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Back to School Checklist to Get Students Excited for the Classroom

Credit: iStock

Reinette LeJeune

It’s that time of year again, as parents gear up their children to return to school. With the first bell’s ringing right around the corner, this back-to-school checklist is full of things kids pre-K to 12 will need this year:


For those younger kids that want to carry their books, supplies, and lunch in style, 7AM features a mini backpack, big enough to accommodate snacks and a tablet. The larger mid-size backpack accommodates school supplies, a lunch tote, toys and more, making it a bag kids can grow into. Both are water-repellant and come in a variety of colors and designs, including wings, bows and soft dinosaur spikes. 

For middle schoolers and teens, perhaps  North Face Women’s Jester and Adidas Iconic 3 Stripe backpacks are more desirable, each being a bit more rugged and spacious with features like a laptop sleeve plus multiple pockets for school tools and devices. Both of the latter bags are available at Macy’s. 7AM bags, $45-$65 each. Macy’s bags, $69 – $70.

Insulated Tumblers

Seal up, carry out, drink up! Enjoy a favorite drink to-go in a detailed, made-to-order map of your hometown (or favorite place) in an insulated pint tumbler by Well Told – you can even customize text that can be added to the side for an extra personal touch. The tumbler is ideal for kids year-round and makes a great gift for teachers too. $34.95.

Lunch Boxes/Bags

As essential as it is a staple, parents who prefer to pack lunch for their teens will appreciate a stainless-steel Bentgo lunch box. Designed with durability, this essential lunch container features an airtight lid and leak-proof silicone seal to keep contents in place instead of having to pick up remnants from a book bag. The box is also odor resistant as well as dishwasher and freezer safe. $29.99.

Or perhaps you prefer the more rustic brown-bagging of lunch, which has a new look with water-resistant, reusable paper lunch bags from Out of the Woods. Shaped like a brown bag with the addition of a top carry handle and buckle, this sustainable bag features washable paper with a thick insulated lining to keep food fresh. Though the bag may resemble leather, it’s in fact completely vegan and washable too! Or perhaps you kiddo would like the adorably stylish lunch bag featuring “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle? Or maybe a citrus-themed lunch bag instead? Both are available at Funkins. Out of the Woods lunch bag, $30. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” bags, $22.95-$32.95.


Start the school year prepared to work with a bevy of equipment from Apple which offers MacBooks, iMacs, iPhones and much more. Whether it’s for reading, researching, writing papers, FaceTiming classmates and teachers, learning how to code and design with special educational programs – Apple is a great tool for the job.  Prices vary.

Keep a MacBook Pro 14″ or 16″ protected with a lightweight and form-fitting hardshell case by Incase. Decorated with dots, the sleek and durable design protects laptops from normal wear like scratches, while featuring rubberized feet and easy access to ports. $54.95.

Fashionable Attire

In between learning and studying, kids want to look cute too. Enter the Lilies & Roses NY popcorn headband, available at Just Shoes for Kids which features a box of sparkly-looking popcorn on the side. Or kids can opt for the sweeter side with glittery ice cream cone headbands. Also available are sneakers – like the white high-tops with dozens of designs by Old Soles. Headband, $22; sneakers, $80.

Crayons/Color Pencils

A classic, Crayola offers a wide range of writing instruments kids will love and parents will appreciate. Washable crayons and markers make note taking, art class and doodle time a colorful and clean affair since any extra “artwork” on clothes can be machine-washed away. They also provide an assortment of color pencils along with new products like neon light effects markers and comic book character-themed coloring books for teens. Prices vary.