As much as kids complain that they hate school, we know they secretly love learning and playing with friends. With summer quickly coming to an end, it’s a great time to do some much needed back-to-school shopping for the little ones! At Kids Healthy Teeth, we highly encourage parents to bring their children along to pick out their school supplies for the new semester. Having autonomy over something as seemingly insignificant as what pencils and notebooks they will be using might actually get your kids excited for class. To make things easy for you, our Katy pediatric dentist and mother of one, Dr. Chen, has worked with us to create a list of back-to-school necessities and where to get them. Let’s get started!
You can get your school supplies anywhere, but the quality of the supplies really varies depending on what store you’re at! Here’s our take on how to optimize your time and money:
- Dollar Tree (24423 Katy Fwy, Katy, TX 77494): For the super basics, you can’t go wrong with Dollar Tree. The discount store really has everything you need, from crayons and poster boards to pencil cases and glue.
- Target (23710 Westheimer Pkwy, Katy, TX 77494): If you have an appointment planned at Kids Healthy Teeth, you may want to stop by Target on the way! The Target at Market Center in Cinco Ranch has everything your child needs to start the school year off right. In our opinion, it’s the best place to get cute notebooks, durable folders, and fun extras like stickers and glitter.
- Walmart (25108 Market Pl Dr, Katy, TX 77494): For big families, Walmart is the place to go. You can get tons of affordable supplies in bulk here and since the super retailer is open 24/7, it’s the ideal place for those last minute items you forgot to put on your list.
The best thing about school is lunch. And lunch recess. Make sure your child is well equipped to pay attention in class by providing quality lunches for them beforehand! The Katy Independent School District offers hot lunches in its schools’ cafeterias. To learn more about these options, check out our post about tooth-friendly elementary school lunches in Katy, TX. You can also apply for a reduced lunch waiver – just contact the school for an application!
If you’ve got a picky eater on your hands, you may want to have some packed lunch options prepared, too. The next time you go grocery shopping, remember to grab some juice boxes, string cheese, Lunchables, yogurt, peanut butter, and jell. If none of these seem appealing to you, take a look at our healthy grocery guide for kids in Katy, TX. Until then, a couple of places you can get premade, packable meals for your kids are:
- Trader Joe’s (2717 Commercial Center Blvd, Katy, TX 77494): While you’re doing some grocery shopping, why not pick up some premade lunches? Trader Joe’s has a ton of yummy premade salads, enchiladas, and spring rolls you can easily pack for lunch.
- 85°C Bakery Cafe (23330 Grand Cir Blvd, Ste 100, Katy, TX 77450): If you’re unfamiliar, this establishment is a Taiwanese owned franchise that serves everything from delicious bite-sized pastries to full-on birthday cakes. You can also get some very convenient offerings that multitask as breakfast, lunch, and even dessert! The cute little shop has hot dog breads, ham & cheese breads, Hawaiian chicken breads, and even tuna sandwiches.
- Chicken Salad Chick (21788 Katy Fwy, Ste 900, Katy, TX 77449): Located off the Katy freeway, Chicken Salad Chick is a fun, casual eatery that specializes in sandwiches and chicken salads. What we love about their food is that it can be eaten hot or cold, making it the perfect meal to pack for a long day at school.
Some schools require their students be vaccinated to prevent mass infection and illness. If your child goes to a school in the Katy Independent School District, you will most likely have to comply with standards set by the Texas Department of State Health. These vaccines are usually for the following:
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP)
- Haemophilus Influenza Type B
- Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis B
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
To learn more about when your child needs to get these vaccines, you can check out the Texas School & Child Care Immunization Requirements. Most insurance companies are required to cover vaccines, but check with your child’s healthcare provider before you schedule an appointment! After the vaccines are administered, your child will be given a copy of the record, so you can give it to school health administration.
Kids who are involved with intramural sports may need some new equipment and athletic apparel for the new school year. Sports equipment is especially important to replace because old gear can be dangerous to use. While most schools provide a standard P.E. uniform, your child may want to get fresh new shoes, socks, or athletic undergarments. Here are a few places you can get sports gear in Katy:
- Dick’s Sporting Goods (24600 Katy Fwy Ste 1100A, Katy, TX 77494): This chain is notable for consistently providing a wide variety of high-quality sports apparel and equipment for athletes throughout the US. It’s a great place to go for the basics.
- Baw Athletic Wear (5040 Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77493): Katy isn’t always the best place for strenuous physical activity – it can switch from being super hot to super cold in just a matter of hours. For kids who spend serious hours on the field honing in on their athletic skills, high quality, temperature adapted sportswear is a must.
- PGA Tour Superstore (24743 Katy Freeway, Katy, TX 77494): PGA Tour Superstore specializes in apparel and equipment for tennis and golf. It offers more options for these two sports than any other regular sports retailer, so it’s the place to go if your kids are involved in tennis or golf.
Most schools provide textbooks, but sometimes, your child will be assigned required reading for an English class or scientific research for a science project. In that case, we highly recommend visiting one of the local bookstores or libraries before hastily buying something online. You can often get better discounts and even free opportunities if you take the time to check out all your options first. Here’s where you can get those books:
- Katy Library (5414 Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77493): Not only can you check out books free at Katy Library, you can also borrow from its virtual library. There’s no reason to purchase a book if your child will only be reading it once. Check out the Katy Library’s extensive catalogue first.
- Katy Budget Books (2450 Fry Rd, Houston, TX 77084): Where do books go when we get tired of them? The landfill? The paper shredder? Katy Budget Books is a used book store that is home to thousands of beautiful and affordable books. You’ll definitely find some gems at this place.
- Books-a-Million (5000 Katy Mills Cir #221, Katy, TX 77494): It can be hard to find new books at the thrift store or the library. That’s where Books-a-Million comes in! The bookstore has an incredible selection of modern literature and timeless classics.
By the end of summer, all the ice cream and popsicles are probably having their sweet vengeance on your child’s teeth. Take your kids to visit the pediatric dentist in Katy before school starts to get their bright, pearly whites are as bright and pearly as they were at the beginning of summer. A minor toothache now can become a major distraction later in class. Get to the pediatric dentist during the summer while your child’s schedule is still open!
At Kids Healthy Teeth, our pediatric dentist will make sure your child feels ready and comfortable for their appointment. Like school, the dentist’s office is often seen as a scary, judgmental place, but we’re here to prove that belief wrong! Make an appointment today to see our Katy pediatric dentist, so your child can enter the school with a confident smile.