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Back to School: Seven Essentials That Don’t Need a Battery

Categories: Ideas and Innovation
back to school essentials help students and families

It’s time to head back to school, and that means shopping is in full swing for parents and students. Whether you’re dropping kids off at the bus stop or at a college dormitory, your list of back-to-school supplies is probably long—and expensive.

While many of the items students need require some sort of power source, several student essentials do not. As your student heads back to school, remember that, although the academic year is a time for learning new subjects and skills, old-school strategies and supplies are often ideal tools for the job.

Head Back to School with These Essentials

Here are some of our favorite wireless and batteryless supplies for students heading back to school.

  1. Lap desk—While a bean bag or a bed may offer the most comfortable seat for students, neither offers a hard, flat surface for writing or typing. A sturdy lap desk, with a clip to hold paper in place, can make even a hammock homework-friendly. Lap desks are inexpensive, portable and often preferable to the library or kitchen table.
  2. Wall decals—The right words at the right time can offer motivation, inspiration and maybe even a little comic relief. Wall decals are an easy way to share inspirational quotes from literature, lyrics from popular songs or even wisdom from moms.
  3. Daily planner—Time management is an essential skill for students. Writing down deadlines and activities in a planner or calendar helps students commit the details to memory. It’s one of many reasons that paper planners are still popular. Choose one that shows your student’s style.
  4. Customized pencils—Writing notes by hand offers a number of benefits to students of all ages. To help your student stay on top of note-taking, make sure he or she has plenty of fun pencils—maybe even some that have been personalized. Etsy shop LZPencils offers pencils engraved with pop culture references, and many other vendors can imprint names or fun messages on pencils or pens.
  5. Adhesive page markers—Reading can be fun, but it’s also essential for learning. Sticky paper makes it easy to mark pages for annotations or future reference, and it doesn’t damage books.
  6. Coffee mug or water bottle—For those long school days and longer studying nights, students will want to stay hydrated (and maybe caffeinated). A fun insulated mug or water bottle will help them keep their favorite beverage at hand.
  7. Other essentials—At Domtar, we love the written word and all the possibilities that reading and writing offer. A great book, an encouraging note mailed from home, a reminder jotted in a calendar or an inspirational wall poster can help encourage students through the long days ahead.

For more about the roles that paper and other unplugged supplies play in student life, check out the
Paper and Packaging Board’s Back to School Report.