Sure, I’m on top of the school supplies. Perhaps you think you’re on top of the supplies, too. You may have received your grade-specific list and stocked your children’s backpacks in preparation of the first day of school; certain that teachers will look kindly upon your children (and you) for having read your lists carefully, followed directions, and made sure your children arrived on the first day weighted down by all the pencils, glue sticks, notebooks, and disinfectant wipes required for a successful academic year.
Ah, but the first days of supply-success fade almost as soon as each 2-inch, beveled eraser is placed in pencil boxes and stored in desks and the teachers actually start to remember who your kids are. What comes next are constant preparedness tests for you and your children that separate the amateurs from the adroit; the beginner from the big leaguer; those wet behind the ears from the well versed.
I give to you SCHOOL SUPPLIES 2.0 because behind every kid, there is a crackerjack parent ready for anything.
- $25+ per child in small bills for the oddly priced, cash-only fees that spring up during the year, i.e. the $17 for that field trip to the Blind Birds of Prey Sanctuary, $7 for materials for that ad-hoc science program that coincidentally occurred on the same day as that unscheduled fire drill.
- Brown paper lunch bags for aforementioned field trips where disposable lunches are preferred to the eco-friendly, two-tiered, insulated lunch bags with Bento Boxes.
- Find those old lunch bags you shoved in the back of your cupboards that don’t zip all the way anymore for the days your children leave their eco-friendly, two-tiered, insulated lunch bags with Bento Boxes at school on a Friday.
- Extra dishwashing liquid to clean out the science experiment growing in the eco-friendly, two-tiered, insulated lunch bags with Bento Boxes your children bring back from school after the weekend – but not before offering the growing cultures for a science program in lieu of previously mentioned $7 program.
- Avoid having to bake, schlep, or chaperone (unless that’s your jam). Buy cups, napkins, and/or paper plates in bulk, and be the first to sign up with your contribution for the Class (insert holiday/occasion) Party with inexpensive, light-weight yet practical supplies.
- Spray hair-dye for Crazy Hair Day; clothing with school colors for School Spirit Day, and a put aside a bag of recyclables for Found Object Hat Day.
- Shirts that are yellow or purple (or whichever colors your children do not own or like and most stores do not carry) to anticipate the color of the Field Day team to which your children will inevitably be assigned.
- White shirts & black trousers/skirts for choir, band, orchestra recitals in their actual size as opposed to their Spring ’17 sizes.
- Too soon to think about the holidays? Never. Get some gift cards to coffee/donut shops for teachers, coaches, and activity instructors. You can always pocket the gift cards for yourself if you don’t use them.
- Tea tree oil to pour on your children’s heads as soon as you receive that first memo where the words LICE and YOUR CHILD’S CLASSROOM jump out at you off the page like a blood-thirsty, nit-laying louse!
- Tissue, tissue, and more tissue. Travel packs for backpacks, easily accessible for those abundantly productive, gravitationally irreverent sneezes at the bus stop or on the way to school once the allergies, colds, and plagues hit and also boxes of tissues for the desperate cries for tissue replenishment your teachers will need once the allergies, colds, and plagues hit.
You got more items for the list? Do share so that we can all benefit from your wisdom and experience. Good luck to you all!