An Unconventional List of Back-to-School Supplies

Desk with scissors, pencils, pens, a calculator, and other school supplies on top

Have you noticed that local stores have started stocking back-to-school supplies? Sure, it’s late July and you’re not quite ready for summer to end, but it pays to prepare early. That way, you can make sure you and your child are off to a smooth start when the school year arrives.

This year, consider adding some useful yet unusual school supplies to your list. Below, you can find a breakdown of fundamental items as well as some unconventional ones.

If you are a new Learning Coach and not sure where to begin, remember that your family will receive certain supplies from Connections Academy. These materials may include textbooks, other course materials, headphones, or loaner computers and vary from school to school.

Start with Basic Back-to-School Supplies

As each new school year approaches, your family has to restock the essentials. But before you start shopping, go through last year’s supplies and cross off the materials you have from your list. If you don’t have a list, then see if your school or teacher provides one. You can also find general lists online or in department stores. Remember to jot down important details, such as brand, quantity, or size.

Below is a list of some of the basic school supplies you’ll need.

Paper and paper accessories – Lined notebook paper and notebooks, computer paper, doodling paper, index cards, Post-it® Notes, and three-ring binders.

Writing instruments – Ballpoint pens and #2 pencils.

Tools – A ruler, pencil sharpener, stapler, tape dispenser, three-hole punch, and pair of scissors with rounded tips.

General – Paper clips, rubber bands, pushpins, erasers, and staples.

Craft supplies – Colored pencils, crayons, markers, tempera paint, paintbrushes, popsicle sticks, construction paper, Elmer’s glue and glue sticks, or craft glue if your child is older.

Unconventional School Supplies

Once you gather all of the basics, consider buying or gathering some extras for the year. These items are optional, of course, and you can wait until you need to get them. But this list can help if you want to be prepared for those spur-of-the-moment crafts and activities! Take a look below to see our suggestions.

    • File folders and file trays.
    • A dry-erase board and markers for writing reminders and doing math problems.
    • A plastic lap desk from a craft store.
    • A large map poster.
    • Math manipulatives made from reused objects.
    • A measuring tape.
    • Sets of inexpensive flashcards.
    • A learning calendar for planning.
    • A journal to encourage writing and reflection.
    • A sketchbook to keep drawings in one place.
    • Disposable cameras for younger children.
    • A folding table for crafts, activities, and homework.
    • A paper recycling bin.
    • Plastic and cardboard storage boxes.
    • A timer or stopwatch for time management.
    • Around-the-house items including shoe boxes, cereal and tissue boxes, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, scrap paper, and empty jars.
    • Mason jars for crafts and storing supplies.
    • An extra set of measuring cups.
    • Food coloring for edible activities, crafts, and science experiments.
    • Poster board in different colors.
    • A large artist’s portfolio to store your child’s artwork.
    • Self-laminating sleeves or clear packing tape.
    • A cheap shower curtain to serve as a drop cloth.
    • A simple apron from a hardware store to use as a smock.
Pin to Win Back-to-School Gift Cards

If you have your own school supply ideas, then now is the time to share them. Enter our Pinterest contest by creating a board of “Cool Tools for Online Schools” by August 15, 2014. Five winners will get back-to-school gift cards! Learn more about our “Pin to Prepare” contest and see how to enter.

Comment below with any questions you have about school supplies or the Pinterest contest.

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