Your Back to School Survival List (COVID Edition!)

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As you may have noticed, everything about back to school season is looking a little -- ok, a lot -- different this year (including the fact that for many families the kitchen table is now the classroom). And that goes for our back-to-school shopping list, too. From shoe wipes to label makers to mask holders, here now are 10 must-haves for the oddest new school year ever. 


Masks are obvs the fashion staple of any wardrobe right now and your kids likely wore out their collection this summer. If you want to spruce up their mask collections for fall, look no further than this collab by two local *super-creative* mamas (Lana Platin Creative and Beadstein) for an adorable soft mask and accompanying beaded chain so it's never lost. And bonus: a portion of the proceeds will be given to the UJA cover relief program.
starting at $58
If you know Stoney Clover Lane, you know. The jadorbs pastel rainbow product empire has now expanded into back-to-school much to the delite of every hip tween and teen. Pop into their city or hamptons shop to customize all your faves with patches and letters or order via their website. 
Custom backpacks from Pumpkin & Bean The Englewood shop is loaded up with a great selection of backpacks and min packs - all customizable with your initials or designs, so there will be no chance of their stuff getting lost or mistaken for someone elses, because let's face it, we need easy this year!
Remember when the school year ended in June and left your living room looking like a fourth-grade classroom exploded in it? Well, we can’t do all that much about how much stuff kids need to get through the school day, but we can do something about making sure they put everything back where it belongs. We’re all about using this groovy label maker to label bins, drawers, books, and even easily confusable stuff like charging cables to get a leg up on organizing this year. 
This small-but-mighty piece of super reasonably priced technology is standing by to help with whatever your crew needs – whether it’s setting a timer, checking the weather, getting a vocab word definition, or doing some quick math. And when things get a little heated, Alexa can save the day by telling a joke. The cornier the better ...  
Back in the day, we just picked up whatever hand sanitizer was at the drug store checkout counter, thus why we began the pandemic with a bunch of little containers filled with soupy stuff that smelled like rubbing alcohol and dried out our kids’ hands till they were raw. Now we’re all about Touchland -- a mist-based sanitizer that’s totally not sticky, absorbs fast, and is formulated to be uber-hydrating. Plus, it comes in cool flavors like watermelon, aloe, and mint and you can purchase a shield to make attachable to their backpack. 


We’re no longer giving our kids the over-the-top sterilization treatment every time they step in the house like we were a few months ago, but one thing we know tracks in tons of grossness even during non-COVID times is their grimy, slimy shoes. These environmentally friendly wipes de-germify shoes of all materials by using bioengineered bacteria to break down dirt at the molecular level. Sold. 


If your kitchen cabinets have become an avalanche of Tupperware and restaurant to-go containers that you can’t bear to recycle because you just know you’re going to need them for leftovers and lunches, make a clean sweep with Pottery Barn’s 3-piece stainless steel, BPA-free set that comes equipped with small, medium, and large containers paired with translucent tops with customizable color borders that are gloriously dishwasher-safe.
If someone would give us the chance to do an infomercial for this pencil sharpener, we’d kill it. It sharpens pencils! It holds pencils! It knows just when to stop! This sharpener/pencil holder is perfect for those members of your homeschool/homework crew who blow through colored and regular old writing utensils like they’re potato chips. Plug it in somewhere permanently or pop some batteries in it for on-the-go sharpening. Your choice ... 
Back-to-school time is stressful enough during regular life but with all the new protocols in place and pretty much no idea what’s on the horizon, this fall is going to be especially tough for students. Might a little mindfulness help bring a sense of calm? We can’t say for sure, but it’s certainly worth a shot.
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