School doesn’t start for several more weeks, but don’t let that first day sneak up on you. Take a proactive stance to prepare your kiddos, regardless of how old they are. In addition to the supply lists that the school provides, there are some essentials you’ll want to make sure are in every backpack before that big first day!
Elementary School Age
-List of phone numbers. In case you are held up in a meeting, it makes things easier on the office staff if your young one can provide the phone numbers of the people that are authorized to pick them up if they have a stomach ache.
-Extra cash or lunch ticket. Save yourself a trip to the school when you see their lunch sitting on the table after they run out the door to the bus. Stick that lunch in the refrigerator and email the teacher that Susie will be having hot lunch. If your school uses an on-line payment system, just make sure you keep at least enough for one lunch in that account.
-Hand Sanitizer. No explanation needed here.
-Sunscreen. September is often just as sunny and hot as August. If your child has BRUSH ON BLOCK® SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen in their bag, they can apply sunscreen before recess, the walk home from school or after-school sports practice, keeping them protected from those late-summer rays. And now is as good a time as any to start training them to wear SPF every day.
-Water Bottle. Even if it isn't something they can use during class, it is good to get them in the habit of drinking water when they can. Before they hang up their backpack, when they are waiting to get on the bus, or before they begin the walk home.
-House Key. For kids older than 9 or 10, this is handy to have so that you don’t have to break any laws trying to beat them home from school.
Middle School Age
All of the above, plus:
-Lip Balm. For early teens concerned about their appearance, this provides a confidence boost as well as physical comfort.
-Spare Pens & Pencils. Obviously!
-Hand Lotion. During the winter or if you live somewhere very dry, this is a must.
-Safety Pins. Quickly repair any potential wardrobe malfunctions.
-Phone Charging Cord or External Battery. Nothing is worse than getting no response when you are calling or texting your child, just to hear “my phone wasn’t charged” when they get home.
-Headphones. Can make a bus-ride more enjoyable.
High School Age
All of the above, plus:
-An Eye-Glass Repair Kit or Contact Case. Accidents happen at the worst possible time, and you don’t want someone missing out on a lesson because they can’t see. Even a pair of old eyeglasses with an old prescription is better than having nothing.
-Pain Reliever and/or Allergy Medications. Check with your school for rules on these, but most schools allow teens to self-medicate with over-the-counter drugs in the case of headache, cramps or allergy symptoms.If you prepare these things in advance, and make sure your student knows where to find them, you’ll have one (or several) less thing to think about in the last-minute rush.