The Ultimate Back To School Supply Checklist

Face it, the only way to get your kid excited for back to school is buying them stuff.

by Drew Wood
Originally Published: 

This round up is just one in Fatherly’s exhaustive Back To School Product Guide. Click here for everything from your kid needs, from winning math to standing at a bus stop on the rain (which is what you used to do, only uphill both ways).

The biggest trick to getting your kid feeling something other than pure dread at the prospect of the start of a new school year is selling them on the idea that they get a bunch of cool new gear because of it. That can be a real tough sell if all you have to offer are the boring usual suspects like Number 2 pencils and marble composition notebooks. These supplies, on the other hand, might just get your kid excited to do their homework. And since you just got all geeked up at the mere mention of those über-retro marble notebooks, there are a few suggestions here for you, too. Because every day is back to school day in the working world.

Little Kids (<5)

Djeco Stickers

What kid doesn’t like stickers? There are more than a thousand of these suckers — animals, fairytale characters, numbers, letters — for arts and crafts or plastering all over their notebooks (and friends). Think of them as junior hieroglyphics for your kid who hasn’t quite figured out the art of writing yet.

Buy Now $13

NPW Animal Crayons

A dozen plastic crayons that run the whole rainbow and then some. You’ll love that they’re less messy than the old-fashioned waxy business you had to suffer through as kids. Your kids will love that they’re easier to use than said waxy business, and have totally adorable smiley animal faces on top.

Buy Now $40

Kikkerland Polar Bear Eraser

Your kid’s going to make mistakes, and that’s okay. First, because mistakes are fundamental to learning, and second, because most of them will be made with a pencil and thus totally salvageable. Send in this blue polar bear to save the day — and some real polar bears; Kikkerland will donate 2% of all sales to help endangered species through the center of Biological Diversity .

Buy Now $21

Crayola Write Start Colored Pencils

These pencils are hexagonal shaped and have extra-thick, 5.3mm lead, so they’re easier for small hands to hold and create strong imprints even for tentative newbies still figuring out this whole “writing” thing. And if that doesn’t amount to perfect penmanship right off the bat, well, they’ve still got their polar bear eraser.

Buy Now $14

Faber Castell Fish Pencil Sharpener

Faber-Castell’s basically thought of everything on this manual sharpener: it’s got holes for both regular and jumbo pencils (see above), includes an eraser (much needed), is optimally sized for little hands (again, theme developing here), and is shaped like a goofy looking cartoon fish.

Buy Now $10

Big Kids (>5)

“Practice Makes Awesome” Pencils

Remember those boring No. 2’s? Slap an empowering slogan on them and suddenly they become a whole lot more awesome. Just like your kid, who has been practicing hard on their penmanship all summer. The only thing that could add more awesome would be Legos…

Buy Now $7

WAFF Silicone Notebook

BOOM. Wouldn’t you have paid more attention to your studies if you could have done math, created characters, and learned to read by building with number, color, and letter bricks on your notebooks? Yes. Yes, you would have.

Buy Now $13

Star Wars Trapper Keeper 2-Pocket Folders By Mead

Hands up if you knew Trapper Keepers were still around. Keep ’em up if yours had Star Wars folders as cool as these. May the force be with your child as they attempt to fend off their jealous, folder lusting classmates.

Buy Now $8


Poppin Black Dream Desk Set

Holy hell there’s a lot of stuff in this set. Letter trays, accessory trays, pen cup, mouse pad, paper clips, binder clips, memo pad stapler — okay, that’s enough for now. With 80 pieces in all, it’s not cliche to say that this might truly be the only desk set you’ll ever need to completely outfit your office, whether it’s in the corner with a view or crammed between a crib and a rocking chair.

Buy Now $106

Appointed Monogram Notebook

Just think how much fancier you’ll look in meetings doodling on a bookcloth-covered notebook with you initials monogrammed on the front. It’s available with ruled, gridded, or blank pages (blank works best for doodling), and the cover is water resistant for when your boss splashes water in your face to get your attention.

Buy Now $24

Caran D’ache Metal Ballpoint Pen

A hotel-branded Bic is no way to honor an archival-grade notebook with your initials on it. A Swiss-made, metal ballpoint that writes a smooth as D’Angelo Black Messiahs, however, is more than worthy. And wouldn’t you know it? It’s hexagonal shaped just like those colored pencils you gave your kid, so you both can practice your grip.

Buy Now $17

This article was originally published on