These backpack-friendly school supplies are essential for the middle school years

If you are helping a middle-schooler prepare for the upcoming school year, you understand the challenges of assisting them as they shop for clothes, figure out their class schedule and prepare for more advanced courses. But don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right school supplies to put in their backpack. From pencils to laptops and classic notebooks to scientific calculators, the right essentials in their backpacks will help them get the school year off to a successful start.

Shop this article: The North Face Vault BackpackTexas Instruments TI-84 Graphics Calculator and CamelBak Chute Mag Water Bottle

Packing a middle-schooler’s backpack

Some school supplies are universal across most grades, while others are especially useful for middle-school students. Many students are provided with a list of supplies they’ll need for the school year, which will guide you in selecting the essentials. Here are some categories to shop when choosing items for their backpacks. 

Laptops and tech accessories 

In today’s tech-driven world, most middle-schoolers need a laptop for classwork. Fortunately, affordable options that have useful features and are compact and easy to take to and from school are available. Most school backpacks have a compartment with protective padding that’s designed to carry a laptop. In addition, tech accessories such as a charger, portable power bank and phone charger are also items middle-schoolers need in their packs. 

Writing tools 

Pencils, pens, markers and highlighters are essential for middle-school students. Those who take art classes may also need colored pencils. A pencil case will keep writing tools organized and easy to access. Many options have several compartments for separating different types of writing tools. Additionally, these small cases are easy to fit in a backpack. 

Notebooks and binders 

Standard notebooks and binders are items middle-schoolers will need to complete and protect assignments and projects. Both are available in several sizes and designs to match students’ coursework needs. Ideally, these essential school items will fit in the main compartment of a backpack along with school textbooks. Budget-friendly packs of multiple notebooks and binders are available and will save you a few dollars. 

Calculators and measuring instruments 

By middle school, most students are advancing in math and taking classes in geometry, algebra, biology and statistics. Tools for these classes include a scientific calculator and measuring instruments such as protractors, rulers, squares and compasses. While these instruments can be purchased separately, they are also available in sets. 

Personal items

Not all items middle-school students need for their backpacks are for classwork. A few personal items will also come in handy throughout the school day. Gel hand sanitizer and hand wipes are necessary for killing germs and keeping hands clean. Tissues in small packs are easy to place in a backpack. Instead of disposable water bottles, a reusable water bottle is an eco-friendly choice. Many backpacks even have side pockets that are designed especially to accommodate water bottles. 

Best items for a middle-schooler’s backpack

The North Face Vault Backpack

The North Face Vault Backpack

The first step to stuffing a middle-schooler’s backpack is to invest in one that’s spacious and strong. The Vault model has multiple pockets for toting large and small items and keeping them organized. It’s crafted of durable polyester and has sturdy padded straps. The laptop sleeve is also padded to protect tech devices. 

Sold by Backcountry and Amazon 

HP 14t-ep000 Laptop

HP 14t-ep000 Laptop

With ample storage and a speedy Intel processor, this HP laptop can handle student work with ease. It gets long battery life with each full charge and has a trim 14-inch design that’s backpack-friendly. 

Sold by HP

Best BIC Xtra-Smooth Mechanical Pencils

BIC Xtra-Smooth Mechanical Pencils

No sharpener is needed for these mechanical pencils that feature dark lead that moves smoothly across paper. Each pencil is topped with an eraser that does a good job removing mistakes. They are available in multipacks that will last throughout the school year.

Sold by Amazon

a pink and white pencil case

Easthill Big Capacity Pencil Case

Not only will this large pencil case accommodate numerous writing tools, but it has enough space to fit other classroom essentials such as glue, scissors, erasers and more.  The durable cotton fabric is made to hold up well to use by busy students. 

Sold by Amazon

Best Mead 1-Subject Spiral Notebooks

Mead 1-Subject Spiral Notebooks

Every student needs classic spiral notebooks like those in this pack of six. Each one is made for a single subject and has 70 sheets of wide-ruled paper for taking notes and completing assignments.

Sold by Amazon

Best Texas Instruments TI-84 Graphics Calculator

Texas Instruments TI-84 Graphics Calculator

Math gets more challenging in middle school, but a scientific calculator can help. The TI-84 is made by a top brand and offers the functions for solving equations in algebra, biology, statistics and more. It features a large, backlit screen that’s easy to read.

Sold by Amazon

Best Kleenex Pocket Pack Facial Tissues

Kleenex Pocket Pack Facial Tissues

These small packets of tissues are just the right size for backpacks. They’ll come in handy when the cold season arrives. You’ll get 16 pocket packs, each containing 10 tissues.

Sold by Amazon

Best Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Variety Pack

Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Variety Pack

There’s no doubt that kids are exposed to germs at school, so keeping hand sanitizer readily available is a good plan. These 1-ounce bottles don’t take up much space in a backpack but also have clips that can be attached to handles, straps or zippers. You’ll get eight bottles per purchase.

Sold by Amazon

Best CamelBak Chute Mag Water Bottle

CamelBak Chute Mag Water Bottle

This reusable water bottle boasts a secure lid that will prevent liquid from leaking. It’s made of material that’s 50% recycled and free of BPA. You can choose from several sizes and colors.

Sold by Amazon

Best Mr. Pen Geometry Set

Mr. Pen Geometry Set

Students in geometry class will need a variety of measurement instruments to make the grade. This comprehensive 15-piece set comes with the essentials, including protractors, compasses, a ruler and more. It’s an affordable choice that will save you a few dollars if you purchased each item separately.

Sold by Amazon 

Backpack school supplies worth checking out

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