Essential supplies for back to school 2021

August 27, 2020

This year’s back-to-school experience is unlike any other. Whether your child is heading back to class in person or taking remote classes, the school supplies shopping list just got longer. Our roundup of essential supplies for students will help make the 2021 school year a safe, and successful one.

Essential supplies for back to school 2021

Photo Credit: Davizro Photography

Face masks

The essential accessory for a physical return to class is definitely the mask. Whether your child’s school requires masks to be worn in class or only in common areas, it’s going to take some getting used to. Hopefully, you’ve practiced at home to help build your child’s comfort level, and shopped for reusable masks in comfortable fabrics and fun designs that suit their sartorial style. It’s a good idea to identify masks with permanent marker or laundry-safe labels to avoid a germy mix-up. Be sure your child has a spare, or two, in their backpack in a resealable plastic bag at all times. If your child will be carpooling, taking the school bus or public transportation add a fresh mask for each leg of the journey. And get ready for all that extra laundry.

Mask lanyard

The younger your child is, the more likely he or she is to misplace their mask. And will they always follow good mask hygiene? Well, that’s a tricky one. A mask strap or lanyard can help with both worries. Like a necklace for your mask, a lanyard keeps the mask where you can see it, and prevents kids from setting it down on unsanitized surfaces. You can find lots of different lanyards online, or DIY instructions using ribbon or a thin strip of fabric and a couple of lobster clasps.

Hand sanitizer

You can expect schools to have big vats of the stuff, but it’s a good idea for your child to have their own hand sanitizer stash (over 60% alcohol, please). Grab one for the desk and a few of those cute refillable keychain containers that attach to the backpack. A pack of travel-size disinfecting wipes will come in handy for cleaning high-touch surfaces like desks, doorknobs, phone, and keyboards. Don’t forget a personal box of tissue for your child’s desk.

School supplies

Repeat after me, kids: NO, you cannot borrow my smelly markers! Like so many other fun things, sharesies are cancelled this year. Kids need their own complete set of school supplies, including those often provided in class such as scissors, a dictionary, and calculator. You might want to include a mini stapler and hole punch to avoid having to touch the classroom equipment. Don’t forget to stock up on supplies for virtual learners, too. Everyone gets a kick out of a new notebook or fresh pack of pencil crayons.

Lunch box

With many school cafeterias closed, lunchtime is likely to be spent at your child’s desk. Consider a new, dishwasher-safe lunch box, or even disposable lunch bags and cutlery to prevent transporting germs to and from home. Kids will appreciate a fun placemat and napkins to keep their desk area clean. Does your child’s water bottle have a straw or other attached lid? Upgrade to an insulated water bottle, in the event the water fountain is closed, and choose a wide mouth for easy disinfecting.

Computer/tablet with accessories

If you didn’t already shell out for a good laptop or tablet with web cam this year, now’s the time. The pandemic has had at least one positive outcome on learning: our kids are more computer-literate. Get your child equipped for virtual classes, if that’s part of your plan, or be ready in the event of school closures. Pack a pair of headphones and a mouse to make computer lab time at school safer for all.

Athletic clothes

Sure, you’ve got plenty of t-shirts and shorts for gym days, but with many school change rooms closed, what’s a kid to do? Ensure you have a few quick-change tops and pants that layer easily over gym clothes. Tearaway athletic pants are a practical choice for boys and girls, that also make a sporty fashion statement.

Infrared thermometer

As cold and flu season approaches, parents need to be extra vigilant about their childrens’ health. An infrared thermometer can provide a quick, touch-free fever check on school mornings when your sick-kid senses are tingling. Call your doctor if your child has a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or just feels unwell.

When it comes to sending children back to school in 2021, parents, teachers and students all need to be prepared, while staying flexible and ready to adapt to further change.

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