The Best School Supplies for All Ages
The best school supplies are fun, functional, and built to last all school year. Whether you're preparing for back to school, upgrading school supplies ahead of a new semester, or you're a homeschool parent setting your kids up for success on their own schedule, you'll want organization and productivity items at the top of your shopping and packing lists. It's never too late to instill positive habits such as goal-setting, planning, and staying accountable by tracking tasks and progress on complex goals and projects. Check out our back-to-school supplies list below!
First Through Third Grades
Younger children in elementary school are working hard to grasp academic skills such as reading, writing, and math. You can help them develop a lifetime love of language with our handwriting and story journals. These personalized journals come in a range of covers and designs, including many character favorites like Minions, Star Wars, Hello Kitty, and Trolls. They also feature wide-ruled pages that encourage self-expression while supporting handwriting skills. Other school supplies for elementary students include:
- Wide-tipped markers
- Pencil cases
- Kids diary
Older Primary School Students
Older grade school students are beginning to apply what they’ve been learning. These applications include creative outlets as well as the development of life and time management skills. Some kids may be ready for a kid-friendly planner to help them get and stay organized. Others may want to improve their writing skills with a journal or unlined sketchbook.
Students at this age have likely developed the fine motor skills needed for longer-form writing and artistic endeavors. Consider sets of gel pens or fine-tipped markers in a range of colors for your budding artist or a high-quality ballpoint pen that coordinates with their planners or notebooks. Other supplies include:
- Pencils and pens
- Pencil pouch
- Three-ring binders
- School-ruled writing paper
- Graph paper
- Reading log and journal
- Daily gratitude journal
Middle and High School
Transitioning into middle and high school often requires an adjustment period. Kids will begin moving from classroom to classroom throughout the day, working with different teachers and classmates. It’s not unusual if they feel stressed or overwhelmed by these new changes, but there are ways to help. Journaling has been shown to help manage stress and reduce anxiety, so encouraging your student to keep a diary of their day will help them work through those jitters. With the right tools, students can have a stress-free back-to-school experience.
Older students will also begin to develop advanced study skills. Our Academic Planners are designed to help students track homework, study time, and group projects while also managing extracurricular activities. Students can further customize their planners with stickers, tapes, and snap-in accessories. Other school supplies they might need include:
- Pencils and pens
- Binders and dividers
- 3-subject notebooks
- Graph and ruled paper
- Pen folio
- Scientific calculator
- Thumb drive
- Backpack, colorful cotton tote bag, or crossbody tote
- Stylish lunch tote
- Daily gratitude notebook
College and Graduate School
Young adults headed to college or graduate school are also facing uncharted waters. In many cases, this may be the first time they’ve lived away from home. A self-care notebook can help them prioritize their physical and mental health as they navigate this challenging but rewarding time.
Even if students plan to live at home while attending school, higher education means different schedules and expectations. Using an Academic Planner is a must to stay organized in college. The following tools will also help ensure a smooth transition:
- A laptop computer
- A thumb drive
- A scientific calculator
- Planner folios, backpacks, tote bags
- Large weekender bag for visits home
- A water bottle (great for staying hydrated between classes)
- Stationery for sending notes back home
Dorm and Off-Campus Living
If your student plans to live away from home while in school, they’ll need a range of household items for their new digs. Dorm-dwellers should check with their school for a list of recommended items and connect with their roommates to coordinate purchasing larger items (such as mini-refrigerators or microwaves) that can be shared. Then they can begin planning how to organize and decorate their dorm room.
Here's a starter list of items that your student might need:
- Bed linens: Sheet set, mattress protector, comforter, pillow, pillowcase. Consider a sherpa throw to provide some extra warmth on chilly nights.
- Repositionable weekly whiteboard and notepad
- Shower caddy
- Essential dishes and kitchen tools: Mug, drinking glass, plate, flatware, bowl, cutting board, chef’s knife, pots and pans
- Budgeting tools: These can be particularly important if your student is living in off-campus housing. Consider a separate budget planner or a snap-in budget dashboard for their academic planner.
- Desk organizers
Study Area Supplies
Whether your student is participating in remote, in-person, or hybrid learning, having a study area at home is critical. Back-to-school supplies should include items that support homework and group projects away from the learning environment, such as:
- Desk accessories, including containers for writing instruments and file organizers
- Desk pads and calendars for at-a-glance planning and organization
- File and folder holders that keep schoolwork organized and easy to find
- Colorful art that reinforces positive attitudes while brightening up a space
Of course, back-to-school shopping isn’t just about the kids, which is why we offer a range of planners that help you stay on top of school activities, playdates, sports practice, and music lessons. In addition to our LifePlanner™ options, we also offer a customized parent desk planner that lets you track each child’s activities at a glance. No matter your family’s needs, let us help you get organized.