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- We rounded up the best back-to-school essentials for remote and in-person learning in 2021.
- Whether your child needs a backpack, laptop, or notebook, we've researched and tested the best ones.
- Below are our favorite classroom and virtual learning supplies, tech, and safety essentials.
Back-to-school season is stressful at the best of times. Between making sure your student has the right number of notebooks, folders, and every textbook on their list, the sheer amount of essentials to stock up on can be overwhelming.
With remote and in-person classes factoring into the 2021/2022 school year, there are even more essentials to consider to help students stay organized and focused during the school day and beyond. These include products like face masks, hand sanitizer, virtual learning supplies, and even online tutoring services.
Here at Insider Reviews, we've made it our mission to research and test the gear your kids will need for a successful school year, whether they're attending elementary school or junior or senior high. From backpacks and lunch boxes to laptops and printers, we've put together this list of dozens of reviews and buying guides to bring you a comprehensive school supply list.
We've also included a selection of health and safety supplies so kids can stay safe if they're returning to the classroom amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Read more about our favorite back-to-school essentials for all grades:
Back-to-school shopping can be an expensive undertaking, but we're tracking discounts on kids clothing, basic school supplies, laptops, tablets, and more. You can save money at stores like Kohl's, Nordstrom, Staples, Target, Apple, and Best Buy.
Here are the best back-to-school sales and deals:
- The best back to school sales and deals in 2021
- The best student discounts for clothes, streaming services, tech, and more in 2021
- The best student streaming discounts
For students headed back to the classroom or learning at home, they'll need many of the usual school supplies, including pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, and planners. Backpacks, lunch boxes, and water bottles will be on many school supply lists too.
Here are the classroom essentials we recommend:
- The best school supplies for students K-12
- The best kids' lunch boxes
- How to pack a nutritious school lunch
- The best backpacks for students
- The best school notebooks
- The best binders
- The best 2021 planners
More and more schools are integrating laptops into their daily learning, and it's even more important to have the right tech when students are attending school virtually. Whether you need a webcam to add to your preexisting setup, or you want to invest in a new laptop that your child can use for years to come, we have great tech guides geared specifically toward students' needs.
Read more about the best tech for students:
- How to shop for the best laptop for school
- The best laptops
- The best Chromebooks
- The best MacBooks
- The pros and cons of using an iPad for school
- The best tablets
- The best iPads
- The best affordable printers
- The best smart notebooks
- The best laptop accessories
Transitioning to virtual learning was a bit of a shock at first, but as a new school year starts, we recognize how to make the most of it for kids and parents alike. We've compiled several resources and tools to help your kids thrive in a homeschooling environment.
Here are the best remote learning essentials:
- The best kids desks
- The best headphones for kids
- Virtual learning tools that can help your child adjust to online classes
- The best online tutoring services
- The best learning aids for kids with ADHD
- Zoom and Google Hangouts compared
- The best webcams
- The best mesh Wi-Fi systems
Keeping kids healthy and safe is front of mind as students return to the classroom. To help protect kids and their teachers, we've rounded up face masks for kids and hand sanitizer, as well as products parents and teachers can use at home and in the classroom. And be sure to read up on CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools.
Read our guides to the best health and cleaning supplies:
- Where to buy cloth face masks for kids online
- The Insider Reviews team's favorite cloth face masks
- Top-rated cloth face masks to buy on Etsy
- The best hand sanitizers
- The best disinfecting cleaners
- The best hand soap
- Top-rated cleaning supplies for every room in your house
- The best bathroom cleaning products
- Where to buy affordable latex gloves