Elementary school students aren’t exactly thinking about what they need for school every year. Instead they’re thinking about their teachers, excited to see their friends, and whining about where the summer has gone. So, as you can see, you need to know what they need for school before school occurs. Usually teachers will send home a list of things your children will need for the up coming year, but what if they don’t send one? Here is a list I’ve compiled of 10 things that elementary students will always need year to year.
Backpack and Lunch Box
Every year something new is in style, or the backpack got some unusual sticky substance on the bottom of it that no matter how many times you wash, you cannot get it clean. It’s alright, it happens – this is why you buy the cheap backpacks. As for lunch boxes, usually your child is going to want one that reflects something they love. When I was younger I had a barbie lunch box, but that became uncool quickly as I went into the 4th grade and refused to go to school with it. There’s also the leaky lunches or the torn insulation or.. again, the sticky unidentifiable substance in the bottom of the bag.
Crayons and Colored Pencils
It’s important to have coloring utensils and the two best kind are crayons and colored pencils. I wouldn’t suggest getting colored markers because they have a habit of bleeding through paper, making a mess and getting all over the student. I use to come home with marker all over my hands when we used them – the only thing that was pretty about those situations were my hands. Colored pencils are great because they don’t do the weird crayon thing where they break easily and fall apart. This is why why you buy crayons, you should never buy the cheap ones. A lot of school projects require students to color and express themselves, this is why these are essential.
No. 2 Pencils
These are important because all formal tests require you to use No. 2 pencils so it is good to get your student in the habit of writing with them. It’s better to get the non-mechanical kind at this age because elementary students do silly things like play with the mechanical lever and spill lead all over the floor. It’s important they write with pencils over pens at this age as well because they can erase mistakes and learn to have neat work instead of pen scribbles all over the page.
When you have pencils you will need a pencil sharpener. When buying a pencil sharpener, get one that has a place that will catch all the shavings. The little ones that just sharpen pencils and nothing more can get messy and the average elementary student will just keep a pile of shavings at their desk which will inevitably get all over the floor. So please, spend the extra 50 cents for the pencil shavings catcher.
Big Pink Eraser
These are extremely helpful to have because pencil erasers get low very fast. If you have a big pink eraser, students can erase all they want. They are extremely inexpensive as well and usually you can buy them in packs of three. I remember never using more than one for 5 years in a row but I guess I don’t do as much erasing as some people.
This will be helpful when it comes to organization and giving the elementary student a place to put their crayons, colored pencils, number two pencils, giant erasers and pencil sharpers. It’s important to give you child the opportunity to know how to organize things and how to be organized and one of the best ways to do this is to give them one of those neat colored pencil boxes. They fit in back packs really well and they fit on or in their desk during the school day.
Folders, Folders and More Folders
I went through a crazy amount of folders when I was in elementary school because I kept ripping them. My mom always bought the cheap paper ones but honestly? Shell out the extra 50 cents and buy the plastic ones. They last much longer, they hold more and they are less likely to rip. I had one plastic folder throughout my entire elementary school life that I always used above the paper ones and it only ripped after one of my friends decided to rip it. Don’t ask, it’s elementary school.
Composition Notebooks / Spiral Bound Notebooks
Most teachers want their students to have composition notebooks over spiral bound. Usually spiral bound notebooks are used in middle school or high school – but in elementary school, stick with the composition notebooks. I would recommend not getting college ruled composition notebooks because it is easier for younger students to write with bigger lines than smaller lines. A lot of teachers have their students write journals and keep a daily log for certain activities and find it easier to use composition notebooks over the spiral bound.
Three Ring Binder or Trapper Keeper
I don’t know if this is still popular, but having a hip trapper keeper with tons of compartments and a cool design on the cover automatically made you the talk of the first day of school. A binder is helpful because it gives another tip to elementary students about how to organize correctly. It gives them a place to put their notebooks and folders as well as other random hand outs, loose leaf paper and drawing paper. It also fits really nicely in a backpack and keeps the backpack neat. Who likes having papers fly out of their backpack every time they open it?
This may vary depending on grade, hence why it’s in a large topic. This may include glue sticks, construction paper, safety scissors, ruler, glue bottle, scotch tape, stapler, drawing paper, etc. This you will usually wait until the teacher tells the students what to purchase. I know in a lot of schools they will provide a lot of the crafts to the students for activities so that you don’t have to pay so much but if something is required, the teacher will let you know.