I think the biggest transition for me when my son entered grade one, was that he suddenly needed 'stuff' for school beyond a backpack and a lunchbag. It was pretty exciting to pick out his first pencil case! Some schools provide a list of what to pack in the pencil case, but often the sales start before the list is obtained – so I suggest to shop early and take a few tips from momstown Finds as to what you need!
Here are momstown Finds' tips to help you buy and supply the perfect pencil case!
1. Buy a LARGE pencil case
I found this out at the END of grade one… "Mom, every time I take out a pencil crayon, everything spills out!" So I'm sharing this tip with you so you won't make the same mistake! Kids' pencil cases stay inside their desks so there is room to fit a large one.
My son thought a see-through one was great. It was large enough and he could see what he was looking for!
2. Buy a pencil case your child can open.
Stand there with them at the store and test out those zippers. If they're sticky now, they'll be sticky at school. Some kids prefer a dual-zip that pulls with a handle, like this licensed variety available at Walmart.
3. Buy a GOOD quality pencil sharpener
I bought quite a few cheapies before I figured out it was worth it to spend $5 and have it last. Yes, it will be larger (but you're buying that large pencil case, remember!) Practice at home – use it often and see what works and what doesn't. lso make sure the sharpener has a little container for the shavings – otherwise your child is going to end up with a very messy desk and floor beneath him!
4. LABEL everything!
Tears don't end in kindergarten… many a grade 1 or 2 has been reduced to a puddle because he or she couldn't claim a treasured pencil crayon or marker set. Mabels Labels has a size to fit every need. I use the Teeny Tags to attach to the zip (makes it easier to pull, too), wrap Tag Mates around each pencil, and use Sticky Labels on sharpener, scissors, and everything else!
5. Buy glue sticks in BULK!
It seems to be the most used-up supply in the pencil case, and in the classroom… the good old glue stick. So buy in bulk and replace as necessary (you will need to ASK your child – they won't tell you!). Even better, donate some glue sticks to the classroom supply – teachers are always grateful for extras!
6. Load up on drawing supplies in the fall.
You can't beat the prices of quality products like Crayola crayons, pencil crayons, and markers at back to school time. But despite our best efforts, many of these items need to be replaced throughout the year – so have some handy to re-fill when needed!
7. Consider a separate pencil box for favourite markers.
These tight-close see-through boxes are perfect for storing drawing supplies, and will help keep markers fresh. Available at Walmart – and at $1.50 a pop you won't mind shelling out for an extra box.
8. USB keys with style. For the older kids – like these super cool Star Wars versions from Staples.
9. Fun and funky calculators.
Once they're allowed to bring them to school -owl, penguin and panda designs – super cute! Also available at Staples.
What else do you need in the pencil case? Besides the glue stick, pencil crayons or markers, pencil sharpener, our school suggested: