It’s finally here! Back to school time! Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the summer a whole lot, and of course, as my kids get older, the summers get easier and easier to enjoy. But I am definitely ready to get back into a routine and get the house back in full order. The kids are actually all excited to go back to school, and a couple of them are even more excited because they get to start a brand new homeschooling adventure!

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One of the things the kids look forward to the most when this time is near is back to school shopping. Clothes, backpacks, lunchboxes, supplies, they want it all! Usually, we make a big trip all of us together to get everyone’s things, but this year is different. We have 3 out of 5 doing homeschool, so we don’t need to buy as much as we usually do. One of the two that are going back to school wears a uniform and the rest of the kids have plenty of good clothes, so we’re definitely keeping it low key this year.

Back To School Essentials

I am getting a few basic things that we need though, like water bottles, a couple lunch boxes, and a few supplies. I’m going to take advantage of the tax-free weekend going on right now in Texas to buy the things we need. So for those of you that are still needing back to school items, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite back to school purchases that we’ve made throughout the years and a few that we’re making this weekend! Happy shopping!

Backpacks

The Backpack Built To Last

Our usual go to backpack has always been a JanSport. My kids are rough on their backpacks, as most kids are, and JanSport backpacks can take it!

Backpack for Boys

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I remember having one through most of my high school years, and there was never a need to get a new one! I even used it in college! My kids usually use theirs for at least two years, and then if they want a new one, we donate the old one, which is usually still in great shape. JanSport has so many pretty designs, it’s easy to find something the kids like. You can see a big selection here.

Backpack for Girls

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The Fashionable Backpack

These backpacks are also great. They are so so pretty, and they’re on sale right now! You can have them monogrammed, and you can get matching lunchboxes, for that extra fashionable child in your family! 😉

Backpacks For Boys

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Backpacks For Girls

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Lunch Boxes

The Lunch Box for the Responsible Child

Usually, we don’t spend a lot of money on lunch boxes at our house, since it seems to be the most frequently lost item by my kids! If they were a bit more responsible I would definitely buy them some of these.

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The Colorful Lunch Box Option

I like these too because they have the extra side pouch for the water bottle. It comes in different colors and the price is just right!

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The New, Gotta Have It, Lunch Box

The new thing seems to be Bento Box Lunch Boxes and you can find one for every taste and budget.  There’s even a super fancy, stainless steel version. Seems like a great idea for sending kids with food other than sandwiches. Just throw some healthy food in there and don’t forget to add a few of these decorative food picks and your kiddo is ready to face the day at school. There are some super cute options here and here.

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The Ultimate Lunch Box for the Organization Freak

This one gets great reviews, and looks like something I’d want for myself! (I mean, the organization nut in me thinks it’s unbelievably cool to keep food organized inside a lunch box!!)

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Water Bottles

OK, so there’s a million water bottles out there to choose from but I’ve recently become quite obsessed with these though.

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My son taught at a tennis camp this summer, in near 100 degree weather. He has this water bottle which we gave him for Christmas, and he used it for work every day. Well, I was so impressed one day when he brought it back home after a full day of being out on the courts in the heat. When I started to clean it out, I found that my refrigerator ice was still in it! At that moment, I decided to get rid of all our plastic water bottles and get everyone in the family one each.

I use mine for when I play tennis and I love it! The spout lets you take a big gulp of water, which is great! I got mine in this size, which is slightly smaller than his.

I’ve also gotten these for the little ones to take to school and they like them a lot.

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Clothing

We usually go to Target or TJ Maxx for our back to school clothes. Target’s new line Cat & Jack is a huge hit with my two youngest ones.

Girls' Tees & Jeans

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Boys' Tees & Jeans

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This year, I also plan to get a couple things at JCPenney. I’ve been eyeing their website and they have some nice clothes at great prices. I remember as a child when we’d travel for vacation from Honduras to the US, it wasn’t official until we made a trip to JCPenney! To this day, my family who comes to visit, always make an obligatory stop there.

Supplies

Amazon has a wonderful section of back to school supplies, and they even have it separated into grades! You can browse all their stuff here:

Target also has a nice area on their website for back to school shopping. They make it easy by placing everything into defined categories.

As for me, I have some favorite things that I like to buy the kids, (and me too!). I’m totally obsessed with school supplies, especially pens and markers and cool binders. I’ve loved these things since I was little, and I may or may not have a huge stash in my home that no one is allowed to touch. Well, here’s a few of my favorites!

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Love, love, love these hybrid binder/notebooks. My kids have been using them since I first discovered them, and they love them too. I get them one for each class and they’re set! This year, I will be getting my homeschool kids one for each class as well.

These sticky flags are great for my older kids. Helps to mark pages and they’re easily movable and removable!

Love these highlighters! These here come in lots of colors and the price is great!!

I have an artist in the family, so every year, he gets a new pack of these. He loves them and says they are the best!

Well, that’s it folks! I really could go on forever writing about my favorite school supplies, so I’ll stop while I’m ahead! Hope you find this list helpful for your back to school shopping! Do you have any favorite must haves for back to school? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!