Back to School Essentials: 2020 Guide

Back to School Essentials: 2020 Guide

By Jordan Maxwell

January 22, 2021

Getting ready to send the kids back to school? We get it. With all that’s going on with the pandemic and government responses to reopening, it’s okay to be unsure but that doesn’t mean you should be unprepared.

Whether you’re planning to keep your kids at home and continue your virtual learning schedule, or you’re going back to work and sending them back full time, we’ll guide you through the process. Now is the time to do the work to get all of the items they’ll need to freshen up their wardrobe with some stylish new pieces and gather all of the hardware and stationery pieces they'll need for learning at home.

It may seem like a tall task but it's totally doable. To make sure high school kids get everything they need, as well as everything they want, we've created this handy Back to School Checklist to help keep you on track.

Back to School: The Clothing Checklist

If your child is paying, or helping to pay, for their back-to-school purchases, they'll of course have much more say in what they buy. But as parents, you'll still want to make sure the basics are covered and their purchases are appropriate for their purposes. As well, you want to make sure you have enough reusable masks.

Some retailers where you can find these items include:

Old Navy Boys, Old Navy Girls, Walmart Canada, Amazon Canada, The Bay, Nike Canada, Reebok Canada, Foot Locker Canada, Gap Canada, Carter's l OshKosh Canada and Joe Fresh (CAN).

Back to School: Learning Supplies and Home Accessories

As with any new school year, it brings about new demands. That means your first laptop or a scientific calculator could end up being one of the items you need to buy. Whether you’re planning to send your child(ren) back to school in the fall, or you're developing a hybrid learning model based on your schedule, you’ll need to make sure you're equipped. If they’re chipping in from summer earnings, great! But if not, we’ll highlight some retailers below as well as additional products you can buy to make life easier for your child(ren).

Some retailers where you can find these items include:

Old Navy Boys, Old Navy Girls, Walmart Canada, Amazon Canada, The Bay, Nike Canada, Reebok Canada, Foot Locker Canada, Gap Canada, Carter's l OshKosh Canada and Joe Fresh (CAN).

The Top Back to School Items

Back to school shopping can be tricky but we’re here to help. If you’re choosing at-home virtual learning during the day, or you’re sending your child(ren) back to school full-time, there are items you’re going to need to purchase no matter what you do. In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the best Back to School products to buy for your kids. Of course, your child’s age will determine what their needs are but overall, these items listed below are suited not only for their needs, but also with pandemic safety fully in mind. As well, you want to make sure you have enough reusable masks.

Vaschy Laptop and Travel Bag

This is a great dual-purpose backpack that will allow you to carry your laptop and your textbooks. It’s big enough to hold a 15” laptop and it also has four interior pockets, one zipper pocket and an exterior zipper pocket. The backpack has padded straps and a padded backing for comfort as well as an earphone port and double-sided pockets. What’s more, it’s also built for winter use; you won’t have to worry about your laptop getting wet in the winter as its fully water-resistant.

AmazonBasics Wide-Ruled Loose-Leaf Filler Paper, 120 Sheet (4-Pack)

Can’t go wrong with a proper stack of lined paper. Whether you’re taking notes during your online learning classes or you’re using it at school for various assignments, it’s a basic school supply need for a child at any age. This purchase comes as a six-pack with 120 sheets each.

AmazonBasics 3-Ring Binder (White)

Organize all that paper you’ll build up before the end of the semester with this four-pack set of binders. Built to up to 175 sheets of paper, it’s the perfect way to keep your child’s coursework in order. The binders also have two interior storage slots for special assignments and extra room.

Hilroy 9-Piece Math Set with Compass and Geometry Tools

A different year will require different tools and this set from Hilroy will allow your child(ren) to keep up with their math assignments. For all of those geometry lessons, this kit will be sure to come in handy. It comes with a 180-degree protractor, two set squares, a ruler, pencil, eraser and a pencil sharpener.

ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 Ultra Slim Convertible Laptop, 14” Full HD

If you find yourself working from home now, chances are you won’t be allowed to let your kids use your computer to get their work done. After all, it’s your computer, right? Well, you can get one for your child(ren), solely for school purposes. This ASUS Zenbook is small enough to fit into the backpack listed above.

Wireless Computer Mouse with Nano Receiver

Working with a laptop pad alone can be tough on the wrist. A good laptop needs a good wireless mouse and this one is a wireless model that you can use with a desktop or netbook PCs. It comes with a nano-receiver that you can plug into your device’s USB port and it has a switch at the bottom of it to power it. This wireless mouse is compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10 and Apple OS X.

Brother DCPL2550DW Wireless Monochrome Printer with Scanner & Copier

If you don’t already have a printer in your household, this model from Brother can handle all of your printing, scanning and coping needs. It can hold up to 250 sheets of paper and has Wi-Fi connectivity to allow for multiple users and devices to connect to its network. You can use your smartphone, laptop, tablet and desktop computers to send jobs through in either black or white, or colour ink.

Back to School FAQ

If you’re unsure about sending your child back to school, believe us; you’re not alone. With uncertainty about virtual vs. hybrid models and class sizes, there’s a lot of reason to have questions. That said, the school year is approaching and you need to get prepared. Above, we listed some of the best school supplies you’ll need for the upcoming school year. Below, we’ll look at all the information you’ll need to make sure your child is ready and knows the rules before re-entering. We’ll also highlight some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve seen on our forums.

Most schools will be reopening on Tuesday September 8, 2020. You can check out COVID-19 guidance, regulations and advice from the Government of Canada here.

Start Shopping Today!

Every parent dreams of sending their child off for their first day of school and this year doesn’t have to be any different. The threat of COVID-19 is very real but if you take the appropriate precautions, listen to medical professionals and sanitize regularly, you might be able to navigate these uncertain times if you have a path to follow. Whether you're planning a hybrid learning model or virtual learning schedule, you can check out our sidebar to the right for additional supplies and products that might make your life easier come school time. is reader-supported. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other similar affiliate advertising programs. These programs are designed to provide a way for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to them. This means that will sometimes get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links.


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