My Favorite Back to School Equipment

Today is the big day– our first day of school. On the homefront, getting ready has been easier than anticipated. Our school provides supplies, so I did not have to shop for notebooks, pencils, glue, tissue, or wipes. My kids wear uniforms, so I ordered online in bulk last month. And, we did not need new bookbags, water bottles, or lunchboxes because I splurged a few years ago for some higher end items that are built to last. If only setting up my classroom had been this easy…

planetbox lunchbox

The PlanetBox Lunch System

  • I eat lunch alongside my students, and a couple of years ago, I noticed a few of my students had a lunch carry case with a metal tray inside that looked like an army (prison?) lunch tray with divided sections. The tray had an attached lid that clipped closed and fit inside a thermal carrier. There were pockets on the outside that had room for a juice pouch or small water bottle. I loved this lunch bag. I had to have it for my own children.

planetbox lunchbox exterior

  • The lid for the metal food tray stays attached, so I do not have to scramble to find lids in the morning, which I think is the benefit to this product over other bento style lunch boxes. We (and by “we” I really mean TheRoomDad) fill each compartment in the tray and clip the lid closed. We have not had to buy lunch baggies or mess with smaller lunch tupperware containers since we started using the PlanetBox.
  • The metal tray is dishwasher safe. The kids empty any leftover lunch bits and drop the tray in the dishwasher when we get home. I just have to remember to run the dishwasher at night. It dries completely unlike the tupperware that is perpetually wet after a dishwasher cycle.

planetbox lunchbox open

  • Place a flat icy pack on the bottom of the carry case under the tray to keep the food cool. You can purchase special icy packs from PlanetBox, but my Blue Ice packs work just as well.
  • There are a variety of sizes available; my children have The Rover. I do need to cut crusts off the bread to fit a whole sandwich in the large compartment. We also avoid anything juicy (like cut strawberries) that will drip and  leak.

LL Bean backpack

L.L. Bean Original Plus Book Pack

  • Three years ago when Mr. Star Wars started 1st grade, we bought the bigger L.L. Bean backpack with the water bottle pocket on the side and added his name for ID purposes.
  • The bag has a variety of pouch sizes for pencils, pens, and books. It also has little secret places, which are great for hiding cash or checks when I have to send field trip money to school.
  • The bag is easy to clean, and I have not had any zipper problems. The nice thing about L.L. Bean is that they will replace the bag if we ever do have problems with it.

camelbak water bottles

Camelbak Insulated Water Bottle

  • It is double insulated like a Tervis tumbler, so it does not sweat while sitting on a desk (very important to teachers).
  • The drinking spout can be pushed down to close the water bottle.
  • The lid has not started leaking yet.
  • I can detach the straw.
  • It is dishwasher safe.

What are essential school supplies in your house and is the brand important?

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