CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

Check Off Your School Supplies List: Pre-K Through 1st Grade

Move to the head of the class with our school supplies list.
save article
profile picture of Martina Garvey
By Martina Garvey, E-Commerce Editor
Updated August 2, 2023
school-supplies-list-HERO
Image: LightField Studios | Shutterstock
We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.

Starting school can be a stressful time no matter what age your child is or what grade they’re entering. However, for a child going to school for the first time, the jitters may be even more intense, considering the completely new territory ahead. And that goes for parents too!

Since they can’t stay babies forever, attending school—be it pre K, kindergarten or first grade—is inevitable. While starting school may give you both butterflies in your tummies, equipping your little scholar with everything needed is often the best plan of attack. And there’s a school supplies list just for that!

Best Places to Buy School Supplies

Shopping from a back to school supplies list doesn’t have to be complicated. Most items are available from one or two locations and many—if not all—can be purchased online without ever having to fight the back to school supplies shopping crowd. The big box retailers listed below make it even easier thanks to a shoppable school supply list feature. Keep reading to find out more.

  • Walmart: Take the stress out of shopping with Walmart’s back to school service. Simply enter your location to find your child’s school, select their grade and shop a curated list of teacher-approved school supplies. You can add everything to your cart or browse the options and select what you need.

  • Target: Target has a similar feature called the “school list assist.” Enter your school name or zip code to access your unique supply list. Select the items you need to replace or purchase all your school supplies in one fell swoop. School supplies can be delivered straight to your door or picked up in store.

Prefer to shop around for items on your kid’s pre-k or 1st grade school supply list? Consider the following stores. Each offers inexpensive, colorful and fun options to buy online or in-store.

Back to School Checklist

The school supplies list for pre K through first grade may vary a bit, but in general the items for each level are fairly similar. Check with your school for an exact school supplies list, but expect to be presented with a checklist that resembles the following:

School Supplies List by Product

Now that you’re armed with a checklist, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by tackling a school supplies list that rivals the length of your holiday gift list. But you’ve got this. Consider us your personal back to school shoppers, as we’ve scoured the stores to find must-have items on all without busting your budget.

Pencils

Channie's My First Pencil
Image: Walmart

Be it at home or in the classroom, you can never have too many pencils—and these writing tools are the best in class. Designed for beginners, these pencils have a jumbo barrel that’s easy for little hands to grip and a large eraser on the tip. Bonus: This writing set comes with a pencil sharpener.

Buy Now

Colored pencils

Crayola Write Start Color Pencils Set Of 8 Colors
Image: Staples

Help your student add some color to their school day with this set of eight colored pencils. Designed with a hexagonal shape and extra thick tips, these pencils are easy to grasp and glide smoothly over paper. Better yet, these pencils are pre-sharpened, non-toxic and made from reforested wood. And, thanks to the shape, they won’t roll across your kiddo’s desk and get lost. Perfect for any budding artist!

Buy Now

Erasers

up & up Smudge-Free Erasers
Image: Target
Buying Options
Target|$0.49

Mistakes happen! Which is why an eraser is an essential item on the school supplies list. This pair of smudge-free erasers have beveled edges that prevents paper from tearing and won’t crack or harden over time. Not bad for under $1!

Buy Now

Pencil sharpener

Bostitch Office Twist-n-Sharp Pencil Sharpener, for Kids
Image: Walmart

The rule for school: the bigger the better! Tiny sharpeners may seem the right size for tiny hands, but this slightly larger size is actually easier to grip. Plus, it’s got a built-in feature that prevents over-sharpening with settings that allow for tips from blunt to pointed. But wait, there’s more! It’s also compatible with those colored pencils that tiny tots prefer.

Buy Now

Pencil grips

The Crossover Pencil Grip Pack of 6
Image: Amazon

When learning to write, gripping a pencil can be tricky. Reduce the learning curve with these easily attachable ergonomic grips. They were designed by a doctor and are widely used in classrooms and therapeutic settings. Plus, they work equally well for righties or lefties.

Buy Now

Paper

Top Flight 175 Sheet Wide Ruled Filler Paper White
Image: Target
Buying Options
Target|$0.99

Wide-ruled spacing is typically the preferred paper choice for students just starting to write. Pick up this bumper pack of sheets that’s sure to last you through the school year.

