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After more than a year spent at home doing distance learning, almost everyone is going to need to stock up on back-to-school supplies before the first day of class.
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Supply shortages are a very real issue this season, which means that some of those must-have school supplies that your kids will need on their first day of school could be unavailable. Don't run the risk of not being able to get everything on their back-to-school shopping list. Here are 10 popular back-to-school supplies to stock up on—and where to get them—before they sell out.
1. A great backpack
If there's one thing every kid needs before the first day of school, it's a really good backpack. The JanSport SuperBreak Plus is an affordable and durable option, but we tested 11 popular brands to find the best, most versatile backpacks for kids in a wide variety of grades.
2. Lunch boxes
If your kid will be expected to bring their own lunch to school this year, they're going to need a sturdy lunch box that can stand up to a lot of hard use. The LunchBots Large Trio bento-style lunch box holds plenty of food for a hungry middle schooler and it's dishwasher safe so that parents don't have to spend their evenings scrubbing off old food. Pair it with the LunchBots Thermal 8-ounce container if you plan to send hot soup or pasta during the colder months.
3. Water bottles
With water fountains out of commission due to COVID-19, if you want your kiddo to stay hydrated you're going to have to send them to school with their own reusable water bottle. We like the Hydro Flask because it keeps beverages nice and cold, it's practically indestructible, and it's dishwasher safe. Plus it comes in lots of cool colors that kids will love.
4. Face masks
Kids are headed back to school in person this fall (hooray!) but they're still going to be expected to wear face masks. Make having to wear a face mask slightly less irritating by getting them a selection of our top picks: Disney cloth masks or Vistaprint. Our testers loved the look of the Disney masks, but found the Vistaprint ones more comfortable for a longer day of wear.
For older kids whose school districts aren't providing laptops, it's a good idea to get them one of their own to use for schoolwork. We like the Apple MacBook Air because it's lightweight and has a killer battery life.
Now that technology is such a huge part of school curriculums, kids are likely going to need a great pair of headphones for both classroom work and homework. Opt for a pair of our favorite headphones for kids because they're durable, comfortable and limit the volume so that you don't run the risk of your kids suffering any hearing loss.
7. Hand sanitizer
Make sure that their little hands stay clean even if they don't have access to soap and water with a portable bottle of hand sanitizer. We're partial to sprays because they dry quickly and kids love to spritz them—which means they are more apt to use them.
8. Binders for schoolwork
What better place to corral all of their papers than in a three ring binder? Pair the binder with a cool hole punch to encourage their budding organizational skills.
9. Graphing calculator
Believe it or not, kids are still using graphing calculators. If your kid is an incoming middle schooler or high schooler, you're going to want to snap one of these up before they are all sold out.
It wouldn't be the start of a new school year without a fresh package of pencils. You can't go wrong with a classic Ticonderoga yellow #2 pencil.
Have an older kid who prefers a mechanical pencil? BIC's Xtra-Smooth line erases cleanly and doesn't smudge.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Back to school supplies: Where to find Peppa Pig backpacks and more