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Things Teen Girls Need in Their Backpacks

by Kathryn Walsh

Your teen girl needs a lot from you, including privacy, compassion and support, but her smaller, daily needs are just as important. Arm her for success in school by supplying her with all the backpack essentials. You can't make her crush notice her, but you can ensure she's ready to excel at algebra.

School Supplies

The supply list is different at every school, so before your teen starts a new school year, refer to that list for specifics. Every teenage student needs something to write with, so your teen should carry pens and pencils, including a red pen, and a chunky eraser. She needs a few highlighters, a notebook and folder for each class, a duel calendar and organizer, loose leaf paper and flash cards. Your teen might also need binders for each class. She'll likely need a calculator for math class, but varieties vary, so the nonprofit GreatSchools.org recommends you talk to her math or science teacher before investing in one. Ask for a specific brand and model to look for in stores. Because much of teenage school work is done on computers, your daughter needs a flash drive she can use to save and transfer files.

Personal Items

Pick up a light wallet or change purse for your daughter so she can always carry her driver's license or school ID and some cash for school lunch and emergencies. A teen girl should also carry feminine products all the time, and mints and gum freshen her breath after lunch. She might need contact solution or cleaning wipes for glasses. Every student should carry a reusable water bottle. Give her sunscreen if she eats lunch outdoors or walks to and from school. Deodorant and bathing products are handy if she has gym class, but these items should stay in her locker or gym locker.

Grooming Supplies

She might feel more confident walking the halls when she has a few beauty basics in her bag. Give her a small zippered case to keep in a pocket of her backpack. Inside, she might carry a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste and a compact mirror for quick touch-ups. If you allow her to wear makeup, advise her to carry no more than concealer, face powder and a few shades of tinted lip gloss; any more products and she'll spend all of lunch fixing her face. Even if you're opposed to makeup, your teen can carry moisturizing lip balm and oil-absorbing blotting papers to keep her face shine-free. Hair ties, bobby pins and a brush or comb keep her hair under control.

What She Doesn't Need

Carrying a heavy pack can cause back pain, poor posture and falls, according to KidsHealth. Remind your teen to go through her bag every day or two and clear out unnecessary items. If she needs to bring extra books or a new bag of gym clothes to school, pack them in a separate bag she can deposit in her locker rather than carrying around. And insist that she leave most of her electronics at home unless they're required for school. She can carry her cell phone, if it's allowed on school grounds, but her laptop, handheld video games, MP3 player and all their chargers add bulk and weight to an already-full bag.

About the Author

Cooking, travel and parenting are three of Kathryn Walsh's passions. She makes chicken nuggets during days nannying, whips up vegetarian feasts at night and road trips on weekends. Her work has appeared to The Syracuse Post-Standard and insider magazine. Walsh received a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images