Back to School Shopping Is Still an Important Ritual

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Even though I have one child 100% virtual and one 100% in person, they both get to pick out new school supplies and a new school outfit. Why? Because it’s a tradition that sets that excited, anticipatory feeling for going back to school.

And, because my college freshman’s dorm room is her bedroom, I’m letting her get a few things to make it more festive.

Because this situation stinks.

And I want to make it a little better.

That’s all I’m doing. Not breaking the bank but spending a little bit of money on the usual supplies, clothes, and room decor.

Do you think you’ll celebrate back to school with a bit of back to school shopping? (Even if it’s virtual shopping?)

Here are a few ideas for back to school shopping this year.

Of Course, Stock Up on Actual School Supplies

Whether you’re virtual or in person, your kids will need supplies.

We love going to Target for our school supplies but also have found that Office Depot, Walmart, and Staples have great prices and good supplies.

Amazon always has supplies but they’re not generally on sale so I avoided buying school supplies from them.

The great thing is that any of these retailers ship to your house so you can shop virtually if you want. (I want.)

My kids don’t get supply lists anymore. So we usually get mechanical pencils, folders and notebooks to get started until we know what they need.

How about you? Do you get supply lists? Where do you like to shop?

A Few Just for Fun Back to School Ideas


Unicorn Donuts
Who wouldn’t want to play with these cute erasers?


Lollypop Scented Pens

Pick one of 9 flavors including strawberry, cotton candy, watermelon, grape, and glazed donut.

Superhero Pack
12 comic themed graphite pencils, 3 super agile ninja erasers for taking mistakes off the page, and a mighty pencil sharpener! We passed out these ninja erasers for my daughter’s ninja party and they were very popular.


Fine Tip Gel Pens
My kids love, love, love taking notes with different colors — and guess what? The use of color is actually scientifically proven to help with memory. Do your kids know about taking notes with different colors?


Oh My Glitter Blue
Cute, small glittery notebooks.


New Backpack
Would a new backpack make going to in-person school less overwhelming? I think you can skip this for now if you’re virtual, or hang on to it for when (if) schools do go back.


My college freshman and I are about to head to IKEA to get her a desk chair and bookshelves for her dorm room at home. Maybe we’ll find a few other decor ideas to brighten up her space.

Will you join me in celebrating back to school? It might not look like we want but we can try to make it as okay as we can for kids.

Finally, let’s extend 1000% more compassion to teachers and administrators who are doing their very best, working the hardest they’ve ever worked, and are all at the mercy of other decision-makers.

I feel so much LOVE for all of you hard-working educator friends.


Also, if you’re a homeschooling parent, or know someone who is, the Imagination Soup Writers Homeschool Curriculum is different than anything else out there! It teaches kids how to write using children’s books. Plus, it’s designed to create ownership and promote a love of writing!

Imagination Soup Writers


back to school shopping ideas 2020

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