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daily activities



Destination: School

Gear Up for School

It’s school supply time! Figure out what you already have, what you can repurpose, and what you need to get (and no, you really don’t need 400 glue sticks—unless you’re the teacher!).


what you’ll need



        Ask About Today

        What school supplies do we already have at home and what do we need to buy or find?

        Skip the Ads

        Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.


        10 minutes


        What’s In Your Backpack?

        Ever wondered what kids carry to school in other countries? Get a peek at what’s inside backpacks around the world in this photo slideshow.


        How to Clean Your Gross Backpack

        Did you know you can throw the whole thing in the washing machine? The important part is to open all the zippers and put it in a washable bag or pillowcase first. Learn more from the pros at Whirlpool, including instructions for hand-washing as well.


        Why Are Pencils Yellow?

        YouTube thumbnail

        We have a lot of questions about pencils. Like why are they shaped like hexagons? What does #2 mean? And who invented them? Get all the answers in this brief TED-Ed video!


        30 minutes


        Gear Check

        1. Check what supplies you have left over from last year (pencils, crayons, coloring pencils, notebooks, etc.)—you may have more than you think!

        2. If you have a backpack, find it and empty it out completely. Hopefully you can reuse it this year, but it might need a good cleaning. Check out the Explore section to learn out how!

        3. By now, your school has probably posted or sent out a list of supplies you’ll need next year. Working with a parent or family member, find the list and print it or write out a new list of any items you’ll need to buy. Remember to cross off anything you already have from last year. Then take a look at our list of Surprisingly Useful School Stuff and see if you need anything on there.


        DIY Desk Supplies

        Lots of things you already have around the house can be repurposed to make really nice office supplies. Rescue an empty pasta sauce jar before it goes in the recycling, dress it up in some tissue paper or paint (or leave it plain!), and voila—you’ve got a new cup for pens and pencils! A lot of old packaging can be reused, too: Bubble envelopes, plastic or cardboard fruit containers, and small cloth or plastic bags can all be useful for holding small items like cords, paper clips, and art supplies. It’s easier to find what you’re looking for if you keep similar objects together in smaller containers.