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The 6 back to school supplies your first grader needs

The first day of school can be bittersweet. After having a full summer of family adventures and fun, it is time for kids to move on to the next grade and go back to school for another year. But it’s an exciting time, too. The kids are going into a new grade and will meet new friends and teachers. First grade is a special grade to enter into since kids transition from kindergarten to “big kid” school. When looking for back-to-school supplies for your first grader, there are a few that are more essential than others.

Supplies for school


The number one item that children need for school is, of course, pencils. You can stick to the wonderful traditional Ticonderoga #2 pencils from Target. Kids will also probably need colored pencils, especially for art class or creative time. This Crayola Colored Pencil Set from Walmart gives your child 50 pencils in various beautiful colors. One more thing to consider, since they are in first grade and still learning how to write, is pencil grips. These Mlife Pencil Grips, in a pack of 10, are a good choice.

Girl With Backpack

A good backpack

Your newly minted first-grader definitely needs a backpack that will help them to express their personality. For example, if your child loves “Paw Patrol” and is all about saving the day, this “Paw Patrol Movie” Backpack from Walmart is a wonderful option for your child. It’s large enough to keep everything they need to tote books and work back and forth to school. Similarly, this “Peppa Pig” Backpack from Amazon is sturdy, and your child will love it if they enjoy watching the popular show. It is lightweight and perfect for a first grader.

Safety scissors

Children need to learn to use scissors since they’ll likely be doing a lot of art projects. Safety scissors typically have a blunt tip to avoid any injuries while using them. These TRU RED™ Kids Blunt Tip Stainless Steel Scissors are a great place to start when it comes to using scissors. They are made with stainless steel for durability and can be used by either right or left-handed children.

Notebook or composition book

There is no doubt that a notebook or two will be needed, especially as children learn to practice their writing. Some teachers don’t mind regular notebooks, like this up & up™ Wide Ruled 1 Subject Notebook, which is great for helping children to reach their writing goals. Other teachers would rather have their students use a composition book, especially as a journal. The Office Depot® Brand Fashion Composition Notebook allows kids to have cute designed composition books for their studies.


It would be a good idea to grab a couple of folders for your child, as this will be the primary way that they transport papers and homework to and from school. You may want to get ones for different subjects. You can contact your child’s teacher to find out how many are needed. If you need more than two, the JAM 6pk Heavy Duty 3 Hole Punch 2 Pocket Paper Folder comes with six different colored folders, so your child can choose their favorite. If you are just looking for one folder, this Homework Folder from Scholastic is just the thing to bring homework home.

Girl In School With Pencil Case
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Pencil box/organizer

To make sure that your children’s pencils, pens, and other art supplies do not get lost, getting them a pencil box will help them keep all of their supplies in one place. Usually, teachers let children leave pencil boxes on their desks. Plus, they have plenty of cute ones out there that would be perfect for your first grader. For instance, this Vaultz Metal Pencil Box in “Painted Puppy” will hold all of your child’s pencils, and will also bring them joy when they look at it.

As your little one enters the first grade, it is a time to celebrate, have fun, and enjoy learning about new things every day. With these supplies, they will tackle first grade like a champ. The products listed above are a great place to start when putting together your child’s back-to-school supplies.

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Jennifer Passmore
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jennifer has written two books on how to deal with living with chronic illness using the power of positivity. She has written…
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