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9 Essentials every elementary student should have in their backpack

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, pets...

The nine items your kid really needs for school that aren't on their book list

Your children's school gave you a supply list, but is that all they need to take to school?

Unfortunately, no. I know that if I send my kids to school with everything on the list they'll have what they need to get through class, but what about the rest of the day? I ease my worries by making sure I've added a few extra essentials my daughter might need for her day, both during class and for any after school adventures.

1. Wipes

Kids get messy. At lunch time, snack time, craft time... and sometimes just walking down the halls. They don't always want to go the bathroom to wash their hands, so make sure they're ready for easy cleanup by packing a few wipes in a sandwich bag (or pick up a handy travel-sized package).

2. Tissues

Yes, the classroom probably has tissues. You know this, because you had to send in several boxes yourself. But make sure your kids have a few handy, in case they need one quick or the empty box on the teacher's desk needs a refill.

3. Water bottle

Kids need to stay hydrated throughout the day, and that drinking fountain is probably less than hygienic. Pack a water bottle in everyone's backpack, but only after clearing it with the teacher.

4. Snacks

No, they probably can't break out their own snacks if they get the munchies during the math quiz, but you can make sure they survive the long bus ride home by providing a wholesome snack, like the new snack choices from Horizon Organic®.

5. Your contact info

If your children are very young, they may not have your phone number memorized. The teachers should have it, but just in case one of your kiddos needs to reach you in a hurry, write your contact info on a piece of paper and tuck it into a pocket in their backpacks. Make sure your children knows it's there, and you'll all feel better.

6. Sunscreen

Your kids will probably spend a good part of the day outside when the weather is nice enough: not only for recess, but also for learning time. Apply a coat of sunscreen before you send them off for the day, but make sure they know how to apply it as well, and instruct them to reapply after lunch.

7. Insulation

During the winter months, kids need to bundle up for recess or on the way home. Pack an extra hat and set of gloves, in case the ones they wore to school go missing.

8. Cell phone

If you think your children are too young for their own cell phone, consider getting a pay-as-you-go phone just for emergencies, especially if they walk home from school. Make sure they know how to use it, but let them know that it's for emergencies only, and check that they're not using it when they shouldn't.

9. Money

We don't mean your kids should have $20 on hand at all times, but make sure they have some loose change in case they want to use a vending machine, buy something from a bake sale, or get an extra milk at lunch.

This post was brought to you by Horizon Organic.

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