5 Supplies to Add to Your Back-to-School List —Just for Fun

August 28, 2019 Updated: March 19, 2020

Whether you’re homeschooling your children or getting ready to send them back to school, you’ve probably got a shopping list that you’re working through this time of year.

As you check off items such as pencils, folders, notebooks, and perhaps a new lunchbox or backpack, consider adding fun items that are not at all required but that will surprise and delight your children as they go back to school.

Stowaway Stuffy

For those who love their stuffed animals, and especially for any little ones who feel some trepidation about going to school, a small stuffed friend to accompany them on their school adventure may be just the extra comfort they need.

When my daughter was in kindergarten, even though we were told not to bring toys to school outside of show-and-tell, she headed in with a small stuffy stow-away each day. She knew she couldn’t take “him” out of her bag, but she delighted in the stories we told about how he was learning right alongside of her or how proud he was of her for kindness she showed her classmates. She’d peek in at him when she got her lunch or snack out of her bag. It was a joy and comfort to her as she navigated her first school experiences.

A choice like an adorable mouse from Aurora would do nicely. Unlike most stuffed animals, many of Aurora’s products are made outside of China.

Smile-inducing Notes

In their lunchbox, on the inside of their new folder, in their snack bag, or on any other item they’ll be using throughout the school day, leave funny or simply loving notes for your children to discover.

Post-It has some super fun shapes that shake things up and will make your kids smile for sure. Whether you choose their emoji notes or their various die-cut post-it shapes, discovering a note from Mom or Dad at school will let your child remember they are loved and being thought of.

Novelty Supplies

As you’re working through your supply list, you’ll want to stick to your budget and get quality items that will last. However, sometimes, the joy that comes from springing for the fruity-smelling markers instead of the regular ones, or the glittery folder instead of the plain one, trumps practical considerations. Allow your kids to choose one or two novelty items amid the back-to-school supply haul.

Celebratory Eats

As every parent knows, there are a lot of food considerations when it comes to back-to-school. You want to start the day with a healthy breakfast, pack a good lunch, pack a snack, have nice after-school snacks at the ready, and if they have after-school activities, they may need a snack for that, too. Oh, and somewhere along the way, the family will eat dinner. Did we eat this much when we were kids?

Each meal or snack is an opportunity to make it a celebration. Make the first week of school fun by starting off with a pancake breakfast, or having a cake for after school. Not healthy enough? Special treats like shrimp cocktail, crudités, fancy cheeses, or finishing the week at a restaurant are also fun ways to up the ante on meals and snacks.

New Books

If you ask me, every new season is a reason for books. Choose fall-centered or school-themed picture books to share with your little ones before bed. For older kids, ensure they have great books to enjoy about topics that interest them, or in a fiction genre you know they’ll enjoy.

Allow reading books before bed. It will add a pleasant element to the rhythm of the day, help everyone wind down to sleep, and at the same time, let kids practice the most fundamental skill their schoolwork will call for—reading.

Wishing you and your family a joyful school year!

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza