As schools deal with increased expenses and budget cuts, parents are being asked to provide more than just pencils and paper. Some parents are surprised to learn what school supplies they are expected to provide. As you prepare your child for their kindergarten debut, here are ten suggestions to get you started.
1. Backpack. All elementary school students need a backpack. It needs to be large enough to hold a standard folder, but not so bulky that it weighs your child down. A good backpack is essential to get your child’s supplies to school, and to transport his schoolwork back home to you. Of note: many schools do not allow the wheeled backpacks. Be sure to check your child’s school for details.
2. Pencils. Children need several standard No. 2 pencils to kick off the school year. As they are learning to write and practicing their form it’s important to have the proper learning implements. Please do not send your young child to school with pens. It is messy, frustrating for teachers, and not age-appropriate.
3. Antibacterial Soap. Some schools actually require it now. It’s important to teach children good hygiene habits, and to keep germs and illnesses from coming home with them. A stash of antibacterial soap in your child’s backpack or school cubby is indispensable.
4. Tissues. This is another item that I was surprised to see on the first grade supply list, but here it is, and with seemingly good reason. Most children get the sniffles throughout the school year from the change of seasons, minor colds, and so forth, so have some tissues where your child can access them. If tissues are not on your school supply list, it’s always a nice gesture to donate a couple of boxes to the classroom.
5. Crayon / Pencil Box. A nice, easy-to-open pencil box is usually required to keep your child’s items together and tidy. Try to stick with one that will fit into the backpack, if necessary, so that your child has room to transport his other school supplies back and forth. A standard size for a pencil box is 8.25″ x 5.5″ x 2″.
6. Glue Sticks. Students are often required to provide not one, but many glue sticks as part of their back-to-school supplies. Washable, white glue is best, and schools often suggest as many as TEN glue sticks per student.
7. Storage Bags. Ziploc-type bags have made their way onto most school supply lists. In first grade, the child will need storage bags for a change of clothes, a towel, or food items. Many school supply lists suggest a 20 count box of one gallon, zip storage bags.
8. Crayons. While some schools will still supply crayons for the students, others do not. It is becoming more and more common to provide not one, but several boxes of 24-count crayons. If your school is not specific, three boxes of 24-count crayons is typically a safe bet. It’s a good idea to purchase them now, while retailers have school supplies marked down at bargain prices.
9. Scissors. In kindergarten, your child will begin to hold and manipulate schissors, so they will get a lot of use out of their own pair. A five-inch pair of scissors with a blunt edge is appropriate for kindergarten.
10. Labels. With so many items flowing into your child’s classroom, it is important to have some good, waterproof labels on hand. Items such as backpacks, jackets, sunglasses and pencil boxes can easily be mistaken and misplaced. Help your school cut down on lost-and-found items by labeling your child’s items before they leave your home. If labels aren’t your cup of tea, a Sharpie is a great alternative for marking your child’s belongings.
It is also important to note that bulk supplies should NOT be labeled before being sent to school. Items such as glue sticks, crayons, tissues, zip storage bags and tissues are usually shared amongst students, so these school supplies should not be marked with your student’s name.