School essentials checklist for every student going back to school

back to school supplies for all agesThis fall will look a little different for anyone going back to school or university. Everyone from elementary school students to high school and university students are planning a fluid approach that may be online, in-person or both. The best way to prepare for the fall is to get everything organized for school supplies right now, and all it takes is a half-hour or hour of planning or shopping and you’ll be set.

Whether you have a child heading to elementary school, you’re off to college, or you’re looking for tools for continuous learning, Best Buy has you covered. Here’s a checklist of back to school essentials for every category of student heading back to school.

Back to school supplies for elementary school

Heading back to elementary school means loading up on the usual essentials, but there are a few supplies you may want to add this year that can help your child learn all year long.

The perfect backpack

kids backpack for back to school 2020There’s a lot of choice in kids backpacks this year, and you may want to choose a hybrid backpack that works for both school and any after school or home school excursions you’ll take.

For kids, you’ll find great bags in your child’s favourite character or cool bags from Fjallraven, Dreamworks, and Nickelodeon. The only rule of thumb is to choose a bag they love, and make sure you pick one with enough room for everything your child needs for online or in-person school.

You may also want to pick up a tablet holder for your child this year, especially if they will be using a tablet while in-person at school and at home. Herschel has tablet sleeves and laptop sleeves that cushion their tech so it stays safe during daily commutes.

Lunch Kit

Some backpacks come with a lunch kit, and there’s everything from soft-sided lunch kits to hard-sided lunch boxes with cold packs.

School supplies

Crayons, markers, pencils, scissors, and loose sheet paper are all must-haves for in-person school, and they are great to have at home when doing online school too. Your child may have to draw a picture, scan it, and send it to their teacher, or they may bring worksheets they worked on at home into the classroom.

You can search for everything on your back to school supply list on Best Buy.

Craft supplies

Ask any teacher and they’ll tell you that crafting facilitates learning. Stock up on craft supplies to engage your child throughout the school year.

Smart toys

smart toysLearning to code is a big part of our children’s future, and Smart Toys help them learn to code and learn more about science, technology, engineering, and math in such a fun, easy-to-relate-to way they’ll never know they’re learning too.

For children in elementary school, a coding kit, robot-building kit, or engineering building blocks are a lot of fun, and you’ll be amazed at what your child will learn.

Back to school high school supplies

They’re a little older, a little wiser, and more grown-up than you’re ready for: high school students taking in-person and online classes require a different set of school supplies than elementary school.

Backpacks for high school students

urban commuter backpack for back to schoolWith extra books, binders, and a laptop, high school students need a backpack with room to spare. This is the year your student may look at a messenger bag as the best choice as it gives them room for laptop, tablet, phone, and school supplies.

You can also find other choices of back to school backpacks include day packs and commuter packs. If your teenage son or daughter will bike to school instead of taking a bus or carpooling this year, an urban commuter backpack will be just the bag for them. It has a spot for a water bottle and built-in bike-friendly features like reflective dots and bike-light loop.

Graphing Calculators

A graphing calculator or scientific calculator is a must-have for high school level math, and you may want to inquire with your child’s teacher as to which functions he or she will need before you buy.

graphing calculator for back to schoolBinders

Your high school student will need one or two binders with dividers so they can organize their classes.


For both online and in-person classes, high school requires more than just lined paper. Don’t forget to pick up some graph paper at the beginning of the school year.

Art supplies

If your teen is taking art this coming term, you’ll want to find out what type of art supplies they will need to complete their course.

Back to college supplies

university laptopCollege supplies are tailored toward the type of classes you will be taking, but there are a few basics everyone must have when attending classes.

Back to school laptop

A great laptop is an absolute must-have for college, and it’s never been so important to have one with the power and versatility to work almost completely online. There are a lot of options for any student depending on what classes they’re taking and what their laptop needs are.

A 2-in-1 laptop will give you a gorgeous display that rotates 360 degrees for use as a laptop or a tablet. With a speedy processor and a solid-state drive providing the storage, you can work on your projects, write that term paper, and game in your downtime.

Backpack for college

messenger bag for online work or back to schoolA backpack for college has to be big enough to fit your laptop, tablet, smartphone, and maybe a snack or two to get you through the day. If you have a 2-in-1 laptop you may want to pick up a specific laptop sleeve designed to protect your computer.

Print your term paper whenever you need to

When it’s time to print a term paper at 3 am or you need to quickly upload a printed document and send it in to your professor, a printer is essential.

USB flash drives and back ups for back to school

USB Drive back to schoolSaving your files is important when in college, and having a USB flash drive or portable hard drive will help make sure your homework makes it safely to school when it’s completed.

Pens, papers, and more

Although you use your laptop or tablet for much of what you do in college, you’ll find you still need standard school supplies like paper, pens, and pencils.

Focus on continuous learning

If you’re taking a class or two this fall or you’re teaching one yourself at work, these are some of the supplies you may need.

Take your tablet everywhere

tablet for continous learningA tablet is great for high school and college, but it’s an even better tool for a professional who’s expanding his or her skills with a new class or course.

Tablets are a lightweight option that slides easily into any briefcase or messenger bag, and an Android, Apple, or Windows tablet can be used with Word and Excel so you won’t need to take your laptop. There are also many different apps you can use for both note-taking, organization, and to increase your productivity.

A tablet sleeve is important for professionals too, and Herschel makes padded laptop and tablet sleeves to pair with their messenger bags.

Boards for presentations

boards and presentationsMaking a big presentation in class or at work or just trying to stay organized in your home office? Set yourself up now with whiteboard and presentation tools and you’ll never stress about not being prepared.

There’s everything from whiteboards to wireless presenters with a laser pointer to control your next slideshow.


Messenger bags and briefcases

Messenger bag for work

With working at home full time or working at home part of the week becoming the norm, college students, teachers, and professionals are moving toward a briefcase or messenger bag. That style will give them room to transport their items between home and school or home and work if they spend time in a home office a few days per week.

You can find great messenger bags from brands like Parkland, Wenger, and Samsonite.

School plans for this fall are ever-changing, but now is still a great time to plan ahead and find your school supplies at Best Buy. Whether you shop in-person or online, it’s safe to shop at Best Buy. Take a look at the precautions taken to give you a great shopping experience when choosing your essentials for back to school.  For a look at everything back to school on Best Buy right now, check out the Back to School Hub.

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