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It’s Time To Think About Being Back to School Ready!

A big part of the back-to-school frenzy is combing the usual list of required items — pens, pencils, notebooks, you know the drill — and then hitting the stores, sometimes multiple ones, to source everything. If you have any room in the school-supply budget left after all the necessary items have been purchased, here’s a few unconventional extras you may want to toss in your kid’s backpack this semester.

1. Hand sanitizer

The only thing kids bring home more often than homework is germs, plus the September back-to-school season coincides perfectly with cold and flu season. So, be proactive and sneak a bottle of sanitizer in your child’s bag to try and at least delay the inevitable illnesses that are coming. But remember to choose one that is scent-free, as most schools have a no-scent policy.

2. Reusable water bottle

As a teacher, there have been plenty of instances of my students coming to school with only a beverage for their lunch (milk or juice) but not a bottle for water. Of course, they can access drinking fountains at their school, but it’s nice to have the reusable bottle to fill for before and after school, as well as during the lunch hour, to make sure they’re staying hydrated.

3. Power bank

This one applies mostly for slightly older students who may be bringing a phone to school. Those kids are also likely going to activities after school (or hanging out with friends) and are using their phones all day, draining the battery. To make sure you can get a hold of them when you need to, toss a power bank in their bag so they can keep their phone charged up all day. Power banks are relatively inexpensive and could really come in clutch during an emergency. Now, getting them to remember to charge the power bank is another story…

4. Reusable plastic baggies

Reusable storage bags are cheap to buy, so incredibly handy and better for the environment than disposable ones. Most of them are made of a silicon-ish material which makes them water resistant, so if your child is very young and has an accident at school, or they have a water day, for example, and their clothes get wet, they have a place to store them until they go home. Lose a tooth? Toss in a baggie. Get a homework assignment that has small pieces? Toss it in a baggie. Need to bring some money to school for a book fair or special lunch? Toss it in a baggie — you get the idea.

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