The ultimate back to school supplies shopping checklist for 2022

Everyone knows going back to school means heading full swing into the excitement that the upcoming school year brings. Here at The Adventure Challenge, we want to help you be the most prepared you can be and make your back to school adventure one that’s refreshing and fun! 

In order to do that, we’ve created the ultimate back to school list to help you as you head back. Ready to read what you’ll need to make this school year the best one yet? Let’s dive in!

#1 - Pencils

Who can spell ‘back to school’ without a classic set of pencils?

The Ultimate Back to School List for 2021. Flat-lay of five #2 pencil against a page of a white spiral notebook.

Whether you prefer old fashioned #2 pencils or funky mechanical colored pencils, be sure to add them to your back to school list. 

#2 - Pencil Case

There’s nothing worse than purchasing a fresh set of pencils only to see them all disappear over time. Stay organized by including a pencil case to your back to school list.

#3 - Pencil Sharpener 

You really can’t go wrong with a pencil sharpener, especially if you prefer to use the traditional #2 pencils. Save yourself a trip to the front of the class and use of the classroom’s pencil sharpener altogether by buying yourself your own pencil sharpener.

#4 - Pens

One of the best additions to any school list is a set of pens. If you get lost in the world of pens, we suggest purchasing the most commonly used pens with black, blue and red ink. You can’t ever go wrong with these classics. 

#5 - Highlighters

What would studying be without highlighters? Be sure to add these bright markers to your back to school list so you are all set and ready to go!

#6 - Index Cards

Study time would not be complete without a set of index cards to turn into flashcards. Be sure to add this item to your back to school list to ensure you’re set up for success this upcoming school year.

#7 - Erasers 

If you’re going to buy pencils then you can’t possibly go wrong with adding a few additional erasers.

The Ultimate Back to School List for 2021. A ruler, eraser, sharpener, and sharpened color pencils on a wooden table.

Oftentimes the erasers on the ends of pencils wear down quickly, so having a few additional erasers on hand will definitely help you out!  

#8 - Ruler

Every good student knows a ruler is important for math class. Be sure to grab a classic 12 inch to be the most prepared you can be.

#9 - Graphing Calculator

Every math class requires a good calculator and a graphing calculator is the perfect addition to your back to school list.

#10 - Graph Paper

Another math class basic is graph paper, but it’s one that people often forget! Having graph paper is a great way to set yourself up for success as you return to school. 

#11- Loose leaf paper 

Be sure to include this item on your back to school list. Feel free to grab extra packets of loose leaf paper too because it goes pretty quickly!

#11 - Binder

Depending on the number of classes you plan on taking for the upcoming school year, grab as many binders as you need. Binders are a great way to express your personality in the classroom, so be sure to choose the ones you like best and add them to your back to school list. 

#12- Subject Dividers

The best addition to any binder are subject dividers. They are one of the best ways to organize your binder. You can use these dividers to separate classwork within your binder so that when you come to review your notes, you know where everything is.

#13 - Scissors 

Although they may not be appropriate for all ages; scissors are a handy tool for older students.

Close up of guy using a pair of yellow scissors to cut through a page in a magazine


#14 - Tissues 

Tissues are always good to have on hand. Even if you don’t need them, the odds are that someone in your class is going to be very grateful that you’ve got some!

#15 - Hand Sanitizer 

Hand sanitizer is the perfect addition to any back to school list. Grab a hand sized sanitizer to fit in your bag so you can keep the germs away when you head back to school!

#16 - Glue Sticks

Glue sticks are a major help when it comes to arts and crafts. Grab a few sticks to ensure you are well prepared and ready for any project that comes your way.

#17 - Crayons

The perfect addition to any back to school list is crayons.

The Ultimate Back to School List for 2021. Close up of a box of crayons with a girl drawing with one in the background.


You never know what craft or activity you will need a good set of colors for, so we suggest grabbing a box and putting it on your back to school list!

#18 - Construction paper

Construction paper is another great arts and crafts item to have when you return to school. You can purchase a large variety of colors so you’ll be sure to have all the options you need. 

#19 - Drawing Paper

If you’re looking into taking an art class, then you’ll definitely need some drawing paper to help you get your creative ideas out. This is different from normal loose-leaf or note-taking paper, so don’t skip it!

#20 - Drawing Pencils 

Of course with drawing paper comes drawing pencils. Add this item to your list for the perfect start to the perfect art class. 

#21 - Watercolor Paper + Watercolor Brush + Paints Set

Check the list of required supplies for your art class; you might need to pick these up.

The Ultimate Back to School List for 2021. Little boy dipping his paintbrush in some watercolor paint


#22 - Folders 

Buying a few folders will help to keep all those loose papers from getting lost. Store your homework, reports, and files in a folder. We’re positive you’ll be grateful to have this item a part of your back to school list!

#23- Spiral Notebook (Wide)

A traditional spiral notebook is perfect for taking notes and keeping track of classwork. 

#24 - Personal Calendar

Stay on top of assignments, projects, and important dates with this item in your back to school list. 

The Ultimate Back to School List for 2021. Close up photo of a personal calendar for September with a yellow highlighter resting on the page.

#25 - White-Out

To correct any penmanship mistakes, purchase some white-out and so you can get right back to writing!  

#26 - Stapler

A basic back to school item, the stapler is great for keeping assignments tidy and together.

#27 - Locker Lock

If you have access to a locker, you’ll be sure to want to put this item on your back to school list.

The Ultimate Back to School List for 2021. Two rows of colorful lockers.

Ensure that all of your belongings are safe and secure with a locker lock!

#28 - Locker Accessories 

If you’re planning to use a locker, take some time to make your locker unique and fun. You could use stickers, posters, or photos to make it your own.

#29 - Sticky Notes

Make sure you don’t forget to add this item to your back to school list. Sticky notes are great for reminders and they work great as study tools too. 

#30 - Book Covers

Book covers are the perfect way to keep your books from getting mixed in with the rest of the crowd.   

#31 - USB Flash Drive

A life-saver for any student! A flash drive is definitely worth buying as you head back to school. 

#32 - Headphones

Don’t forget to grab a pair of headphones as you get ready to head back to class.

Close up photo of girl wearing headphones and carrying her backpack and textbooks

You never know when you will need a pair! 

#33 - Backpack 

A backpack is the necessity of necessities when it comes to your back to school list. Where else are you going to fit all your supplies? 

#34 - Lunchbox

Another classic necessity for every student. Having a lunchbox makes lunch and snack time that much easier for everyone! Be sure to pick the lunchbox that suits you best so you can feel confident when you return back to school.

#35 - The Adventure Challenge Family Edition

Although it's not a necessity, no back to school list is complete without at least one item to bring fun to the school season! The Family Edition makes it easy to create times of connection with your kids amidst the business of the school year. Whether a fun after school activity or a much needed homework break, The Adventure Challenge has you covered. 

Back to School Again

We hope this back to school list helps you as you prepare to start school again. Get ahead of the game with the perfect set of supplies, and make this school year the best one yet. 

With school approaching and the summer coming to an end, be sure to make the last days of your break count. Check out our blogs 10 Things For Families to Do Before School Starts and 16 New Things to Try For An Unforgettable Summer! for some fun ideas as to how!

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Flatlay of baby blue school backpack with the essential back to school supplies set around it; image overlaid with text that reads The Ultimate Back to School List
Little boy and girl with their backs to the camera wearing their backpacks as they head home from school; image overlaid with text that reads The Ultimate Back to School List
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