must haves gets you excited and ready to take on the new school year!