Back-to-School Toolkits: All the Products and Gear Your Kids Need This Year

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Back-to-school shopping is back in full swing this year, as the CDC and AAP have recommended a return to in-person learning. How that looks exactly is still to be determined and will vary from district to district. We have yet to receive communication about mask requirements or other safety protocols for the upcoming year from our school, but I know administrators and teachers are doing their best given the circumstances.

As parents, we can be as prepared as possible, but no one knows the future. To help, we pulled together a back-to-school toolkit, including a few of our favorite gear essentials, like kids’ backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, plus a few fun pieces of flare for the kids. We also added items many schools are requiring for in-person instruction—like quick read thermometers and disposable lunch bags. As we go into another uncertain school year, hopefully being prepared with the essentials will quell some of the anxieties and make room for excitement about getting back into the classroom. Read on for our list of all the products and gear to prepare for back-to-school.


The Essentials


2-Pack Ello Water Bottles

Plastic, light-weight water bottles that are BPA-free, have the ability to cover the anti-microbial spout, and are dishwasher safe.

2 color combinations


Snug Kids Water Bottle

Insulated 12 oz. stainless steel water bottle with a cover over the straw to minimize germs because we know kid's water bottles will spend plenty of time being dropped on the ground.

multiple patterns available


Kid's Water Bottle

This 12 oz. dishwasher-safe water bottle comes in multiple colors and will easily fit in the water bottle pouch in your little one's backpack.


Lunch Box

An editor-favorite for young kids, the OmieBox can help keep food hot and cold in the same lunch box. Plus, it's designed to be easily opened by little hands.

multiple colors available

Shop more of our favorite lunch boxes here!


LunchBots Medium Trio Food Storage Container

This food container may be small, but it can still hold all your kid's goodies in its three compartments. The stainless steel design is dishwasher safe and easy to clean.

3 colors available

Shop more of our favorite lunch boxes here!

Makeba Designs & Prints

Superhero Blue Backpack

Encourage your little superhero to take on any back-to-school challenge with this fun superhero-inspired kids backpack.

View more backpacks here!


Tie-Dye Backpack

Tie-dye is still having a moment and this backpack is made in part from 24 recycled standard plastic bottles.

View more backpacks here!

Etsy | Kenzie Marie Creates

Just Be Kind Sticker

A gentle reminder for kids to add to their water bottle, pencil case, or lunch box.

Etsy | Shop Lani and Kai

Wear Your Mask Stickers

Semi-waterproof "Wear Your Mask" stickers, another reminder as we get into another school year masking up.

Etsy | Designs by Felicia

Black Lives Matter Pin

Add some flair to their backpack with a meaningful message.

sticker version of this pin available, too

Mabel's Labels

Personalized Label Multi-Pack

The ultimate set of back-to-school waterproof labels needed to keep your kid’s things out of the lost and found.

Etsy | Preppy Prodigy

Striped Labels

Another option for waterproof labels in a variety of colors to keep track of all-things back-to-school.

Burt's Bees

Immune Support Gummies

Kids getting sick is one near-certainty whether they're at daycare, preschool, or school. While nothing is full-proof preventative, these gummies for kids age 4+ can help provide immune support with Zinc, Vitamin C, and Manuka Honey.


The Extras for COVID Safety

Old Navy

Kids' 3-Pack of Face Masks

Kids are certainly more likely to wear their masks when they pick out their own. Let them choose their favorite animal—3 sets available!

Shop more masks here!

Etsy | Nigisiti Creations

Cotton Face Mask

Another mask option with plenty of fun patterns and made of 100% cotton.

multiple patterns available

Shop more masks here

Etsy | By Kaily

Personalized Lanyard

A lightweight strap and cute personalization make this another fun option to keep your child's mask from getting lost.

Shop other options here!

Etsy | Kate and Jake

Personalized Refillable Hand Sanitizer

Personalize a refillable hand sanitizer with their name. Plus these come with a clip easy to fasten to their backpack so they'll always have it.


Large Hand Sanitizer

An editor favorite, Megababe's sanitizer smell is pleasant, the gel texture means it doesn’t squirt out too fast, and the aloe helps keep your hands moisturized. Grab a large size to refill travel-sized bottles.


Dr. Talbot's Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer

Grab an extra thermometer to keep in your car or at the ready before school drop off or the bus to help follow the safety protocols at most schools.


100 Count Paper Bags

For schools still requiring disposable lunch supplies, these brown paper bags are made of recycled material.


The At-Home School Set-Up

The Container Store

Folding Paper Organizer

Start the year off right with organization at the ready—this file folder is perfect to house artwork, worksheets, or paperwork sent home from school.


Kids' Headphones

Prepare for a day of schooling at home with these kid headphones.

multiple colors available

Blue Light Kids

Kids Blue Light Glasses

Worried about the strain on your little one's eyes from all the screen time? Grab a pair of blue light glasses in kids' sizes.

multiple colors available


Fintie Tablet Case

A protective case is a necessity because, well, kids drop things.


Portable Supply Caddy

This is the perfect sized container for kids to cart around their crayons, colored pencils, scissors, and other supplies.


Folding Desk

Bring a school-size desk anywhere around the house with this convenient folding option—also great for parents working from home.


Flisat Convertible Play Table

This IKEA table is an editor favorite for its flexibility—make it a desk or a play table— storage options, and price point.


Set of 2 Kids Chairs

A set for schooling or play, these cute chairs come in mint green, navy, and white.

Cute Face Masks and Shields for Back to School
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