There is noth­ing left before the start of the lessons, and it’s time to col­lect the child for school. Many par­ents have already received a list from teach­ers or are act­ing accord­ing to the usu­al pat­tern. We will help you not to for­get the nec­es­sary things and not be dis­ap­point­ed in the qual­i­ty. We tell you how to buy every­thing you need, and what is bet­ter to choose from. Back­pack or satchel? Which pen­cil case is bet­ter? And what’s with the book­cas­es?

Backpack, briefcase, knapsack

You can open any arti­cle at ran­dom, and there you will def­i­nite­ly be told that the child should have not just a brief­case, but a school back­pack with an ortho­pe­dic back, wide straps, and the list goes on. But in fact it is not always con­ve­nient and prac­ti­cal! Here’s what you can real­ly choose from.

Frame backpacks

These are just the same ortho­pe­dic school back­packs with a fixed back, hun­dreds of com­part­ments and wide straps. They real­ly do not allow the chil­dren’s back and shoul­ders to be over­loaded, but in fact you need to think care­ful­ly: who will wear this satchel?

Most often, in the pri­ma­ry grades, chil­dren do not go to school alone — they are dri­ven or car­ried by their par­ents, and they basi­cal­ly car­ry these satchels by the han­dle. And inside the school, pri­ma­ry school stu­dents most­ly study in the same class. So dur­ing the time that the child will reach from the entrance to the school to the class­room, the ortho­pe­dic back is not par­tic­u­lar­ly use­ful.

There is a sense in such a back­pack if the stu­dent him­self wears it — for exam­ple, when accom­pa­nied to school by elder­ly rel­a­tives. Well, or if you real­ly want it: this direc­tion is very well devel­oped and cap­ti­vates chil­dren with a vari­ety of designs with all sorts of char­ac­ters and prints.


If the back­pack will be worn by a child, and the school is far away, look not only at ortho­pe­dics and straps, but also at the mate­r­i­al of the back of the back­pack. The best option is a breath­able mem­brane, as in the Z series from the Russ­ian brand Hum­ming­bird. With this, the child will not sweat his back.

In the Hum­ming­bird line, there are also options with a durable plas­tic bot­tom and fold­ing back­packs that are easy to get every­thing out of (not the light­est back­packs on the mar­ket). The aver­age cost is about 5,000 rubles. Minus accord­ing to reviews: new back­packs need to be “ven­ti­lat­ed” on the bal­cony for a cou­ple of weeks from an unpleas­ant smell.

If the weight of the back­pack is more impor­tant, then the TIGER FAMILY brand (Hong Kong) has mod­els for first-graders weigh­ing only 640 grams — and with a vol­ume of 19 liters. Every­thing will fit! By the way, this brand, like the Russ­ian Upix­el back­packs, has the abil­i­ty to change pat­terns and make an “indi­vid­ual design”.

True, there is a big ben­e­fit from the rigid back of the back­pack (semi-rigid will also cope): it keeps its shape well, which means that note­books will wrin­kle less. The mass of com­part­ments is also a plus: you can sep­a­rate­ly fold a non-spill cup, lunch­box, phone, stu­dent card, etc. And then you don’t have to look for all this among pen­cils and sports uni­forms.


Keep in mind that chil­dren grow up quick­ly. Most like­ly, in a year you will have to buy a new satchel, and they are not the cheap­est. You should not take it for growth: the width of the frame back­pack should not be more than the width of the child’s shoul­ders. It is bet­ter to mea­sure direct­ly on the child. For exam­ple, the pop­u­lar and inex­pen­sive Mag­Taller brand has almost all mod­els designed for large first-graders.

Backpack without frame

Backpack without frame

This is the most com­mon back­pack for a school­boy — he does not have a hard back (at best, there is a foam insert), shoul­der straps of medi­um width, there are very few com­part­ments. But in fact, such a “bag with han­dles” is not the worst option. It is con­ve­nient to car­ry it along school cor­ri­dors, such back­packs weigh the very min­i­mum, and it’s not so piti­ful if a child throws them or uses them as a seat for rid­ing down a hill.

So if you don’t have a neat lit­tle one in your house, but a clas­sic junior school­boy who, before the les­son, pulls every­thing out on a desk, finds what he needs and stuffs every­thing back — that is, an ordi­nary child — then this is quite your option. Here you need com­part­ments for per­son­al impor­tant things — a cou­ple is enough. Well, if they are tight­ly closed with a zip­per inside the back­pack.

Addi­tion­al advan­tages: a huge selec­tion of designs and sizes and cost: this is the cheap­est option. The Sil­w­er­hof Cube brand, for exam­ple, offers school back­packs for less than 300 rubles, Brauberg — for 450, PN Mar­ket — a more filled option for 800.


Pay atten­tion to the size so that every­thing fits, and the mate­r­i­al. Back­packs have to be washed or washed, and quite often.

