Summer is winding down, and it’s time to get ready for a brand new school year. Make sure you have everything you need to get your kids read. For a successful school year, checkout this back to school checklist.

10. Enough pens or pencils

back to school checklist

Sure, kids can always borrow a pen or pencil from a friend, but why not take advantage of back-to-school sales and stock up on their favorite types? Gel pens may provide a smoother writing experience, while mechanical pencils make it easy to always have a sharp point, even when there’s no sharpener handy.

9. Big enough lunch box

back to school checklist

Try to avoid getting caught up in the appearance of a lunch box. The character lunch boxes may look great, but might not fit your child’s lunch, an ice pack and a water bottle. Opt for a larger lunch box or something with sections to keep the drink from smashing the sandwich. Switch it up this year and try some new lunchbox friendly recipes, too.

8. Clothes for school

back to school checklist

There are two important things about buying school clothes that are often overlooked. First, kids grow during the school year, so it’s a good idea to buy what you need for the first month or two, then add new clothes as the old ones are outgrown or the season changes. Second, school clothes need to be durable. Make sure the clothes you select can be easily washed and dried and that seams, zippers and buttons are all well made.

7. Comfortable shoes

One of the top ten back to school checklist things

One of the most important things on your back to school checklist should be comfortable shoes and boots. If possible, have a pair fitted at a shoe store, to make sure little toes are not being crowded and arches are well supported. Once you know the right size and brands, you can order shoes online to save.

6. Personal care items

This is probably one of the most overlooked categories of back to school supplies. Having a small brush, some hand lotion and sanitizer, and a small packet of tissues are must-haves for all ages. Older children might want to include a sample-size stick of deodorant, sunscreen, and, if needed, feminine care supplies and make-up.

5. A good binder

No need to get too fancy. Just make sure the binders you buy are big enough to hold their papers, have good rings so papers don’t slip out, and can fit in the backpack, even when it’s stuffed with books.

4. Folders

Folders are a cheap and easy way to stay organized during the school year, so make sure you have plenty of them on your back to school checklist. The plastic kind will last longer, but cheaper paper ones mean you can get more and replace them as needed. It’s also easier for students to write subject names or other information on paper ones. Choose school folders with both pockets and duo tangs to keep everything inside.

3. The right backpack

Doctors are concerned about the amount of back and shoulder damage they’re seeing in children who carry heavy backpacks. The best choice is a rolling backpack, but if that’s not an option, choose a two-strap backpack with good padding, then make sure your child uses both straps.

2. An assignment book

Make it simple to stay on track this school year with an assignment book. Select a trendy assignment book at the bookstore, or just staple together some sheets of notebook paper and let kids make a nice cover with their own art work.

1. A great attitude

No, it’s not something you can buy at the bookstore, but it should be on your child’s back to school checklist anyhow. Starting a new school year with a great attitude can make more of a difference than all the school supplies you could ever buy.

Happy New School Year!