We are headed back to school later this month. Collins will be in 3-year-old preschool and Ainsley is starting her first year of Elementary school as a kindergartener! Where does the time go?!
In Iowa, we are going to be starting the school year with in-person instruction. I know that “back to school” may look different for different families based on where you live, but regardless if you are homeschooling, virtual schooling or attending in-person classes with modifications, I hope that you’re able to feel a little bit of excitement about what the year has in store.
We have been shopping + stocking up for the year ahead. And while I’m certainly NOT an expert, I’ve been consulting friends who are more seasoned about their favorite gear for back to school as well as relying on my tried and true favorites from the last couple years of preschool.
Backpack // Pottery Barn Kids Backpack
The girls both got Pottery Barn Backpacks this year. Collins is in the smaller size and Ainsley has the larger size to accommodate her snow gear and lunch box. They come in the cutest colors and patterns around! Even Collins’s choice of a Paw Patrol backpack was done in a classy way.
Water Bottle //
Ainsley’s school requirement is to have a clear water bottle, but many clear water bottles are made with questionable ingredients and cheap plastic that can leak toxins into your kiddos water. We got a couple to try out – this glass option with a sleeve from Amazon as well as this plastic one from Camelback which is made of plastic that is BPA, BPF and BPS free plastic.
If you don’t have a requirement for a clear bottle, our favorite brands are Takeya and Hydroflask.
Lunch Box // Lands End
While Ainsley’s backpack came with a lunch box from Pottery Barn, her lunch box isn’t able to go into the washing machine. So! A friend recommended Lands End lunch bags for easy care + cleaning.
Labels // Name Bubbles
A full disclaimer that I haven’t used these yet, but I’m assured they are the easiest and cutest way to label things that your kids take to school to ensure that you get them back. I bought the variety pack for Ainsley and Collins to label school supplies, backpacks, snow gear, etc.
Our favorite shoes for back to school have been Plae brand shoes for the last couple years. They are easy for kids to put on, wash and wear super well, and look cute and stylish! Our favorites are this style and this style.
We also got the girls each a pair of New Balance tennis shoes and a pair from Pediped! Pediped is a new-to-me brand but came highly recommended for baby shoes and after loving Truett’s shoes so much, I also snagged a pair for the girls for this school year!
What other items are you grabbing for making back-to-school a little easier this year? Anything else this first-time Kindergarten momma needs to know about?