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For many parents, the most wonderful time of the year is actually September when kids finally go back to school — but it’s also one heck of a stressful and often expensive period too. Luckily, there are plenty of back-to-school sales and deals that you can take advantage of to make sure your kids are well-prepared for learning without completely blowing your budget on their school supply lists.

Different grade levels and interests require varying supplies, so the following lists may not be entirely comprehensive for your child’s specific needs, but they provide a great place to start. Many teachers and schools distribute a supply list specific to their classrooms, so make sure to check with your school or PTO for the most up-to-date school list. Get ready to get an A+ on your back-to-school basics.

Once you’re done making your school-shopping list, download our list of the best stock-up prices for all your school supplies, so you know exactly when to buy them.


School Supply Lists


Kindergarten is when your kids first start to get their hands dirty in their education—sometimes literally. From colorful construction paper to a character backpack that will showcase their personality, kindergarten is a time for crafts and making messes. Here’s a list to get them ready for their first day:


First, Second and Third Grade

While a lot of the supplies necessary for early elementary education are similar to kindergarten, there are a few more things you’ll need, like book covers for textbooks, rulers for kids learning to measure, and a bigger focus on pencils and writing than on crayons and coloring.


Fourth and Fifth Grade

Fourth and fifth grade bring with them some more complicated and advanced learning. Be sure they have a scientific calculator for math class, as well as black and blue pens for homework—because by now, they’ve nailed their penmanship.


Middle and High School

By middle and high school, chances are they’re working on some pretty sophisticated subjects (hello, geometry!) and trying their hands at some extracurricular activities and sports to boot. White-Out for mistakes, highlighters for close-reading, and a planner to keep everything organized (and not miss a term paper due date!) are key.



College brings with it not just the need for school supplies, but also everything your not-so-little-one needs to live on their own. From storage (under the bed options are great!) to disinfectant wipes, laundry bags, plates, and toiletries, this list has all your bases covered for their essential needs.


Academic Supplies:


Dorm Supplies:

Back-to-School Supply Lists for 2023 That Will Earn You an A+