It's finally back-to-school season — but this year will be different from any other. With schools moving to a combination of smaller in-person classes and online virtual learning, students need to be prepared for some changes.
As a parent, you can support your third-grader by getting them all the supplies they will need to have a successful school year.
We spoke with the National Educators Association (NEA) to find out exactly what should be on your list. Traditional supplies such as pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks and erasers were among the basic necessities the NEA recommended. In addition to those, the NEA also suggests that parents get their kids disinfecting supplies for health and safety precautions. This includes hand sanitizer, tissues, a no-touch thermometer, labels to put on their supplies, and storage containers or organizers to keep your child's belongings safe.
We've rounded up an in-depth list of everything that should be on your radar, whether your child is heading back to the classroom or learning from home.
Backpacks, lunch boxes and water bottles for third-graders
This combo pack gets you three essentials for the price of one. It includes a backpack, lunch box and pencil case in a matching vibrant pattern. The backpack comes with a main compartment, front pocket and a water bottle holder on each side. All three are also made out of a waterproof polyester to help keep your child's belongings safe.
If you have a Jedi fan in your life, this backpack will definitely get them excited about heading to school. The bag comes decked out in "Star Wars" patches and also comes with a main compartment for storage and a front pocket to store pens, markers and more.
You'll be able to pack them a fresh lunch with the help of this insulated compartment lunch box. Made of stainless steel, this unique design features three separate compartments where you can store their snacks and lunch. The lunch box even comes with a carrying bag and utensils for added convenience.
Take lunchtime with you no matter where you are using a durable lunch box. It was designed with two pockets to help separate hot and cold food and it even comes with a plastic BPA-free container.
Looking to surprise your favorite superhero? This will definitely do the trick! This bottle was designed with a break-resistant plastic and is BPA-free. It comes in 22 different designs featuring plenty of popular characters, so there's bound to be an option your child will love.
If you need some help convincing your child to drink water throughout the day, try a water bottle that's easy to carry around. This option from CamelBak is BPA-free and features a drink-through straw and spill-proof lid.
Storage and organizers for third-graders
Is your little one constantly losing their pencils? If so, it's time to get them a trusty pencil case. This option from Old Navy comes in four different patterns, including camouflage, leopard, rainbow and blush.
Your student can keep all of their school supplies in one place with a convenient caddy. This organizer was made with one large compartment and three smaller compartments that can store everything from calculators to erasers.
Designed with two pockets for extra storage, this pack comes with six folders that are perfect for separating your child's class assignments.
Every student needs a sturdy, spacious binder. This set of four comes in different colors including white, pink, blue and light blue. Perfect for storing papers and worksheets, this pack can help you keep your child's assignments organized.
Labels are basically a must-have if your child is constantly losing things. This pack includes 72 stickers that you can use to label your child's notebooks, pencil cases and more.
Your student's binders can be arranged and categorized easily with the use of tab dividers. These dividers come with pockets for extra storage and each tab is a different color so that your child can find their worker faster.
Writing supplies for third-graders
Paying attention in class is a little easier with a reliable pencil. This box comes with 12 pencils to keep you stocked up.
A pencil grip might just help your third-grader improve their handwriting. This six-pack comes with a variety of colors and special finger holes to help your child hold their writing tools the proper way.
A great pencil is nothing without a great pencil sharpener! This sharpener comes with two different sized holes and a compartment to catch pencil shavings. Just manually twist your pencil and watch as it sharpens.
Pencil top erasers are perfect for quick fixes. As your child writes their answers or draws a sketch, they can give themselves a do-over with the help of the smooth, oversized eraser cap.
Composition notebooks are a classic school supply, and these are designed to be durable and extra sleek. Your student can use one for each class and feel confident thanks to the tear-resistant page design.
You can never have too much paper, so it's best to be stocked up and prepared right away!
This set comes with 12 assorted colors and the doubles will allow you to keep a spare set at home. Your child can use them for underlining, highlighting or writing.
These dry erase markers come in eight different colors and are designed with an erasable ink for dry-erase boards.
Art supplies for third-graders
Designed with a soft grip for added comfort, these scissors are also made with a blunt end to help prevent injury.
If you anticipate lots of craft projects, it's time to stock up on glue sticks! This set comes with four glue sticks that were designed for almost any purpose. The clear formula dries colorless and bonds to most materials, such as paper and cardboard.
Let your child color in their favorite coloring book using a vibrant set of crayons. This pack comes with 24 different colors for your child to make their next masterpiece with.
Keep art time less messy with markers that won't leave a permanent mark. This box includes 20 assorted colors designed with washable ink, so any accidents can be thrown in the laundry.
Allow your child's inner artist to shine with a variety pack of colored pencils. This box comes with 50 different colors to help spark your student's imaginaton.
Headphones for third-graders
Virtual learning can be difficult with distractions around every corner, but with a pair of noise-canceling headphones, noise will no longer be a worry.
If traditional headphones are too uncomfortable for your child, they may prefer earbuds instead. These JVC earbuds come with small, medium and large earpieces for a personalized fit.
Health supplies for third-graders
For those days when allergies or colds get in the way, provide your child with a box of tissues. This box was designed with comfort in mind to help soothe their sensitive nose.
Keep dirty hands clean using a travel-size hand sanitizer. Peter Thomas Roth designed its hand sanitizer to be easily stored in backpacks, pockets and more — and it features 80% alcohol.
It's important to keep track of your child's health, and this tool allows you to do so using minimal contact. This thermometer measures your temperature using infrared technology, so all you have to do is put the thermometer close to your child's forehead to get an accurate reading.
For more stories like this, check out:
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- Everything you'll need to get your fifth-grader ready for the school year
- Hello, middle school! Here are 23 school supplies every sixth-grader needs