Back to School Guide (2024) (2024)

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High-quality back-to-school items can help your child stay organized, accomplish their goals, and enjoy their time in the classroom. Our team has compiled a list of the best back-to-school items available online, so your student can be fully prepared for this school season—whether they’re headed back to grade school or off to college.

Here are our top picks

Back to School Guide (2024) (1)Courtesy Amazon

JanSport Big Student Backpack

  • $44
  • $55
  • 20% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This durable bag features a durable polyester fabric, an ergonomic design for heavy book loads, and plenty of storage for laptops, notebooks, and more, thanks to its large main compartment, side pockets, and front-side utility organizer.

Back to School Guide (2024) (2)Courtesy Amazon

Premier Tech Hut Multi-Device Charging Station

  • $40

Prices taken at time of publishing.

If your child has a laptop or tablet that needs regular charging, this product could come in handy. This multi-device station includes one USB-C cable, two micro-USB cables, and three lightning cables and can charge up to six devices simultaneously. It delivers a fast 2.4-amp charge and is compatible with most iOS and Android devices.

Back to School Guide (2024) (3)Courtesy Amazon

Bentgo Fresh 4-Compartment Lunch Box

  • $32
  • $39.99
  • 20% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This lunch box has three leak-proof compartments makes it easy to separate main courses from sides and desserts and allows for excellent portion control. A removable divider creates an optional barrier in the main compartment. It’s also available in multiple colors, so your child can pick their favorite.

Back to School Guide (2024) (4)Courtesy Amazon

Sigg Miracle Water Bottle

  • $15.26
  • $16.99
  • 10% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This leak-proof aluminum water bottle will keep your elementary-school-age child hydrated with its 13-ounce capacity and simple push-button operation. It is also available in numerous colorful designs that kids will be sure to love.

Back to School Guide (2024) (5)Courtesy Amazon


  • $19.9

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This handy 10-ounce food thermos keeps meals and snacks fresh for your kids when they want them. Its insulation technology keeps food hot for up to five hours or cold for up to seven hours. It features durable stainless steel and a small form factor that’s easy for kids to hold. It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns.

Back to School Guide (2024) (6)Courtesy Amazon

Indeme Student Planner

  • $12

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This student planner features 12 months’ worth of weekly and monthly pages, making it easy to keep track of homework, upcoming exams, and activities. Each day has multiple sections to organize assignments by subject. Plus, its thick paper prevents ink from bleeding through.

Back to School Guide (2024) (7)Courtesy Amazon

ZIPIT Monster Big Pencil Case

  • $6.99

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This unique pencil case has a funny monster design with sewn-on eyes that kids are sure to get a kick out of. It can fit up to 55 pencils or pens, opens wide for easy access, and is also machine washable. Plus, this pencil case comes in various vibrant colors to match your kid’s style.

Back to School Guide (2024) (8)Courtesy Amazon

Fiskars Scissors

  • $15.4
  • $17.16
  • 10% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Every kid needs scissors for class, and these 7-inch Fiskars are perfect for any project. This pair accommodates left- and right-handed users, features pointed, stainless steel blades appropriate for children ages 12 or older, and comes in turquoise or red.

Back to School Guide (2024) (9)Courtesy Amazon

Paper Mate InkJoy Pens

  • $15.4
  • $17.16
  • 10% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Take your children’s note-taking to the next level with this multicolored pen set that comes with a total of 20 pens. This set comes with 0.7-millimeter pens in pink, red, orange, yellow, lime, green, teal, bright blue, dark blue, berry, cocoa, and black. These pens also dry quickly and have an ergonomic grip that’s comfortable to hold.

Back to School Guide (2024) (10)Courtesy Amazon

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

  • $74.99
  • $136.35
  • 45% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

These colored pencils are a great choice for older students who are serious about art. This set of 72 pencils comes in a wide range of vibrant colors, perfect for shading and blending. These pencils also have a thick, durable lead that helps resist breaking.

Back to School Guide (2024) (11)Courtesy Amazon

Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator

  • $114.99
  • $150
  • 23% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This full-color graphing calculator from Texas Instruments features a high-resolution backlit display as well as vertical split-screen options. Additionally, it offers 14 interactive zoom features and seven graphing options. It also comes in a variety of fun colors to choose from.

Back to School Guide (2024) (12)Courtesy Amazon

Mead 05512 Spiral Notebook

  • $16.25
  • $32.72
  • 50% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Spiral notebooks are a must for note-taking, homework, and scheduling. This pack of six spiral notebooks comes with a spiral lock that prevents snags and is three-hole punched so they can be used inside a binder. These notebooks contain 70 sheets of double-sided paper and come in various colors.

Back to School Guide (2024) (13)Courtesy Amazon

Crayola Take Note Colored Permanent Marker Set

  • $8.59

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Perfect for crafting and drawing, these permanent markers from Crayola have a comfortable grip and a fine point that’s easy to draw with. They come with a low-odor level and are completely waterproof. These markers come in various colors, ranging from bright red to black.

Back to School Guide (2024) (14)Courtesy Amazon

Avery Big Tab Write & Erase Durable Plastic Dividers

  • $6.8

Prices taken at time of publishing.

These write-and-erase plastic dividers make it simple for students to keep track of their subjects, projects, notes, to-do lists and more. Write on them with ink and erase easily. They also have a big tab design and brightly colored tabs that make it easy to identify each one quickly.

Back to School Guide (2024) (15)Courtesy Amazon

Oxford Ruled Index Cards

  • $3.29

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Index cards are great for making flashcards, taking quick notes, or keeping bullet points available. This pack features 100 3-by-5-inch cardstock cards that are ruled on one side and blank on the other for maximum versatility.

Back to School Guide (2024) (16)Courtesy Amazon

Crayola Construction Paper

  • $16.54
  • $62.92
  • 74% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This 240-pack of double-sided construction paper has a durable, malleable design and a large 9-by-12-inch surface perfect for drawing and crafts. The assorted colors include pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, and white.

Back to School Guide (2024) (17)Courtesy Amazon

Amazon Basics Heavy-Duty Plastic Folders

  • $14.54

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This 12-pack of brightly colored folders includes six colors to differentiate between math, English, history, science, and more. They’re available in a traditional two-pocket design or a three-hole, two-pocket design that’s binder compatible.

Back to School Guide (2024) (18)Courtesy Amazon

Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks

  • $16.54
  • $62.92
  • 74% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This pack of 30 Elmer’s glue sticks is plenty to last through the entire school year, and it has a unique disappearing purple formula that helps kids see exactly where the glue is upon application. These glue sticks dry clear and are washable, vegan, and non-toxic.

Back to School Guide (2024) (19)Courtesy Amazon

MikoDream Kids Alarm Clock

  • $25.99
  • $39.99
  • 35% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Getting kids ready for school in the morning can be a challenge, but this adorable, voice-activated alarm clock will make them excited to start their day. It features five different ringtones, four volume levels, and doubles as a nightlight. Plus, it’s available in gray or pink.

Back to School Guide (2024) (20)Courtesy Amazon

Bostitch Personal Electric Pencil Sharpener

  • $14.86
  • $24.19
  • 39% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This powerful but compact electric pencil sharpener is perfect for the classroom or at home. It comes in a wide range of colorways to match your kids’ style and has a safety switch that automatically prevents operation when you remove the shavings tray.

Other Things to Consider When Back-to-School Shopping

When shopping for your child’s back-to-school items before the first day of school, you can get overwhelmed by the number of choices available. Using these factors will help you focus on finding the best quality products that your kids will use every day.


Back-to-school products should be easy for kids to carry around. Items should be small enough to fit inside a standard backpack without weighing it down too much while also fitting into their workspace.

For products like notebooks, folders, planners, and calendars, ensure they aren’t too wide for your child’s backpack and won’t fly open while in transit.

For smaller items like pens, pencils, and crayons, focus on products with protective cases that are easy to store and will keep them in place.

Ease of Use

Although you won’t be there to help them, you can make sure all of your kids’ back-to-school products are easy enough for them to use on their own. Avoid complicated gadgets unless they are necessary, and take time to review each item with your child beforehand to ensure they know how to use it properly.


Most back-to-school products bought in the summer will likely have undergone serious wear and tear by the end of the school year. To avoid having to restock with new supplies mid-year, purchase products made with durable materials.

For backpacks and other bags, this can mean looking for stitching that won’t come apart and zippers that won’t get stuck or fall off.

For products such as water bottles or lunch boxes, look for products made with sturdy materials like metal or hard plastic that can withstand a few drops.

Most Common Back-to-School Products

While the complete list may differ for every child depending on their school, age, and interests, some items are needed for every back-to-school situation. No matter if they’re heading to pre-K, elementary school, middle school, or high school, here is a school checklist you can use as you prepare to drop off your kids back at the classroom.

  • Backpack
  • Binders and folders
  • Calculator (normal, scientific, or graphing)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Index cards and sticky notes
  • Lunch box
  • Markers, colored pencils, and crayons
  • Notebooks or composition books
  • Pens, pencils, and erasers
  • Scissors
  • Tape and glue sticks
  • Tissues
  • Weekly planner or calendar

Frequently Asked Questions About Going Back to School

What should you do before going back to school?

Before going back to school, you should make a complete list with your child of what you need to buy before you start shopping. Then, make sure you’re giving yourself ample time to shop around to find the best deals. You should also leave time for returning online items if they aren’t what you were looking for.

How do I make it easier to go back to school?

To make it easier to go back to school, make sure you are prepared with every item you need on your shopping list. In addition to the list above of essential back-to-school products, read notes or emails from your teachers closely, as they may require specific products, textbooks, or other items for their class.

Do you need to bring a backpack to school?

While you don’t always need a backpack, keeping all your items in a drawstring bag, briefcase, or tote may be difficult. If your child finds their backpack too heavy, you can try to remove unnecessary items or give them a smaller bag in addition to their backpack that they can store in their locker or cubby.

How We Selected the Best Back-to-School Products

To provide our readers with the best recommendations possible, we rely on several key sources of information to help guide our selection process.

Initial Research: Our research process began by generating a list of back-to-school supplies with a significant number of verified-buyer reviews and an average customer review rating of 4–5 stars. We looked at positive and negative reviews alike, focusing on information from both satisfied and critical buyers.

Expert Insights: Through our years of experience, we’ve learned that listening to what others have to say is key to building accurate, well-rounded articles. To complement our in-house expertise, our team looked at reviews and videos from trusted publications and independent testers, spoke with subject matter experts, and drew insights from reader contributions.

Final Product Selection: We then began fine-tuning our list by replacing older models with the latest versions and eliminating any discontinued models. From there, we pared the list down further by comparing each model’s feature set and selecting the best-in-class options for various buyers, budgets, and scenarios.

Why You Can Trust Us

This Old House has empowered homeowners and DIY-ers for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement advice in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content.

Our team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content. To date, we’ve published over 1,600 reviews on products in the home space, from doorbell cameras and backyard fencing to pool vacuums and snow blowers.

Once we conclude our research, we craft a comprehensive, user-friendly article of recommended products and additional information to help our readers make the right purchase.

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Back to School Guide (2024) (2024)


Does Piscataway, NJ have good schools? ›

Piscataway Township School District is a highly rated, public school district located in PISCATAWAY, NJ.

How many elementary schools are in Piscataway? ›

In addition to its high school, there are four schools for K-3, two intermediate schools serving grades 4-5 and three middle schools for students in grades 6-8.

How do I prepare for back to school? ›

If you're planning on returning to school as an adult learner, consider the following steps:
  1. Identify your reasons for returning. ...
  2. Manage your time effectively. ...
  3. Determine the right program for you. ...
  4. Research the school. ...
  5. Check the required admission criteria. ...
  6. Decide when to apply. ...
  7. Develop a financial plan.
Feb 16, 2023

What is the phone number for Piscataway Township Schools? ›

The Piscataway Board of Education, a separate government entity from Piscataway Township, is located at 1515 Stelton Road and may be reached at (732) 572-2289 and FAX (732) 572-7889. You may learn more at the school district's website by clicking here.

What is the wealthiest school district in NJ? ›

Here is the list of school districts and their median incomes, from highest to lowest:
  • Millburn 184783.
  • Harding 171331.
  • Glen Ridge 170433.
  • Mountain Lakes 164432.
  • Ho-Ho-Kus 162386.
  • Glen Rock 155221.
  • Montgomery Township 154309.
  • Ridgewood 147823.
Feb 3, 2017

What town in NJ has the best school system? ›

The top 25 school districts in New Jersey and the letter grades assigned by Niche include:
  • Northern Valley Regional High School, Demarest: A+
  • Princeton Public Schools, Princeton: A+
  • Millburn Township School District, Millburn: A+
  • West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, West Windsor: A+
Sep 27, 2023

What is Piscataway NJ school district ranked? ›

Piscataway got an overall grade of A- and grabbed the No. 74 spot in the 2024 poll, placing No. 8 among 23 districts in Middlesex County.

What is the ethnicity of Piscataway high school? ›

Students at Piscataway Township School District

The student body at the schools served by Piscataway Township School District is 13.3% White, 25.6% Black, 33.6% Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander, 23.3% Hispanic/Latino, 0.4% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.5% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

How many kids attend Piscataway high school? ›

Piscataway Township High School is a highly rated, public school located in PISCATAWAY, NJ. It has 2,106 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1.

What to say to a child on the first day of school? ›

Here are 11 ideas for positive first day of school messages to share with kids to help empower and inspire them for the year ahead:
  • Believe in yourself.
  • You can do anything you put your mind to.
  • What you think matters.
  • You have a kind soul.
  • Be the friend you have always wanted.
  • Make good choices.

How many hours a week should I work if I go to school full time? ›

If you are going to go to school full-time while working, you are in good company. As many as 70% of college students enrolled in full-time degree programs also work at least 20 hours a week. Many of those employed college students will work full-time jobs.

What school district is 07305? ›

Jersey City Public Schools

What school district is Cedar Knolls NJ? ›

Hanover Township Public Schools - Wikipedia.

What is Piscataway NJ School System rating? ›

Piscataway Township Schools has again been selected by as one of the Best School Districts in New Jersey, especially excelling in the area of diversity. Piscataway got an overall grade of A- and grabbed the No. 74 spot in the 2024 poll, placing No. 8 among 23 districts in Middlesex County.

What is Piscataway High School ranked? ›

Piscataway Township High School 2024 Rankings

Piscataway Township High School is ranked #2,657 in the National Rankings. Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation and how well they prepare students for college. Read more about how we rank the Best High Schools.

Is Piscataway NJ A good place to live? ›

Piscataway Township is a suburb of New York City with a population of 60,447. Piscataway Township is in Middlesex County and is one of the best places to live in New Jersey. Living in Piscataway Township offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents own their homes.

Is Piscataway High School a good school? ›

Piscataway Township High School is a highly rated, public school located in PISCATAWAY, NJ. It has 2,106 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1.

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