Pencils, notebooks, backpack … check, check, check. But what do Champaign-Urbana area kids need for school that you may not have considered?
We have some outside-the-box (and let’s face it, pretty fun) back-to-school musts that we want you to know about so your family can be prepared.
Traditional school supply lists will eventually come out for whatever it is that will be the upcoming school year. Find the bright yellow displays at Target and maybe get the PTA/PTO emails for ordering school supply kits, too. But what about the things we KNOW you’re going to need sometime during the school year that you won’t find on a school supply list? Yep. This is a thing. And we have a list for it.
Thank you to Christie Clinic for presenting our 2020 Champaign-Urbana Area Back-to-School series.
Christie Clinic is encouraging parents to schedule a school physical soon. Starting school physical appointments now will allow Christie Clinic Department of Pediatrics and Department of Family Medicine to best serve all patients while maintaining a safe visit environment. Enhanced precautions are in place to keep patients and team members safe including additional hours, visitor restrictions and social distancing to reduce the number of people in our facilities. Parents can currently make back-to-school appointments for their children through their MyChristie patient portal or online at christieclinic.com.
I know I need more than pencils and markers …
This list was curated with kids of all ages in mind, but some will be more applicable to certain ages than others. Generally speaking, you can bet on the fact that you’ll happen upon a time this school year when you’re looking for these things. Don’t overthink these things or spend a fortune, but do give them at least a little thought before the year gets off and running. Let’s get to it.
- Poster board, or poster board’s related cousin, the corrugated display board (for older kids). You might need a poster board for the “about me” project that your student is assigned at the beginning of the school year. Or maybe it’ll be some random Sunday night, months down the road, when you realize they need to put something on display. Get a couple of these and stash them out of sight so your kids aren’t looking for a reason to use one of the “cool boards” before they actually have to.
- Crazy socks. It’s a guarantee: at some point this school year, no matter how old your child is, there’s going to be a crazy sock day during spirit week or a fun class “reward.” Check at the beginning of the year to make sure each kid has a pair. And while you’re at it …
- Some sort of hat. This one always catches us by surprise because while we think we always have hats, is it going to be a hat that actually works for hat day!? Are they going to want to wear a winter hat in the middle of September spirit week? Probably not. So then what? Do the digging through your closets now to make sure you have a hat each kid will actually want to wear when the day arrives.
- Backup lunch supplies. Inevitably, your child’s go-to lunch box that you’ve spent time carefully researching and purchasing is going to be left on a bus, or in our case, sent home with another kid in error one day. Have something basic on hand so that if you find yourselves without THE lunch bag, you can still send lunch. This might come in the form of brown paper bags or, for one of our kids, the “old” lunchbox from a few years back. We also have a go-to PB&J-based lunch for when our containers and ice packs are out of commission for the scenarios mentioned above.
- Labels. You’re going to label things. And this year you may be labeling even more than normal. Have some nice easy sticky labels on hand to do the job of labeling those supplies you know your child is going to have assigned to them.
- Anything in your school colors. Are your colors purple and gold? When you’re out shopping around Mardi Gras time, snag those purple and gold beads near the checkout at Target and keep them on hand for school spirit days. See also: plain tees, wacky wigs, and other costume-type apparel, all in school spirit colors.
- Sidewalk chalk. You think sidewalk chalk is just for summer? Nope! When you see parents rallying together to write encouraging messages on the school sidewalks before the first day of school, or you just want to leave something fun on your own driveway before your student has a big test, get yourself a nice supply of sidewalk chalk for the job.
- Extra glue sticks. Extra, extra glue sticks. If there is one school supply we just can’t keep on hand, it’s glue sticks. So do yourself a favor and buy a bunch when they’re for sale in 20-packs. You’ll thank yourself later. Trust us.
What did we forget? Email us at email@example.com and we’ll consider adding your ideas to our post.
Read our whole back to school series:
Part 1 — Back to School: School Physicals Required for Illinois Schoolchildren
Part 2 — Back to School: Immunizations Required for Illinois Schoolchildren
Part 3 — Back to School: Champaign-Urbana Area School Registration Information
Part 4 — Back to School: Champaign-Urbana Area School Start Dates
Part 5 — Back to School: Dental, Vision Exams Required for Illinois Schoolchildren
Part 6 — Back to School: Top Nine Tips to Prepare for a Return to School Routine
Post 7 — Back to School: Eight Things You Didn’t Know You Needed
Post 8 — Back to School: Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten