Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: My Favorite Back-to-School Items for Young Kids

While I don't have a child in "official" school yet -- which, by the way, you can find me curled up in a fetal position on the floor when that happens in two {yes, two!} years -- I do have one who attends twice-a-week preschool and needs a good amount of "stuff" to begin the school year. 

Since he's only in preschool, my husband thinks I go a little overboard for taking Walker out to buy a new first day of school outfit, getting him a new backpack/lunchbox combo and making a big to-do over a traditional first day of school meal...but I just think it's fun and I love the joy it brings each year around this time. And hey, they're only young once, right?! ;) 

Before I started staying at home, I worked in the communications department of a local school district, and ever since then -- even though I'm no longer working -- I still get a sense of giddiness around this time of the year when school supplies start taking over the back half of Target; back-to-school commercials begin popping up on TV; and, quite frankly, I am immediately transported back to my school years and can just smell those freshly-sharpened pencils and feel the anxiousness the night before the first day of school brought. I just love it all. 

So here are a few of my favorite back-to-school items for young kiddos, and many of these have been purchased in our home and are packed up and waiting for Walker's first day next Thursday!

one || two || three

four || five || six 

seven || eight || nine 

We use these Bento-style lunchbox containers year-round, but I always buy them brand new at the beginning of the school year since they get a little icky after a year. They're good, hard plastic and are perfect for packing Walker's school lunch twice a week -- and for packing a lunch for all of us {me included!} on-the-go during the summer. They also hold up well in the dishwasher. 

I mentioned this water bottle before here, but I love how the Contigo Kids stainless steel water bottles keep water extra cold. We use the Contigo Kids water bottles for every day use, but I do like to send this stainless one with Walker the first few months of school since it's still hotter than you-know-what in Texas until about mid-October. I just like knowing that his water is kept extra cold for him to drink after being out on the hot playground or in gym. 

I love to use silicone muffin liners in Walker's lunchbox container to hold a little treat: Greek yogurt-covered raisins, a few dark chocolate chips, or even a brownie cut up into little chunks. It also is great for holding Goldfish crackers, grapes, etc. It just gives me some added space and keeps little things contained. And a bonus is that I can use them to bake and just pop them in the dishwasher on the top rack. 

These are my very favorite socks for Walker! Knox still wears my favorite baby socks, but Walker loves these ankle socks, and I love how well they stay on his feet. The seam at the toe is also quite small and thin and doesn't bug him as much as other brands. 

I have purchased Olive Kids backpacks {and lunchboxes} for years and I just love them! I can't justify spending the money on an expensive backpack for preschool since Walker's comes home with glitter, glue and dirt all over it each week. But these are good quality for the price and are the perfect size for my 3.5-year-old. I also love the side "pocket" that perfectly holds his water bottle. 

These reusable ice packs are the perfect size and weight for little ones' lunchboxes: they don't weigh it down too much, fit perfectly into his lunchbox and stay cool for a long time. Again, it's hot in Texas for a while, and I like knowing that Walker's food isn't hot by the time his noon lunchtime rolls around. 

Again on the note of Olive Kids, I purchase the backpack/lunchbox set each year before school starts. Walker is getting the construction themed ones this year for obvious reasons, but all the prints are so cute! {They also make coordinating nap mats that roll up easily and have a little handle to carry them; too bad he doesn't nap at school anymore!} This lunch box is the perfect size to hold his Bento lunchbox container, utensils (if needed) and two ice packs. 

I used to purchase expensive Stride Rite tennis shoes for Walker each year, but that turned into multiple times a year because his foot grew so quickly...and turned into hundreds of dollars out of our wallets spent on those expensive shoes! So, when I found that Stride Rite made a line of shoes for Target, I was hooked. These shoes are good quality and hold up extremely well. Since Walker can't yet tie his shoes, I also love the Velcro strap that he can do himself to make him feel independent, but it doesn't look cheesy or dorky. These shoes are a winner in my book! 

We have checked this book out from the library and will be picking it up today in anticipation for next week's first day! I have always liked reading books to prepare Walker for big events {e.g. his baby brother's arrival, school, etc.} and this book is so sweet! He loves the original "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," so I think this one will be a hit. 

What about you? What are your favorite back-to-school items for the littles in your life?

Linking up with Jessi and Jenn


  1. this is a great list! I am ordering those muffin cups right now. I love our contingo water bottles, I actually just ordered two more now that Graham likes to drink out of them too. I need to look for if you take a mouse to school..we have every other one of those books and I think jack would love this one! Thanks for sharing ;)

  2. Yes to all of theses!! I might need to order those muffin cups too. Contigo water bottles are hands down the best and we can never have enough ON ankle socks in our house.

  3. Oh my gosh - that backpack and lunchbox are so cute and SO Walker! Fits his loves perfectly!

  4. Love this! Also, Andi loves her 'if you give a mouse a cookie' and 'if you give a moose a muffin' books! I didn't know there was a school one!

  5. I use similar bento boxes - the best! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  6. How much fun!! I can't wait to help our kids get ready for school - that was my favorite! Stephen would totally say the same thing as Brandon but oh well - it's way more exciting :)

  7. This is a great list! We are getting ready for back to (pre)school here too. Those ice packs are the best.

    Elizabeth | The Lovely Latte

  8. Fun items! I love the silicone muffin idea for holding all sorts of little snacks. :)


  9. I love the If You Give A book series. They are so cute! It was the first book I remember reading all by myself too haha.

  10. OHhhh those muffin cups are such a great idea!! I always loved prepping for back to school and loading up on colorful supplies and notebooks! What app do you use to make your collages?!


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