What To Put In Your Child’s Pencil Case

Written by Dan

Every parent knows that sending kids off to school with the right supplies is essential for success, but no supply can compare to a child’s pencil case. It holds all of their writing and drawing utensils needed throughout the day and serves as a tiny reminder of home (and quite possibly your amazing organization skills).

After seeing many successful first days of school amongst our friends, we realized that there have got to be some secrets on how to make sure your child’s pencil case is perfectly packed! So if you’re looking for information on what essentials should go in there and a few fun add-ons, you may not have considered yet – look no further! Here are our top picks of what every kid needs in their pencil case.

colored pencil lined up on top of white surface

1. A Few Sharpened Pencils

The Fundamental Role of Pencils

Pencils play a pivotal role in a child’s academic journey. They are instrumental in a wide array of subjects, from note-taking in History to solving complex equations in Math, and even bringing imagination to life in Art. Having a few sharpened pencils ensures your child can dive straight into their work without delay.

A Spectrum of Pencil Types

While the classic #2 pencil is a must-have in every pencil case, incorporating a variety of pencil types can enhance your child’s learning experience. Mechanical pencils, for instance, offer precision and convenience, eliminating the need for a sharpener. On the other hand, colored pencils are invaluable for visual projects or for creating vibrant, memorable study notes.

The Wisdom of Extras

In the bustling environment of a school, pencils can easily be misplaced or borrowed and not returned. Packing a few extra pencils safeguards against these instances, ensuring your child is always equipped with this essential tool. This foresight prepares them for their academic tasks and subtly teaches them the value of preparedness and resource management.

2. An Eraser and Pencil Sharpener – For keeping your pencils in good condition

The Significance of an Eraser

Mistakes are a part of the learning process, and an eraser is a reminder that it’s okay to make them. Whether it’s a misspelled word or a miscalculated math problem, an eraser allows your child to correct their errors and move forward. It’s advisable to include a good quality eraser that can neatly remove pencil marks without leaving smudges or tearing the paper.

The Need for a Pencil Sharpener

A pencil sharpener is just as important as the pencils themselves. A sharp pencil contributes to neat handwriting and accurate drawings. While starting the day with pre-sharpened pencils is ideal, a sharpener ensures that your child can maintain their pencils in good condition throughout the day. Opt for a sharpener with a built-in case to collect shavings and prevent messes.

Pairing them Together

Combining an eraser and a pencil sharpener creates a mini toolkit for your child, empowering them to take charge of their tools. This duo not only keeps their pencils in excellent condition but also subtly teaches them responsibility and the importance of looking after their belongings.

3. Glue Stick – For sticking paper together or securing artwork to assignments

The Versatility of a Glue Stick

A glue stick is an unsung hero in a child’s pencil case. It’s used for various school activities, from crafting art projects to piecing together research papers. A glue stick is a clean and convenient way for children to adhere paper together without the messiness of liquid glue.

Choosing the Right Glue Stick

When choosing a glue stick, look for one that is easy for your child to handle and provides a strong bond. Some glue sticks are designed to go on colored but dry clear, which can be helpful for younger children to see where they have applied the glue.

Fostering Creativity and Organization

Including a glue stick in your child’s pencil case not only equips them for their school tasks but also encourages creativity and organization. For instance, they can decorate their notebooks with cut-outs or secure important notes in their assignment books. Essentially, a glue stick can help them personalize and take ownership of their learning materials.

4. A Ruler and Protractor

The Role of a Ruler

A ruler is an indispensable tool in a pencil case. It’s primarily used in Math for measuring lengths and drawing straight lines, but it also extends to other subjects. For instance, in Art, a ruler can help create neat borders or draw with precision. In Geography , it can be used to understand scales on maps.

The Purpose of a Protractor

A protractor, on the other hand, is specifically used for measuring angles. This makes it an essential item for geometry lessons in Math. However, it can also be used in subjects like Physics, where angles can be vital for comprehending concepts such as light reflection and refraction.

Selecting the Right Tools

While buying a ruler and protractor, choosing sturdy and easy to use is important. Clear plastic tools are often best for the child to see the page beneath. Some rulers have a built-in protractor, making them a handy 2-in-1 tool.

Instilling Precision and Accuracy

By including a ruler and protractor in your child’s pencil case, you’re equipping them with the ability to work accurately and precisely. These tools aid in their academic tasks and teach them the importance of precision and accuracy in all walks of life.

5. Colored Pencils

The Power of Color

Colored pencils are more than just an accessory in your child’s pencil case; they bring a world of creativity and differentiation at their fingertips. They can add vibrancy to art projects, make important notes stand out, or make writing assignments more enjoyable.

Variety and Choice

Colored pencils come in a wide range of shades, offering endless possibilities for creativity. From the basic primary colors to a spectrum of pastels and neons, the choice of colors can significantly influence the mood and effect of the work. Some sets even include metallic or neon pencils for extra creativity.

Boosting Learning and Creativity

Incorporating colored pencils into your child’s school supplies can enhance their learning experience. Studies suggest that color can improve memory performance and comprehension, making these tools useful for note-taking and studying. Furthermore, using colored pencils for art projects can foster creativity and provide a relaxing break from more structured academic tasks.

Selecting Quality Colored Pencils

When choosing colored pencils, consider factors like color vibrancy, durability, and ease of use. A good set of colored pencils should offer smooth coloring and have strong leads to prevent frequent breakage. Above all, ensure the set includes your child’s favorite colors to keep them excited and motivated in their work.

6. Highlighters

The Utility of a Highlighter

Highlighters are a critical tool for effective note-taking and studying. They’re designed to draw attention to essential information without obscuring the text, making them ideal for underlining and highlighting key points in textbooks, notes, or documents.

Color Coding with Highlighters

Highlighters come in various colors, each of which can be assigned a specific purpose. For example, yellow could be used for main ideas, pink for supporting details, and green for definitions. This color-coding system can make studying more efficient as it allows students to identify different types of information at a glance quickly.

Enhancing Memory Retention

Using highlighters can also improve memory retention. Students are more likely to remember the information When they actively engage with their study materials by identifying and highlighting key points. This active learning strategy can make study sessions more productive and help students perform better on tests.

Choosing the Right Highlighters

Consider factors like ink quality, tip size, and comfort when selecting highlighters. A good highlighter should have fast-drying ink to avoid smudging, a versatile tip for both underlining and highlighting, and a comfortable grip for extended use. Some highlighters even come with erasable ink, allowing students to make changes as needed.

Including a set of highlighters in your child’s pencil case will not only add a pop of color but also enhance their learning experience.

white and red floral pouch

A well-stocked pencil case can make all the difference in your child’s academic success. It’s not just about having the right tools, but also about fostering organization skills and encouraging creativity. From the essential pencils and pens to the more creative colored pencils and highlighters, these items can help your child navigate their school day with confidence and ease.

Remember, the key is not to overload the pencil case but to strategically select items that serve multiple purposes and cater to your child’s specific needs and preferences. By doing this, you’ll ensure that your child is prepared for any task that comes their way, making their school experience both productive and enjoyable.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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