Sling backpacks

Although this is not quite a “school” option, and all ortho­pe­dists will tell you that a back­pack with one strap pro­vokes defor­ma­tion of the shoul­der gir­dle and cur­va­ture of the spine, it also has a right to exist for old­er chil­dren. But: only if the child rides a bike to school.

It was these back­packs that the mail car­ri­ers chose, mov­ing on two-wheeled vehi­cles in a half-bent state. In this posi­tion, the back­pack sling even­ly dis­trib­utes the load over the entire back. Well, from the entrance to the school to the class, he will not have time to harm with any type of wear­ing.

It is bet­ter to choose such sling back­packs in a sports store.


What else to look for when choos­ing a back­pack for school? It is high­ly desir­able that the fab­ric is water-repel­lent (think not only about the rain on the out­side, but also about the juice pack inside), and the back­pack itself has reflec­tive ele­ments.

If not, think about a patch, stick­er or badge that will help the dri­ver rec­og­nize the child on a dark win­ter morn­ing or in an autumn fog.

Pencil cases and everything in them

Pencil cases and everything in them

The pen­cil case is prac­ti­cal­ly a back­pack in minia­ture. It also makes sense to select it accord­ing to the nature of the child: there are trans­former cas­es in which there are sev­er­al com­part­ments and there is a place for every­thing. A great option if the child likes order. Well, if not, every­thing will be in a heap in this not the cheap­est pen­cil case, and it’s good if you man­age to fas­ten it.


Often school bags are sold as a set, with a change bag and a pen­cil case of the same design. There are even addi­tion­al hand­bags and cos­met­ic bags! Many brands have the option to choose whether to buy only the satchel or all togeth­er. Pay atten­tion to this!

It will not be so dif­fi­cult for a first-grad­er to man­age a fold­ing pen­cil case: it is like a book with a clasp, some­times there are still a cou­ple of “pages” with elas­tic bands inside. Prac­ti­cal, con­ve­nient, and will help to teach the child that pen­cils and pens have their own place.

Among the lead­ers among par­ents of first-graders are the brands Win­ner One with break­age pro­tec­tion (and this hap­pens!), School­for­mat with PVC walls and lam­i­nat­ed card­board inside, hypoal­ler­genic Her­litz, wear-resis­tant ErichKrause. Tiger Fam­i­ly is praised for con­ve­nient fill­ing (although chil­dren pre­fer pen­cil cas­es with pic­tures to plain ones). The cost of such pen­cil cas­es is from 400 rubles and more.

A pen­cil case with one or two com­part­ments is not an option for first-graders, like a tube. More office sup­plies fit into the tube, but both of these options are suit­able for high school stu­dents. This is a styl­ish acces­so­ry or a func­tion­al thing for those who have already gnawed at the gran­ite of sci­ence and know exact­ly where every­thing is, and does not run to their moth­er.

What should be in the pencil case?

  • Of course, pens. Most often, ordi­nary ball­point, not gel, are need­ed — the ink from them is eas­i­ly smeared, in addi­tion, the gel pen does not “teach” the child to take into account the pres­sure on the paper, and this is also an impor­tant part of the devel­op­ment of fine motor skills. You need pens: blue — two pieces, one green and one red. It’s good if there are rub­ber pads on the body: on fin­gers that are not accus­tomed to han­dles, chaf­ing and even cal­lus­es can appear with­out them. Auto­mat­ic pens with young chil­dren do not jus­ti­fy them­selves. A brand with which there will be no prob­lems find­ing exact­ly the same pen to replace your favorite one is Erich Krause.
  • Sim­ple pen­cils: as you know, there are not many of them. But three or four in two stiff­ness options is enough for the first time. The clas­sic among pen­cils is, of course, the Koh-I-Noor brand.
  • Ruler 15–20 cm. Expe­ri­enced par­ents advise tak­ing wood­en ones: they are more dif­fi­cult to break into sharp pieces, includ­ing by acci­dent.
  • White soft eras­er.
  • Small sharp­en­er with chip con­tain­er.

This is a min­i­mum set for the first time. Fur­ther, you may have to equip the pen­cil case with some­thing else or, con­verse­ly, remove it — if, for exam­ple, in the class­room, they put a com­mon con­ve­nient sharp­en­er. Although it nev­er hurts.

By the way, expe­ri­enced par­ents of school­child­ren are not advised to take “first-grad­er kits” or com­plet­ed pen­cil cas­es. They often lack some­thing or some­thing turns out to be of the wrong form / qual­i­ty. Build your own set. Well, if pens and pen­cils have already been test­ed “in prac­tice” and the child likes it, take it with a mar­gin — all this is often lost.

Life hack!

So that the child does not for­get the pen­cil case or pen at home, get the same set on the home study table. Then you don’t have to put every­thing out of your back­pack for home­work. And about whether it is nec­es­sary to help chil­dren do it and how exact­ly, read in a sep­a­rate arti­cle.

