How to Make A Back-to-School Survival Kit

August 9, 2019

Help your child through those first-day jitters with a back-to-school survival kit!


Surviving the first few days of a new school year can be rough for your kid. They go from pool parties and picnics to early mornings and homework overnight! New teachers, new schools, and new subjects can all make the first day a daunting experience. However, you can help them prepare for any challenge by creating a back-to-school survival kit with them! A back-to-school survival kit is exactly what it sounds like: a helpful collection of items designed to remedy the little things that make the first day of school hard.

First, sit down with your kid and help them make a list of things they want to be prepared for. Writing their worries down on paper begins to make them more manageable and less overwhelming. Then, look at the list and talk with them about how you might be able to address the concerns with their kit. Have a brainstorming session with them and begin to make a list of items.

Make a Back-to-School Survival List

There’s no right or wrong way to make a back-to-school survival kit. It should be uniquely tailored to fit your child’s needs and provide that sense of security on their first day of school. The following items are a few suggestions to help get you started. But remember, it’s always a good idea to check with your child’s school to find out which items are and aren’t allowed.

Personal Hygiene

It's essential to make sure your kid is comfortable and clean at school. Consider stocking their school survival kit with some of these items:
  • Sanitary wipes
  • Deodorant
  • Floss/Toothpicks
  • Mini disposable toothbrush
  • Mints or gum
  • Hand sanitizer

First Aid

The school nurse is always there to help students with larger medical issues. For smaller ailments like minor stomach and headaches, packing a few first aid items in the survival kit can keep your child feeling well on their first day back to school. Of course, it’s always important to check with the school nurse to find out what they allow your child to hold onto personally.
  • Antiacid tablets
  • Chewable stomach relief medicine
  • Bandaids
  • Antibacterial wipes


Hunger can distract your child from learning and sometimes lunch is just too far away! Give your student brain-fuel by adding a healthy snack to their survival kit.
  • Granola bar
  • Mixed nuts
  • Baby carrots
  • Sliced apples

School Supplies

Any school survival kit would be incomplete without school supplies! Kids lose pens and pencils all the time, so be sure to add some of the following items to your back-to-school shopping list:
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Paper clips
  • Highlighter
  • Class schedule

Morale Boosters

Sometimes your youngster just needs a little pick-me-up to help them get through their first days back to school. Surprise them with a thoughtful or fun morale boost by adding items like these to their survival kit:
  • Stickers
  • A note with an encouraging message from you
  • A small piece of their favorite candy

Other Miscellaneous Items

There are all kinds of things that your student might find they need during their first few days back in school.
  • Emergency contact numbers (even if they have a phone, a physical copy could come in handy)
  • Chapstick
  • Extra pair of glasses or contacts
  • A phone charger

Put It All Together

After making your survival kit list with your child, take advantage of the tax-free back-to-school weekend and pick up all the supplies. While you’re out shopping, help them pick out a fun and practical carrying case to tote it all.

Find A Carrying Case

There are dozens of containers or bags they can choose to hold the survival kit supplies, but there are some factors to consider. The size of the container should be as compact and efficient as possible while still providing enough room for everything. A simple pencil box or old cigar box can make a great portable container. If your child’s list has a lot of small, loose objects, a fishing tackle box is perfect for maintaining a neat, well-organized survival kit. Even a small travel bag can work. Most importantly, make sure your kid likes it. Take some time to let them look around for a carrying case that they like!

Make It Special

Now that you and your child have picked out the perfect container for their school survival kit, it’s time to customize it! This is their chance to be creative and turn an ordinary box or bag into something as unique and special as they are. Gather some markers, paint pens, stickers, or any other craft supplies you have and let them go crazy!

Store It

Make sure your student has some idea of where they can store their school survival kit. Does it stay in their backpack? Can they keep it in their locker? If your child is much younger, can their teacher hold on to it for them? Whatever the case may be, just make sure you both have a clear plan for transporting and storing their kit.

Beyond Back to School

While these school survival kits are designed to make the first day of school a breeze, they can be useful year-round! As the year goes on, ask your child about their kit. Are they finding it useful? Is it missing anything? Are there items that they don’t actually need? You can always work with them to address new concerns and modify their kit to match. Creating a new kit each summer or simply decorating a new carrying case can be a fun way to ease the transition to the school year.

With their back-to-school survival kit assembled, your kid is ready for whatever the first day can throw at them! The transition and stress of a new school year can make small problems seem much larger for your child. Their new customized school survival kit will give them quick solutions so that they can focus on learning.

Back-to-school backpack and school supply kit

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by Geoff Ullrich

About the Author

Geoff Ullrich is a writer and Content Marketing Strategist at Germania Insurance.

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