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10 back to school needs for your kids

Pick up your child's school supply list now so you'll be ready when it's back to school time
Pick up your child's school supply list now so you'll be ready when it's back to school timeSandy Wallace

Whether your kids are heading to kindergarten or college in the fall, back to school time will be here soon. Walmart and many other retailers have stocked their back-to-school sections with everything you need for kids of all ages. Visit your school's website to find specific items needed for your child. In some schools, basic supplies are all alike and become community property so check your school's policy before you shop.

The school buses will soon be rolling in your neighborhood. Now's the time to shop for back to school.
The school buses will soon be rolling in your neighborhood. Now's the time to shop for back to school.Sandy Wallace

Here are 10 items your child will need for school that you will find on sale at most retailers. Stock up now while school supplies are on sale and you won't need to pay more later in the school year.

Your child's backpack, book bag or messenger bag will see a lot of use. In addition to holding your child's school supplies and books, backpacks make great overnight bags. You can also find backpacks at major retailers, discount stores, grocery stores and toy stores. Some online retailers sell backpacks that can be personalized with your child's initials or name. Most kids enjoy having a new backpack each year.

If your child will be packing lunch, a lunch box is a must. Some lunch boxes include matching thermos containers. If the lunch box your child chooses doesn't include a thermos, consider investing in two: a small mouth thermos for cold juice or water and a large mouth thermos for soup or pasta. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, crankiness and poor concentration, so make sure your child is prepared. Klean Kanteen offers a line of stainless steel water bottles and food canisters that are safe, BPA and chemical free and durable. Purchase some extra inexpensive containers for keeping sandwiches fresh or taking leftovers. Some kids like their backpack and lunch box to match. For many kids, the backpack and lunch box are the most important school supplies and they always want to pick these two items out themselves.

Pencils and pens are needed at every grade level. Even in college, where most of the work is done on computers, there is still a need to write things down. If your child is in kindergarten, the teacher may require chubby pencils so check your school supply list.

Crayons, markers or colored pencils are used from kindergarten through college. Kids in kindergarten may need small boxes of over-sized crayons. Some schools require specific brands so check your school supply list. College kids may need big boxes of skinny markers or colored pencils. There will always be things that need to be colored, no matter how old your child is.

Spiral notebooks or composition books are required at nearly every grade level. One notebook per subject is a good way to keep your child's school life organized. Spirals are also great to use as journals or sketch books, even for younger kids.

Three-ring binders and notebook paper are used in many classes in addition to or instead of spirals. In addition to your child's notes and homework, class hand-out sheets and returned tests can be put into the binder to study at home.

Scissors and a ruler and scissors are needed at every grade level to cut things out and measure things. If your child is young, safety scissors may be on the school's supply list. If your school doesn't require safety scissors, buy scissors with points instead. Many rules have holes punched to fit into binders.

Glue or a glue stick will be needed to attach the items your child cuts out to paper and to assemble special projects. Your child will need more than one so pick up a few for at home while they are on sale. Some schools prefer glue sticks, which are easier to use and less messy.

A dictionary, set of encyclopedias and other reference books are a wonderful addition to your home. Even if your child also needs a dictionary to take to school, it's a good idea to keep another at home. It's often quicker to look something up in a dictionary or encyclopedia than to do a web search.

Kids usually want to wear a new outfit on the first day of school. Since most schools start in August, the temperatures will still be warm. You can find many summer clothing items on markdown at this time of year. Some girls prefer to wear a dress for the first day, even if they usually wear shorts or jeans. Splurge a little for the first day.

Walmart school supply displays often include local school supply lists. Check near the front of the store. There will undoubtedly be more items your child will need for school, but these 10 are sure winners on your back-to-school shopping trip.