Back To School Shopping List Guide

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Shopping for back to school can be a pain for some, but it’s a necessity. As the lazy summer season comes to an end, now is the time to start thinking about everything you need or your child needs to be classroom ready for the school year. This back to school shopping list will cover all the basic school supplies to buy your kids, from preschool to college, so they can get – and stay – organized.

To take it one step further, we also included shopping guides that cover style ideas, fall trends, beauty basics, dorm essentials, as well as the best deals and steals to make sure you get the best price on everything on your back to school shopping list.

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Back to School Shopping List


  • Assorted construction paper
  • Backpack
  • Blunt-tipped scissors
  • Colored pencils
  • Crayons
  • Drawing paper
  • Erasers
  • Glue Stick
  • Lunch bag or lunch box
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Package hand wipes
  • Pencil case
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Plastic drink container w/ flip top (to prevent spills)
  • Plastic folders
  • Rain Coat
  • Ruled notebook
  • Scotch tape
  • Small umbrella
  • Supply box


  • Assorted construction paper (Grades 1-3)
  • Backpack
  • Blue or black ball-point pens
  • Book covers/Book socks
  • Calculator (Grades 4-5)
  • Colored pencils
  • Crayons
  • Glue
  • Eraser
  • Hooded waterproof jacket
  • Loose-leaf paper
  • Lunch bag
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Notebook
  • Pencil pouch
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Personal organizer (Grades 4-5)
  • Plastic folders
  • Plastic toolbox
  • Ruler
  • Safety scissors
  • Spiral notebooks (Grades 4-5)
  • Subject dividers (Grades 4-5)
  • Supply box (Grades 1-3)
  • Tissues
  • Three-ring binder (Grades 4-5)
  • Three-hole punch that fits in binder (Grades 4-5)
  • Umbrella
  • Washable markers (Grades 1-3)

Middle School/ High School

  • Assorted construction paper
  • Backpack
  • Blue or black ball-point pens
  • Book covers/ Book socks
  • Bookmark
  • Calculator (Some math classes require a graphing calculator so check with math teacher first)
  • Calendar
  • Colored pencils
  • Combination lock
  • Compass
  • Dictionary
  • Graph Paper
  • Eraser
  • Flash drive (with lanyard)
  • Flash drive case
  • Folders (that fit in binders)
  • Highlighters
  • Hooded waterproof jacket
  • Index cards (perfect for making flash cards when studying)
  • Ink cartridges (for printing writing assignments)
  • Loose-leaf paper
  • Lunch bag
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Mini stapler
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Notebook
  • Paper clips
  • Pencil case
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Permanent markers
  • Personal organizer/planner
  • Plastic folders
  • Plastic toolbox
  • Post-its
  • Printer paper
  • Protractor
  • Red-ink pens (Some teachers have students do peer editing)
  • Ruler
  • Safety scissors
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Subject dividers
  • Tablet
  • Tissues
  • Thesaurus
  • Three-ring binder
  • Three-hole punch that fits in binder
  • Umbrella
  • White out


Everything under the middle school/high school section plus dorm essentials. Since there are so many must-have items to purchase when you’re heading off to college for the first time or returning, I put together a separate back to school list for college students below that covers everything from school supplies, clothing, bedding, kitchen items and more!


  • Alarm Clock
  • All-in-one printer (scan, copy and print)
  • Batteries
  • Boots
  • Belt
  • Digital voice recorder
  • Gloves
  • Gym Shorts
  • Hat
  • Headphones
  • Jacket
  • Jeans
  • Lip balm
  • MP3 Player
  • Portable car charger
  • Poster board (for class projects)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Scarves
  • Sneakers
  • Wallet
  • Watch

Pin for Later!

back to school shopping printable checklist

Be sure to check out our other guides below to make your back to school shopping is as easy (and painless) as possible!

How to Save Money on Back to School Clothes

Shopping for back to school clothes can be expensive. Even those with healthy bank accounts should look for ways to save during the back to school shopping season. Below are nineteen ways to save on your back to school shopping for students of all ages.

The Best Back to School Sales

Most people will say August is the beginning of back to school shopping, the second biggest retail season. It’s also the best time to get the most bang for your buck. See our list of top stores to get the most savings for your kids heading back to school.

5 First Day of School Outfit Ideas

Need a back to school outfit idea? Well we’re here to help you look fabulous on your first day! Let us inspire your on-campus looks so you can head back to college in style and stay ahead of the class.

The Definitive Back To School Beauty Checklist

Look your best the first day of college and beyond by stocking up on all your back to school beauty essentials. You’ll have no problem deciding on what to add to your shopping list thanks to our helpful back-to-college beauty checklist.

The Ultimate Back to School Denim Trends Guide

Back to school is just around the corner and fall will be here before you know it so now is the perfect time to find the very best of the season’s newest denim trends- from the latest must-have denim washes to perfect cut for your body type.

Back to School Hairstyles

If you hate fussing with hot styling tools in the morning, then you’ll love these quick and easy hairstyles for back to school.

10 Cute Back to School Nail Designs

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite school- appropriate nail designs that you can replicate and show off to your friends. Get Inspired!

The Coolest Backpacks for Back to School

Want to show off your style with a cute carryall backpack? We’ve scoured the internet and found 19 of the coolest backpacks for grade schoolers to grad students.

Are there any back to school shopping guides you would like to see featured on Hot Beauty Health? Let me know in the comments below!


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