The Best of Back to School Accessories
Back to school time is so bittersweet. On the one hand I’m excited to see what Brody will learn and become interested in this year — seeing him get the first day jitters sends me spinning into nostalgia land. On the other hand I’m holding back tears because my baby is growing up and there’s nothing I can do to slow down time. I’m going to blink and Isla will be off to college, Brody will be getting married and Baby R #3 will be too much of a teenager to hang out with me. Can someone please pass the tissues?! Darn these pregnancy hormones.
These days I’m dealing with my emotions in the best way I know how: retail therapy. Back to school means new gear for the kiddos and a chance for me to clean out the old and bring in the new. I don’t know if it’s because kid stuff has such fun colors and patterns or if it’s because I’m a lover of stationary, but searching for kids’ school supplies sparks some serious joy for me.
My school shopping list
When doing our back to school shopping, I generally stock up on gear and clothing first and save the classroom supplies until closer to the start of the school year. If I have extra crayons and cotton balls lying around the house, there’s a good chance the kids will try and bust everything our before I can hand it over to the teachers. Plus breaking our shopping up over a couple of months helps keep Brody excited about going back to school!
Y’all already know that when it comes to things like shoes and uniforms, I generally buy the same items over and over again, adjusting for size. No need to reinvent the wheel, right? However, when it comes to their gear, I like to have a little fun! I try to incorporate Brody and Isla’s current interests without going all in on a specific trendy cartoon or style; I like to use some items like backpacks or bento boxes for a few years in a row, so I tend to go for more simple and classic designs that can grow with the kids.
I also love that I’m finding more products that are designed to be reusable so I don’t have to buy replacements throughout the school year. Most of the items on this list have options for personalizing and come in multiple sizes so you can accommodate toddlers as well as big kids!
My favorite accessories + gear for back to school
One // Personalized Backpack // Stuck On You // I picked out the large backpack in "Dusky Blue" with the space man design for Broday and I'm excited because I think it will last him for at least two years. We picked out the mini size in "Flamingo Pink" with the confetti dots for Isla -- thank you Stuck On You for sending these our way!
Two // Lunch Stix // Lunch Punch // I love the idea of using something small like these Lunch Stix to jazz up a regular lunch. They're perfect for skewer style snacking and can easily fit in a lunch box.
Three // Yumbox Ice Packs // Amazon // These ice packs are perfect for lunches (or keeping your milk stash cold on the go) and fit in almost any lunch bag or box. I like that they come in a multi-pack so you can have extras on hand ready for snack time on the go.
Four // Insulated Water Bottle with Straw // Takeya // Shatterproff, leakproof, and has a handle to boot? I'll take two please! These bottles hold 14 oz of liquid and come in a handful of cute colors.
Five // Lunchbox Notes // Cheree Berry Paper // I posted about these lunchbox notes on Instagram Stories the other day and I cannot wait to use them! The designs are so cute and perfect for preschoolers.
Six // PocketBac Holder // Keep hand sanitizer from spilling all over everything by sticking it in one of these clip on PocketBac holder keychains. They have a ton of style options and a few of them light up or make noise which the kiddos love.
Seven // First Day of School Banner // Cheree Berry Paper // I am so excited that Isla is starting preschool this year because I'm not sure I could wait another year to use this banner. They range from pre-k to 4th grade, and each banner is a different color with coordinating ribbons. Bonus, these are a great memory box item!
Eight // Personalized Bento Box Stuck On You // I found these bento boxes last year and absolutely LOVE them. They keep everything separate and the boxes are insulated AND spillproof. You can personalize the box's color, icon design, and add a name.
Nine // Stainless Steel Sandwich Cutters // Amazon // Sandwiches, but makeit art. I highly recommend stainless steel for cutting sandwiches and cookie dough -- the lines come out clean and the material is non-stick. Plus, it's a fun way to make lunchtime more exicting without much additional effort.
Ten // Silicone Muffin Molds // Amazon // I've been using these silicone muffin molds for dips and fruit in the kids' bento boxes and for snack boards and they work like a charm. They're also great for making homemade frozen treats and of course, muffins.
Eleven // Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bag // Stasher // I've found the holy grail of sandwich bags. Leak proof, easy to use zipper, and won't rip or tear like a plastic or paper pag would. Just pop 'em in the dishwasher between uses and they're good to go.
Twelve // Bento Cooler Bag // Stuck On You // So you've found the perfect bento box, but it won't fit in your lunch box -- I know that story all too well. I love the option of a slim carrying case for the box so that you still have that lunchbox option without the bulk.
Thirteen // Customized Name Tags // Minted // We have been using these tags for years and I cannot say enough good things about them. They're dishwasher and microwave safe, don't fade, and never fall off. They also make amazing tags for allergies (i.e. no peanuts, please!) and sew-in tags for clothing.
What’s on your back to school shopping list this year? Any mom hacks for making supplies and gear last? Tag @MommaSociety on Instagram or Facebook or comment below to give me the scoop!