The Ultimate Back-to-School Checklist for Students and Parents

The Ultimate Back-to-School Checklist for Students and Parents

You remember that commercial, right? The one where parents are rejoicing in the aisles of the office supply store, because the kids are headed back to school after a long summer of unstructured time. Sure, there’s nothing quite like the magic of those carefree months and the family vacations that come along with them, but let’s be honest, by the end of August or certainly the beginning of September, most of us could use a return to structure.

Transitions aren’t always easy, though. And that’s why we polled real students, teachers, and parents to create the ultimate back-to-school checklist. The most in-demand school supplies? Check. The health care essentials you’ll need to outsmart the germiest time of the year? Check. The cutest toddler backpacks, greatest humidifiers, and useful tech to help you stay on top of multiple schedules? Check. Best-selling Amazon products to help you get food on the table faster than someone can shout “Mooooom!” for the hundredth time in 60 seconds? Yep, we’ve got that too.

Check it out below, so you’ll be sailing smooth seas come school time.

Helpful Tech

A house full of kids means multiple schedules to juggle, but the right tech can help you manage it all without missing anything important, and the Echo Show was the most recommended item on this list by parents. “It’s not only fun to watch the family photos, but it shows everyone what’s on the calendar, shopping list, etc. It also distracts my kids because they ask it questions like ‘Alexa, can you count to 100 for me?’ I don’t think we could live without it,” says one mom of three. And if it’s time to get the kids their own gadgets so you can keep tabs on them when they’re away from home, there are phones and tablets to suit a variety of ages.

Echo Show 15

$280.00, Amazon

Apple AirTags (4-Pack)

$99.00, Amazon

Kitchen Must-Haves

Meal prep doesn’t have to be such a drag, especially if you have the latest and greatest kitchen tools and gadgets on hand. They’ll not only speed up the process, but some of the hardest working will practically do the cooking for you (Hello, Instapot!). Parents we polled swear by the time-saving air fryer, plus the trusty Vitamix. “Our blender is a huge help. I just make smoothies for breakfast all the time, which saves me money because I use the half-rotten fruit or the scraps and the granola the kids inevitably leave on their plates or in their lunchboxes during other meals,” says one mom Glamour spoke to. Others also loved this popcorn maker which is easy enough for kids to use, so they can get in on the fun (and save parents yet another task).

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

$100.00, Amazon

Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro Specialty Drip Coffee Maker (12-Cup)

$230.00, Amazon

Dash Turbo Pop Popcorn Maker

$30.00, Amazon

Vitamix Explorian Blender

$290.00, Amazon

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer

$130.00, Amazon

Other Home Essentials

What you don’t want to be doing during those precious school hours? Extra household chores. These hardworking essentials will cut down on cleanup time when the kids dash out the door before clearing their breakfast plates.

Lysol Disinfectant Spray (2-Pack)

$15.00, Amazon

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (3-Pack)

$15.00, Amazon


If you can’t avoid the usual back-to-school illnesses—and by now we all know how inevitable those viruses are—you might as well make sure you’re prepared. Stock up on both cold and flu remedies, as well as first aid essentials to make sure you can handle whatever mishaps come your way.

Conopy Humidifier Starter Set

$150.00, Nordstrom

Hatch Restore Reading Light, Sound Machine & Sunrise Alarm Clock

$129.00, Nordstrom

Elementary School Supplies

The big transition to elementary school can be an emotional one for both kids and parents alike, but the good news is most of the school supplies needed at this age are fun to shop for. So why not make it a joint effort? Keep this list handy, so you know what your budding student needs, but let them have some fun picking colors and styles. And don’t forget to splurge on the big pack of crayons—you know you wanted it back then too!

JanSport SuperBreak One Backpacks

$38.00, Amazon

Bentgo Kids Bento-Style 5-Compartment Lunch Box

$40.00, Amazon

Middle School & High School

Once your kids reach middle school, they’ll need more-grownup supplies to accommodate a heavier course load and more advanced material. Think a graphing calculator (yep, the kids are still using those TIs), three-ring binders, and textbook covers. Of course, you can still have a little fun with the accessories, like a new, larger backpack.

EastHill Big-Capacity Pencil/Pen Case

$19.00, Amazon

Herschel Backpack

$55.00, Amazon

On-the-Go Extras

Make a teacher jump for joy by donating these items to the class stash (many teachers end up buying these essentials on their own dime!). And don’t forget to stock your own linen closet with one of each too. Your tween will thank you for that Tide pen in their backpack when their lunch accidentally dribbles down their tee.

Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover Liquid Pen (3-Pack)

$19.00, Amazon

Kimberly-Clark Kleenex 3-Ply Pocket Tissues (8-Pack)

$7.00, Amazon

Originally Appeared on Glamour