Buy Now

Folders

Modern Shop Kids Pocket Folders 12 Pack
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$11.99

Second to new school clothes, picking out school folders is what allows a student to let his or her personality shine. Add these sturdy pocket folders to your school supplies list. The set features 12 unique designs—including robots, monsters and rocket-ships—so you can have a different organizer for each subject.

Buy Now

Notebooks

up & up Wide Ruled 1 Subject Flexible Paperboard Cover Spiral Notebook
Image: Target
Buying Options
Target|$0.99

Who doesn’t love a good notebook. Start your kid’s school year off right with these single-subject jotters. Likely the first of many notebooks to fill your child’s backpack, this one features wide-ruled pages and a bold and bright cover.

Buy Now

Crayons

Honeysticks 12ct Originals Beeswax Crayons
Image: Target

Art projects, worksheets and busy creative time will be all the more bright with this set of colorful beeswax crayons. Made from New Zealand beeswax and food grade pigments, these crayons are chunky, easy-to-grip and, most importantly, non-toxic.

Buy Now

Markers

Crayola 16ct Pipsqueaks Washable Markers
Image: Amazon

Markers can get messy fast in the hands of mini creative geniuses. So when it’s time to unleash your child’s inner artist, these tried and true Crayola washable markers are always the way to go.

Buy Now

Dry-erase markers

EXPO Low Odor Dry Erase Markers
Image: Target

You might think dry-erase markers are for the meeting room, but they’re regularly used in the classroom too, where whiteboards have replaced old-school chalkboards. Your back to school supplies list may include dry-erase markers for use by the teachers, by the students or by both. Whoever is holding them, choose this low-odor marker to keep the classroom air clear.

Buy Now

Safety scissors

LovesTown Preschool Training Scissors 4 Pack
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$5.99

Sharpen your kid’s cutting skills by putting these child-friendly scissors into their small hands. This four-pack of pint-size scissors are lightweight and easy to handle. And, for safety's sake, the scissors only cut paper and cardboard.

Buy Now

Construction paper

Crayola 240-Sheet Construction Paper 12-Color
Image: Target

Easy to cut, fold and turn into miniature works of art, this pack of colorful construction paper is sure to lead to a school year’s worth of gorgeous refrigerator art.

Buy Now

Glue

Elmer's Washable School Glue
Image: Amazon

Sticky stuff and children don’t always make for a good combination—at least not a clean one. But glue is needed for crafts and school projects of all kinds, which is why this washable classic is a strong bet.

Buy Now

Smock

Bassion Pack of 2 Kids Art Smocks
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$8.99

One of your oversized shirts can make for a DIY smock, but for something that fits a bit better and still protects your child’s clothes, send them to school with a washable art smock sized just right for your little artist.

Buy Now

Pencil case

ZIPIT Wildlings Pencil Box for Kids
Image: Walmart

This pencil case fashioned as a silly monster is sure to scare off anyone from making off with your new student’s pencils or markers. Plus, it’s lightweight, fits everything your kiddo needs and is even machine-washable.

Buy Now

Lunch box

Skip Hop Zoo Insulated Kids Lunch Bag
Image: Skip Hop
Buying Options
Skip Hop|$8

Insulated, easy-to-clean and super-cute, Skip Hop’s classic lunch bag—which comes in a variety of inspired animal designs—is a must-have for any new student. It has a toddler-sized grab handle and an easy to fasten flap, so your little one will have no problem retrieving their snacks. There’s even space for a water bottle at the side.

Buy Now

Backpack

L.L. Bean Junior Original Book Pack
Image: L.L Bean
Buying Options
L.L Bean|$34.95

This classic backpack is perfectly sized for preschool kids and offers plenty of room for books, notebooks and other items. If dinosaurs aren’t your kid’s thing, there are seven other designs to add to your school supplies list.

Buy Now

Water bottle

Thermos 12 oz. Kid's Funtainer Insulated Water Bottle
Image: Target

Perfectly sized for little hands, this insulated bottle keeps beverages cool for up to 12 hours. Better yet, it’s built to handle drops, dings and all sorts of roughhousing meaning it’ll last your kiddo right through elementary school.

