Whether your kids will be learning at home this year or heading to school with the possibility of virtual and distance learning, these teacher-picked supplies will help you create the ultimate learning space for students to thrive in this crazy back-to-school season!
I’ve rewritten this intro about a dozen times, because really, what can you say about 2020 that hasn’t already been said? There are just no easy answers for schools, teachers or parents. All the choices are hard. You’ll do what’s best for your family, and that’s what matters.
Whether you’re going virtual this year or heading to school with new parameters, it’s time to prepare with some non-traditional Back to School shopping. As a former teacher, I’m thankful to have a teeny bit of insight on learning spaces for kids and I wanted to share my favorites for the upcoming school year.
With many of these items in high-demand and a short amount of time to prepare, it’s a good idea to get what you need as soon as possible so you’re not scrambling... says the person who stocked up on toilet paper in January. 😉
Instead of new backpacks and lunchboxes, you might be upgrading kids’ desk chairs and headphones. Or looking for face masks your elementary kiddos will want to wear. Or need storage ideas for the learning materials that you’ll need to organize in your home for awhile.
No matter what you need for Back to School 2020, I’ve got you covered. Whether you’re using what you have on hand or looking for an ‘easy button’, I know you’ll make it work. I’m wrapping you in a big ‘ol hug too. We’re going to get through this together, and I’m here for you all the way.
Our Favorites for Back to School 2020
If your kids will be attending school in person, they’ll most likely be wearing masks. This Etsy store has masks that kids will actually WANT to wear— from sports teams to favorite characters, they’ve got them covered (literally.)
All that mask wearing means you need a system for grabbing clean ones and laundering dirty ones. These wall hooks (or this set of wall hooks) are perfect for hanging clean masks by the door so no one forgets.
Last but not least, hydration is an important part of staying healthy but drinking from the water fountain won’t be encouraged. Having a well made water bottle like this one to keep water cold and close by will be key.
Kids Home & Distance Learning Spaces
It’s important to have a dedicated workspace at home so kids can easily take out their supplies and have a worktime routine. This doesn’t mean they should stay in one spot all day, but it’s good to have a ‘home base’ with a background that won’t get interrupted during video calls with teachers.
My daughter has this desk and it has two drawers for supplies as well as an outlet for plugging in chargers and a lamp. She loves it!
We also have a lap desk for when they need a change of scenery and want to work on the couch or outside.
If you’re in the market for a new desk, here are a couple of student desks that won’t break the bank:
Kids Desk Chairs
A comfy chair is a must; we have this one from Target and the wheels make it easy to move when needed, plus it has sleek modern styling which makes the decorator in me happy.
When I was a teacher, these wiggle cushions were really helpful for kiddos who needed some sensory input while sitting. If you have a wiggle worm like I do, they might enjoy having it on a chair to help them focus.
Or, go all out with a wobble stool. Remember tipping your chair back when you were a kid and how good it felt (until you fell over and smashed your head?) This stool is like that, but make it safe. 😉
Here’s a few more desk chairs for kids to choose from, most with wheels or swivels to help expend some of that ‘stuck at home trying to learn’ energy.
Organization & Storage
A closed cabinet or bookcase will help with storing supplies (pretty baskets make it easier on the eyes, too.) If you need additional storage, this storage bookcase is really nice and versatile.
Another option is a rolling cart; they’re easy to move and stash behind a door or in a closet if needed, and I love how they look.
Even less intrusive is this sleek supply caddy. It can easily be carried where needed and cleaned up and stored at the end of the day. If you have multiple kids, buy one for each and label with their name for instant organization.
I’m OBSESSED with this storage piece, it’s less than $12 and keeps supplies out of sight! It’s great for storing not only school supplies but extra masks, notebooks, and office stuff out of the way.
Elementary teachers at our school use book bins to hold each student’s supplies, and my daughter asked if we could get one for her to use at home since she was used to that system. These bins fit the bill perfectly.
I love to label things, and this is hands-down my favorite label maker. LABEL ALL THE THINGS!
Technology for Learning
These kids headphones are highly rated and I love how they cover the ears which helps block ambient noise. My son prefers these over earbuds hands-down.
My kids got Chromebooks from Santa before any of this went down and we were thankful because they went out of stock quickly in March! You’ll want to choose the best option for your situation, but as far as computers go this Chromebook and this convertible Chromebook were both well rated.
TIP: if your child is working from a laptop, place the laptop on a stack of books so that the screen is eye level. This will alleviate neck and back strain.
Helpful Supplies for Home Learning
We found having some small whiteboards were really helpful for reducing paper waste. Having a few on hand is helpful for working with your child or if they want to work out problems with their teachers online.
Organizers for your wall such as this chalkboard calendar and this bulletin board not only look nice but can keep schedules and papers organized. My son requested a white board for his room and this is similar to the one he bought.
TIP: put a bin or bowl of small toys within reach for ‘fidgeting’ if needed. My kids like stress balls, worry stones, fidget cubes, and other small sensory toys to help them focus when they’re feeling restless.
Listen mama, if you want to add some wine to your cart while shopping for this school year I won’t tell. It’s going to take a village to get us through this school year, and possibly some good beverages as well.