Notebooks and covers

Notebooks and covers

Teach­ing note­books that come with text­books are most often cen­tral­ly pur­chased by par­ent com­mit­tees or the school itself. But many also require reg­u­lar check­ered and lined note­books. They will need 10 pieces, then, most like­ly, you will have to buy them in a box, but not in a nar­row line with an oblique strip: the child will switch to a wide line.

Choose note­books with thick mat­te paper — it is eas­i­er to write on it and they look neat longer. But inside it is bet­ter that there are not 18–24 sheets, but only 12. Still, a school back­pack is not the light­est hand­bag, and each note­book adds grams.

On sale there are note­books with bright cov­ers in draw­ings, but it is bet­ter to take ordi­nary plain ones. By the way, if paper diaries are still used at school, then the cov­er should also be neu­tral, with­out pic­tures.


A good option is a thin plas­tic fold­er for note­books. So they get less dirty, crum­pled and torn.

Cov­ers for every­thing are prac­ti­cal­ly a “must-have” for first-graders. For­got­ten bananas and half-eat­en sweets, drops of juice — all this stains and smells. But if there are no prob­lems with cov­ers for ordi­nary note­books (choose tighter ones — they will last longer), then train­ing kits come in dif­fer­ent sizes. Do not rush until you get your hands on them or buy them your­self: there is a chance that you will have to look for spe­cial sizes of math cov­ers, or take a larg­er cov­er and glue it (with a warm iron or tape).


It may not be use­ful for a child at home, but such a stand is very nec­es­sary at a school desk. They are also often pur­chased cen­tral­ly by the par­ent com­mit­tee. But if you are not so lucky (or you your­self are this com­mit­tee), pay atten­tion to qual­i­ty. The stand must be sta­ble, keep the cor­rect angle of incli­na­tion, have no sharp parts and serve for a long time.

There are a lot of options for coast­ers — from met­al ones famil­iar to every­one since child­hood and a com­bi­na­tion of met­al with plas­tic for 100 rubles to “Lin­colns” in the world of coast­ers from Brauberg. Prices for such coast­ers start at 800 rubles, but accord­ing to par­ents, they hold even the largest books and secure­ly fix the pages of the text­book.

Fine arts and technology

Fine arts and technology
  • In recent years, sketch­books have evolved: you can find brack­ets, springs, tear-off per­fo­ra­tions, dif­fer­ent types of paper in them. But many first-graders advise not to pur­sue per­fec­tion, but to buy an ordi­nary fold­er with paper for draw­ing. Con­ve­nient and sim­ple.

For the first months, chil­dren have enough fold­ers with 8–12 sheets — for school. For home crafts, you can buy any­thing.

  • School will need paints of two types — water­col­or (hon­ey, with a palette of 9–12 col­ors) and gouache: most often a set of 6 jars is enough. No need to look for a pro­fes­sion­al “Leningrad” water­col­or or a full palette of gouache for the school, the most pop­u­lar and proven brands of paints for lessons are “Luch” and “Gam­ma”.
  • They also need brush­es: three types of dif­fer­ent thick­ness­es from nat­ur­al pile are enough. By the way, in this case, a set for a stu­dent can help out well (unlike sets of pens with pen­cils). To all this, you need a non-spill glass, and here there are no restric­tions. As long as the lid stays on.
  • For school crafts, you will also need white and col­ored card­board and col­ored paper (take dou­ble-sided in the form of note­books). As a rule, in stores there are com­plete sets of card­board and paper for first graders, and they are quite suit­able for the require­ments.
  • Clay: Leave neon glow­ing options or play dough at home. The school needs ordi­nary plas­ticine — not the soft­est (but not hard stone). As a rule, it is called “clas­sic”. 8–10 col­ors in a set is enough. The lead­ers among pur­chas­es for the school are the same Luch and Gam­ma brands, slight­ly high­er in qual­i­ty (and price) than Brauberg.
  • Craft glue: Chil­dren at school will need two types: pen­cil and PVA. Do not take large bot­tles: they are uncom­fort­able to wear, and they dry out very quick­ly for those who for­get to close them.
  • If the child is famil­iar with scis­sors, take steel ones. If not, buy plas­tic ones, they are safer. And always with round­ed ends and in a spe­cial stor­age case.

By the way, if you have a left-hand­ed child, try spe­cial left-hand­ed scis­sors. Unlike pens, this is not a mar­ket­ing trick, but a dif­fer­ent angle of sharp­en­ing scis­sors, more suit­able for the left hand. This is not only con­ve­nient, but also shows the stu­dent that his left-hand­ed­ness is also the norm. And it is right! For more infor­ma­tion on why left-han­ders are no longer retrained and how they can dif­fer, read the arti­cle “Is it true that it is dan­ger­ous to retrain left-hand­ed peo­ple?”.