Back-to-School Essentials

By Katy Cirrone, Wakefield Macaroni Kid Publisher August 25, 2023

As your kids get older, you’ll find yourself shopping with a specific supply list provided by a teacher. However, there are a handful of staples that are good to buy year-over-year. Here are my top picks for back-to-school essentials, many of which I’ve purchased multiple times and/or for multiple kids.

Backpack - The L.L. Bean Junior Original Book Pack has been our favorite from the start of daycare through almost age 4. If you have older kids, they have a bigger option as well. 

Lunch Box - This Bentgo lunch box comes in lots of fun prints. It fits a Bentgo Box, snacks, and a water bottle on the side.

Bentgo Box - I’ve been liking this option with the built-in ice pack layer so you don’t have to buy them separately. But if you go with the more traditional style, these thin ice packs are good options that come in several different shapes (we have mermaid!).

Water Bottle - We’ve always liked these flip top Contigo water bottles, but during warmer weather months we go with these, which are aluminum.

Sneakers - I buy the same “school sneakers” for my daughter in a different colorway every season and size. You can’t beat the Nike MD Valiants, available in toddler and kid sizes.

Fleece Jacket - We walk to school, so these are a must for fall, but they’d also come in handy as something to have in your little one’s cubby at school for chillier temps. We love the Patagonia Micro D Fleece as both a lightweight jacket and sweatshirt.

Pencil Case - Not a must-have, but these iridescent pencil cases I found at Target are perfect for crayons, markers, or really anything your kiddos find themselves transporting around. I love that you can see what’s inside them.