Back to school always involves at least one trip to the store for school supplies. Pencils, paper, pens, and other traditional items can be found on most school supply lists. There are a few items that parents may not think of, but these items might turn out to be handy to have in a backpack.
For students going to school for the first time, and even for those returning to school, parents and guardians may want to consider marking personal items with self-adhesive address labels. Self-adhesive labels are quicker than hand writing on every personal item that a child takes to school. Since address label are fairly inexpensive, sticking them on binders, calculators, backpacks, etc. will make it easier for lost or misplaced items to be returned.
Parents that have business cards should consider placing them into the pockets of their child’s backpack and taping them inside of binders and notebooks. This is an especially good idea for pre-schoolers and elementary aged children; they may have trouble remembering their parent’s contact information. Parents don’t have to be in business to have pre-printed contact cards. The Mommy Cards website specializes in creative contact cards for moms. In addition to a parent’s contact information, the cards can be customized to include a child’s photo, emergency medical information, and more. Every parent should supply their child’s school with a list that includes names and phone numbers of people that can be contacted in case there is an emergency during the school day.
Because of the abundant number of forms and notices that are sent home during the school year, it wouldn’t hurt to provide students with a folder or large envelope to be specifically used for bringing home information from school. Having a specific folder for forms and notices will help a student be more organized. They won’t have to remember where they put forms and notes from school and they can use the same folder or envelope to return documents to school.
It’s a smart idea to store an umbrella or rain poncho in every backpack. Many dollar stores sell rain ponchos for as little as two for a dollar. The ponchos are usually compact and wouldn’t take up much space in a backpack. A compact umbrella is handy for rainy days and for providing shade for children that have to walk home on sunny, hot days.
Sharing is mandatory in most pre-school and elementary school classrooms. There will be no shortage of germs, and some classrooms don’t have sinks for hand washing. If liquid or gel sanitizer is not allowed, consider a personal package of hand sanitizing wipes. Supplying your child with a few bandages in case of a cut or scrape is also a smart idea.
Occasionally the time between breakfast and lunch can be quite long. Some students don’t get to eat lunch until near the end of the school day. It may be necessary to make an appeal to your child’s teacher and/or principal to ensure that a snack time is put in place for children that have a late lunch time. Find out your child’s lunch time. If necessary pack them a non-perishable snack to keep them from being hungry during school. A granola bar, dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc.), or nuts can be stored without refrigeration. A variety of snacks come in single serving, portable packaging.
It may take a few days for children to get settled into school. The better prepared they are the easier the back to school transition will be. Communication between students, parents, and teachers is the key to a successful school year.