School Supply LIst

Writing essentials

  • No. 2 pencils (Stick with this classic to avoid classroom competition over whose writing utensil is the coolest — or most impractical.)
  • Colored pencils
  • A pencil sharpener (hand-held with a top to collect shavings)
  • A large pink eraser (The old-fashioned ones do the best erasing.)
  • Ballpoint pens
  • A box of crayons (Teachers recommend buying a 16-pack for younger kids, more for older ones.)
  • Washable markers
  • Spiral-bound or composition notebooks
  • Loose-leaf notebook paper (Teachers can be picky about paper. Schools usually supply specially ruled handwriting paper to help younger children with letter formation. Older children use wide-ruled paper.)

NOTE: Feather pencils, light-up pencil sharpeners, or pretty erasers that don’t work should be avoided

Organizational helpers

  • Expensive folders with multiple pockets and zippers are often too bulky to fit in desks. Better to stick with more streamlined (and cheaper) models.
  • A three-ring binder
  • Pocket folders (If you get a folder with two pockets, label one “keep at home” and the other “bring back to school” to help your child organize his papers.)
  • A box for storing items (Teachers recommend one that’s eight inches long by five inches wide by two inches deep to hold pencils, crayons, erasers and scissors.)
  • Highlighters (These are probably unnecessary for kids in kindergarten through second grade.)
  • Index cards, ruled and unruled (for making flash cards)
  • A sturdy, supportive backpack (Some schools do not permit rolling backpacks because of space considerations, so check with your school before purchasing one.)

Craft materials

  • Dioramas and other 3-D projects provide a hands-on learning experience for students. Most teachers recommend having these items available:
  • Drawing paper
  • Construction paper
  • A ruler with English and metric measurements
  • Glue sticks
  • A four-ounce bottle of white glue
  • Scotch tape
  • A stapler
  • Scissors (blunt ended for younger kids, pointed for older ones)
  • Watercolor paints

Home computer supplies

  • Printer paper
  • Ink cartridges

Nice to have

  • A sturdy lunch box
  • A stainless steel water bottle (To be extra safe, you might want to avoid plastic bottles that contain bisphenol A, a hormone-disrupting chemical linked to such health problems as heart disease and diabetes.)