Buy Now

Tissues

Kimberly-Clark Kleenex 3-Ply Pocket Packs Facial Tissues 8 Count
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$6.31

Your back to school supplies list may require boxes of tissue for use in the classroom, but don’t forget to pack a smaller size for your student to stash in their backpack.

Buy Now

Hand sanitizer

Babyganics Foaming Pump Hand Sanitizer Travel Size 6 Pack
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$27.54

Back-to-school means lots of germs—whether it’s holding hands during a game or a sneezing neighbor in the classroom. Help ward off colds, flus and other school bugs with this alcohol-free sanitizer that's safe to use for parents and kids alike.

Buy Now

Nap mat

ECR4Kids Everyday Folding Rest Mat
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$21.35

Especially in pre-K and possibly kindergarten, naps and break time may still be part of your student’s daily activities. Provide a cozy spot to curl up with a rest mat—designed in easy-to-clean vinyl—that folds up for simple storage. And mom can rest easy too: these mats are Greenguard certified to be easier on your little one skin and the environment.

Buy Now

How We Chose the Best School Supplies

We get it—back-to-school season requires a lot of supplies! To streamline your decision-making process, our goal is to do the bulk of the research for you, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling online to discover what you actually need. We do this by considering a list of criteria when sourcing school supplies, including quality, practicality, value and, of course, safety. This way you can count on getting the best bang for your buck, while also ticking off every item on your school supplies list.

To decide which school supplies are the best options on the market, we leverage our familiarity with leading brands to make sure items are from reliable manufacturers. We read user reviews to get the low-down on how these products work for families, and typically don’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating. And since many of us are also parents, we rely on our writers’ and editors’ experience using these products with their own families.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

First Day of School Signs Hero
20 Cute First Day of Preschool Signs to Mark the Milestone
By Martina Garvey
Co-Parenting Apps-hero
The Best Co-Parenting Apps for Healthy Communication
By Martina Garvey
Bath Thermometer Hero
8 Best Bath Thermometers to Keep Tub Time Safe
By Korin Miller
ADVERTISEMENT
two toddlers playing with toys at daycare
Childcare Prices Are on the Rise Again, Here Are 5 Tips to Cut Costs
By Wyndi Kappes
Concept illustration of sad woman surrounded by icons like a baby bottle, money and a clock.
This Is How Much Childcare Costs in 2021, New Survey Finds
By Nehal Aggarwal
dad holding young son looks out of window
Many Parents Remain Skeptical About Daycare Amid Pandemic, Survey Says
By Nehal Aggarwal
daycare teacher interacting with her baby students
End-of-Year Teacher Gifts That Make the Grade
By Emily Platt
ADVERTISEMENT
Checklist: Emergency Info
Checklist: Emergency Info
By Paula Kashtan
nanny playing with baby
Nanny vs. Daycare: Which Is Right for You?
Fact Checked by G. O’Hara
babysitter playing with two children at home
How to Find a Great Babysitter (and What to Pay Them)
By Emma O'Regan-Reidy
ADVERTISEMENT
mother holding baby while using laptop at home
The Bump Guide: How to Find a Nanny
By Martina Garvey
mother sitting at desk with son looking at phone and laptop
The Best Babysitting Websites and Apps to Find Trusted Childcare
By Stephanie Grassullo
hand counting out money
The Going Rate for Babysitting: How Much to Pay Your Sitter
By Christin Perry
ADVERTISEMENT
caregiver lifting up and playing with toddler
Your Holiday Tipping Guide: What to Give Your Childcare Provider
By Christin Perry
Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon with their son Dawson
Bachelor Stars Ashley Iaconetti & Jared Haibon Reveal Their Baby's Sex
By Wyndi Kappes
baby in red dress holding a red heart balloon for valentine's day
18 of the Best Valentine's Day Sales for Families Happening Now
By Wyndi Kappes
lovevery slide and seek ball runs recall
Lovevery Recalls 47,000 Slide & Seek Ball Runs Due to Choking Hazard
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
pregnant Sofia Richie is seen on January 29, 2024 in Los Angeles, California
Get the Look: Sofia Richie's Casual-Cool Errands Outfit
By Wyndi Kappes
smiling newborn baby looking up at mother and holding her hands
The Best Deals From Amazon’s February Baby Sale
By Wyndi Kappes
carter's most loved sale
Must-Haves From Carter’s Most Loved Sale Happening Now
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List