School Necessaries.

By: Jen Shoop


We just got our list of school necessaries and I’ve been busy trying to track down cute options in each category. You know I love any challenge to make life more complicated than it needs to be. Ha! Thought I’d share a few finds for each. You’ll note I tried to stick to two major colors — seafoam and pink — to make it all work together.

Outdoor Blanket: Given that the children spend a lot of time and often eat outdoors, we were asked to provide a small quilt or outdoor blanket. I had long been looking for an excuse to buy one of these sweet block print quilts, and I snagged this adorable elephant print one, though I also love this flower print and this fish print.

Cloth Masks: We like the ones from Gap and Old Navy (though Old Navy doesn’t have any good prints at the moment) — I have purchased the masks from several other (often more expensive) brands, but these are the ones mini prefers, and I like that they are adjustable as well as non-precious/non-expensive. I found the game changer last year was a personalized mask chain. She LOVED this and it made life so easy for her when taking on/off to eat or drink — and she never lost a single mask! If you’re looking for something for a boy, I like this style.

Large Labeled Bin: To keep her spare clothes, etc., organized. I got this one and will affix one of her personalized name stickers on the front.

Pencil Box: There are SO many adorable personalized options on Etsy, but I ended up with this style in the matte “soft mint” color to coordinate with the seafoam, and did her name in white on top. I also considered ordering the decal from this shop and putting on an inexpensive Target box. I’m filling the box with Ooly markers and Faber Castell colored pencils.

Cloth Napkins: This is Montessori, after all 🙂 I bought her these adorable rainbow gingham ones. I also liked these polka-dot ones and these striped ones. In my search, I also discovered a trove of heavily discounted napkins at Williams-Sonoma — love these striped ones, these sealife ones, and these embroidered citrus ones.

Plate, Cup, Utensils: All Mushie.

Water Bottle: Yeti.

Slippers: Mini’s previous school also had indoor shoes, though they were required to be Natives in navy. At her new school, the only request was a soft pair of slippers, and the teacher mentioned a lot of girls like ballet slippers for this purpose. I am torn between buying a second pair of ballet slippers (just purchased her a pair for ballet on the weekend) or maybe going with a pair of classic Minnetonkas?! I loved these when I was little and then wore them again all the time maybe a decade ago when they came back “in.”

Large Reusable Bag: I have several wet/dry bags but because this is specifically for soiled clothing, I wanted a bag that could be thrown into the laundry and washed itself, so I went with this one from Bumkins. Wet/dry bags we love as alternatives: PBK (can be personalized), these Etsy finds (remind me of Roller Rabbit, and these ones remind me of Love Shack Fancy!), and Grace + James.

Blanket for Nap Time: I asked mini which blanket she’d want to bring from home for this (we have so many from her younger years — I must have received ten blankets as gifts when she was born!), and she chose a sweet Monica + Andy print one. These are super soft and come in really great prints, colors, patterns, etc.

Not on the list, but I did order her one of these Stoney Clover-esque pouches with her initial on it for items like glasses wipes, eye patches (she has amblyopia), etc. I actually had made up my mind to order her a Stoney Clover backpack for school but when I mentioned the prospect, mini had other ideas — she just wants to use the same backpack she used in Manhattan, which was emblazoned with her former school’s logo. (All the children at her previous school received the same backpack.). So, there we go! (If you’re still on the hunt and not liking what you see, have you seen these $30 striped ones on Amazon, these personalized blush denim ones, or these Liberty London lettered ones?

And, a few great (chic!) buys for your back-to-school list: these $25 rain boots (the pulls make them easy to pull on, and they come in such good colors); this $30 lined rain coat; Bentgo boxes.

While we’re on the topic of back-to-school and the start of fall, I did want to share a few cute Halloween pajamas, as these always sell out insanely fast…







If you want a special pair of back to school jammies, these ABCs are beyond!

P.S. More school finds.

P.P.S. Fall finds for little boys and girls.

P.P.P.S. A really tough parenting moment.

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4 thoughts on “School Necessaries.

  1. I also have to plug Mabel’s labels. They have all different sizes/purposes and last really well through washing, including the dishwasher. I have even transferred them from one container to another with no issue. I also bought their mini stamp and have stamped my son’s name in most pieces of clothing. It has lasted through many washes!

    1. Ooo the stamp idea is so clever!!! Looking into that immediately, as I was just getting ready to pull out the iron for iron-in labels! Thanks Shannon!


  2. The Bentgos were neat at first, but then I realized how much harder to clean they are than the cheaper EasyLunchboxes containers that are 4-to-a-pack (around $13 for all) on Amazon. They are much easier to open and considerably lighter to carry in the backpack too–I will do everything in my power to lighten that load because it gets so heavy so easily. Also, I found it’s a hassle to have to fill all of the *5* tiny compartments in the Bentgo, as opposed to the 3 compartments in the cheaper containers, (and there is one compartment that’s big enough to fit a whole regular-sized sandwich!). So I rarely use the Bentgo now.

    1. Hi Heidi! Such good points – I also have and love those EasyLunchboxes. I like the three compartments for sandwich, fruit/veg, and something crunchy in her lunch. On other occasions, I like the Yumbox/Bentgo style boxes if giving her more of a variety of things. Hadn’t thought about the weight factor though so thank you for mentioning!


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