One of the best parts of transitioning from summer to fall as a kid is going to get all of your back-to-school essentials. Who else remembers the joy of bringing their school list with them to the store only to choose from an assortment of pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks, Book Sox, etc.? These days, we happen to think there's an even larger assortment of school goodies to select from than ever before, meaning your child can express themself with every choice they make (and you can, too).
From basics like backpacks and pencils to lunchtime necessities like lunch boxes and reusable snack bags, there's so much to consider. (Plus, if you select the right items, they'll make your life easier, too.) We tapped some of the coolest moms we know to see what's on their back-to-school shopping list this year. Don't worry—there's still time for you to follow their lead. And we'll give you an A-plus for effort, too.
Amy Anderson, Editor of ParkerEtc.com
Item of choice: State Kane Metallic Backpack
Research, research, research: "State bags are amazing. I love all of the brand's metallic and bold color options that are out right now."
Why I love it: "Since my daughter has a uniform to wear at her school, it's a fun way for her to express her personality. I let her choose charms, pins, and little accessories to help personalize her backpack."
Item of choice: Yoobi Denim Unicorn Pencil Case
Research, research, research: "Pencil cases are great storage for all the small things kids tend to lose on the daily. There are so many options, and they don't have to be boring."
Why I love it: "I put everything from pencils to hair ties and extra hair bows in there for my daughter. That way, things are slightly more organized in her backpack."
Zahra Sandberg, Lifestyle Blogger at Love Zahra
Item of choice: RePete Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags
Research, research, research: "I just discovered these reusable bags recently and I'm obsessed."
Why I love it: "I love to pack a homemade lunch, but I hate the wastefulness of plastic bags."
Item of choice: Vans Old School V Sneaker
Research, research, research: "Slides or velcro straps are a favorite because they're so easy to wear (and put on)."
Why I love It: "Growing up I always got a new pair of shoes at the beginning of a school year, so new shoes are always on my back-to-school shopping list."
Simo Sims, founder of House of Joá
Item of choice: Disney Mickey Mouse Backpack
Research, research, research: "This backpack is super stylish and my daughter will grow up using it. The best part is the price."
Why I love it: "It's so cute that I don't even mind carrying it around!"
Item of choice: Mini Melissa Aranha Sandals
Research, research, research: "These sandals are perfect for warm weather because my daughter's toes are protected but her feet remain cool. When temperatures drop, she can wear them with fun socks."
Why I love it: "I'm originally from Brazil and used to wear a similar version from Melissa when I was a little. Plus, they are so easy to clean."
Jessica Doll, photographer and blogger at Hej Doll
Item of choice: Goodbyn Hero Lunch Box
Research, research, research: "We've been using Goodbyn for almost 10 years now since my older son, who is now 14, was in first grade."
Why I love it: "They're dishwasher-safe and can be decorated with stickers for a personalized touch."
Item of choice: Palomino Blackwing Pencils
Research, research, research: "On my way to Mendocino a few months back, I stumbled across Palomino Blackwing pencils in Farmhouse Mercantile and fell in love with them. I brought a few back as souvenirs for my boys."
Why I love it: "Not only are the erasers replaceable, the eraser end of the pencil is flatter so they don't roll off tables!"
Nyja Richardson, content creator at Mom's Epiphany
Item of choice: Sip by Swell All Aboard Water Bottle
Research, research, research: These mini S’well bottles are perfect for school and after-school activities.
Why I love it: They stay hot or cold all day.
Item of choice: PlanetBox Bento Box
Research, research, research: "This bento box is a great lunch box because they have so many different compartments and are free of toxic materials."
Why I love it: "I'm raising my son to be vegan, so I'm already getting myself prepared for packing his lunches. They also offer stickers so kids can make their bento box special."
Now that you are thinking about back-to-school, here are some fall dishes that will get you in the seasonal spirit.