4 Essential Items Every Child Needs for School

Every school is a little bit different, but every student has some of the same essential needs for keeping up with the class. Teachers usually send a list of what will be needed in the classroom for the year, but these four are the most basic.

1. Backpack

Unless your child is planning to live at their desk, they’ll need something to carry items to and from school. A sturdy backpack can make all the difference, especially if your child has to walk a long distance to school or to the bus stop.

Backpacks should be large enough to carry your child’s homework, but not so large that a fully-loaded backpack hurts your child’s back. Make sure it has thick straps that distribute the weight across both shoulders or choose the kind with wheels. Look at the stitching where the straps attach to the bag and check for signs of weakness – broken straps are a leading cause of backpack failure.

2. Pencils

Very little work in the classroom can be done without the classic #2 pencil for elementary school kids, or for kindergarten and pre-K students, jumbo pencils. Check with your child’s teacher if you’re unsure which kind are preferred in the classroom.

Generally, jumbo pencils are easily for smaller hands to hold and are helpful for younger children still working on their fine motor skills. If your child’s classroom requires #2 pencils and these are difficult for your child to hold, try pencil grips. These are rubbery items that slip over the pencil and make it easier for the hands of beginning writers to hold.

If your child is allowed to bring colored pencils to school, they’re a nice alternative to crayons for older children. Some children prefer them over crayons because they don’t snap into small pieces so easily. As with writing pencils, colored pencils are also available in a jumbo or chunky format for less-experienced fingers. Make sure they’re allowed in the classroom before making your purchase.

3. Loose Leaf Paper

Loose leaf paper comes in different varieties, with different sizes of lines on ruled paper for writing exercises and/or unlined paper for art projects. Teachers will usually specify which kind(s) your child will need for the school year.

4. Binder

Elementary school children who do a lot of work on ruled loose leaf paper with holes often need a binder to keep and organize those papers in. A binder is a good investment for making sure homework makes it back to school in a place where it can easily be found and turned it. Spending time, concentration, and energy on homework only to leave it on your bedroom desk can be frustrating. Keeping papers in one consistent, dependable place is the answer, and the binder is ideal for keeping papers from getting crushed and dirty inside the backpack.



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