Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Back to School Essentials

Well, sadly the summer is over and our biggest kids started back to school on Monday.  I'm happy to report that my girls had a great first two days and I think they are all set for a great year!

As a kid I remember always going back to school shopping with my mom to get new clothes and outfits.  However, we started a lot later back then and now since the kids go back so early it's still SO hot.  They'll be wearing their summer clothes at least through September so no need for new clothes. However, I do like to get them a few new things so they are excited about the new year so today I thought I'd share all about our back to school essentials.

Some kids get new backpacks every year, but I invested in a nice Pottery Barn Kids backpack when they started elementary school and made sure to pick a pattern that would last.  These backpacks hold up SO well and have continued to be great for us.  I usually wash them at Christmas break and again right when Summer break begins and they hold up through the washings wonderfully, too.  (I wash on cold and then just hang to dry.)

I get the large size and while it is a little big for a Kindergartener, it's best to be able to easily fit their folder, lunch box, etc. instead of having to cram it in a smaller bag.  Then it is the perfect size as they enter 1st grade and start having a binder and the size still works well for my 4th grader!

I also go with the Pottery Barn Kids lunch boxes.  In the past I have gotten them a new one each year just because they get so dirty throughout the year, but this year I tried washing them like I do the backpacks and I was amazed by how well they washed and how clean they were.

New shoes is always something on our back to school essential list.  My girls would love nothing more than to wear their sandals and flip-flops to school, but they are expected to wear sturdy shoes for the playground and on PE days (which is every other day) they have to be in tennis shoes.  This year I got them each a new pair of tennis shoes and the girls made their selection quickly, but Boo-Boo wanted them all so it was hard for him to narrow it down.  I ended up with two pairs for him since he wears his every single day!  Plus, one was last year's color so it was SUPER cheap.  They are both the Nike Flex and they come in lots of different color combinations and also come in both tie and velcro, depending on the size you need.

Note the's one of his favorites, but I have let him know when school starts for him next week I'm going to have a little more control in the outfit department. :-)

Blondie picked these and I wish they came in my size because they are so bright and fun!  I also got the girls a pair of Converse.  I feel like they are cuter than plain tennis shoes with some of their outfits, but still will work out great for PE.

Lastly, I got them each of the girls a pair of Chacos.  While they are still sandals, they are sturdy enough for playground time.

They are encouraged to take a water cup to school each day and so new cups are fun for them!  These Thermos Funtainer 12 ounce cups are our favorite because they don't leak and the keep their drinks nice and cold all day.

We'll wait to do fall clothes when it cools off a bit, but I did get each of the girls a denim vest.  They each have a lot of thin or spaghetti strapped dresses and outfits which aren't allowed at school.  However, wearing them with these vests covers up that part so they can keep wearing these cute clothes to school!  A friend told me that is what she does for her daughter and I never would have thought of that on my own, but I love it and love that it adds a layered look to their outfits, too.

The last thing that is on my essential list for back to school is actually for myself.  I mentioned it a few weeks ago, but I just love my Erin Condren life planners and it is a must for me to have a new one to start the school year so I can stay organized and keep up with everything I have going on. From room mom responsibilities to my blogging schedule, to the kids practices and lessons, it helps me survive the crazy busy school year!

That's about it for our back to school essentials.  I hope everyone who started back to school this week is adjusting to the new schedule and I hope those of you that don't start for another week or so are soaking up the last days of summer!
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