Many parents have mixed feelings about the start of school. There’s a lot of information to process and some hard choices to make. Luckily, the Mabelhood is a judgement-free zone. (And hey, in case no one has told you lately: you’re doing a great job, Moms and Dads.)

As kids return to the classroom, here are a few things you may need for the school year ahead:

Dalcini Stainless

Dishwasher-safe lunch containers

Reusable lunch containers are great for a number of reasons, and my family has always used them as a way to avoid single-use plastics and minimize our environmental footprint. Now more than ever, I want all of my kids’ lunch containers to be dishwasher-safe to ensure thorough cleaning between uses. These Dalcini lunch sets are excellent quality, easy to open and look great with your favourite Mabel’s Labels on them. Speaking of which…

Mabel's Labels

Labels, labels and more labels

This year is all about the labels to keep your kids’ belongings organized and in the right hands. Mabel’s has plenty of high quality, waterproof multi-use label options, including a variety of family-friendly value packs. My personal favourites are the hexagon and heart-shaped labels – they’re super cute and work well for older kids as well as little ones. Got two kids in the family? This split name pack might be a good choice. You can also order customizable allergy alert labels, personalized clothing stamps and lots more.

Hello Bello SanitizerConvenient, kid-sized hand sanitizer

I’ve tried a number of hand sanitizer liquids and gels over the past few months but my kids have shown a strong preference for mist-able versions (here’s where I buy mine). They’re easy to use and many come in a pleasant scent like lemon or lavender. The small bottles are great for tossing into a purse or a backpack and yes, you can throw a label on there, too. Be sure to choose something with 60% or higher in alcohol content to be effective against germs.

Mabel's Labels Face Masks

Reusable cloth face masks

Depending on where you live, your kids may be required to wear face masks in class – and even if masks aren’t mandated, it’s a smart choice that helps to reduce the risk of transmitting germs. Mabel’s Labels has child and adult-sized reusable cloth face mask options that are lightweight, moisture-wicking and super comfortable. These functional, non-medical grade masks have three layers of fabric, come in a variety of colours and patterns and are made in Canada. Stock up now and be ready!

Social distance floor decals

Something special for teachers

Mabel’s Labels offers awesome floor decals to help kids with social distancing while maintaining a colourful, positive classroom vibe. If my kids’ teachers are into the idea, I’m going to offer to donate some to the classroom this fall. If you’ve gotta distance, why not make it fun?

This year’s school essentials will include more than just the usual backpack and indoor shoes, so make sure you’ve stocked up on all the supplies you’ll need. Here’s to a safe, pleasant back-to-school experience for kids and parents alike.


Erin Pepler is a freelance writer, mom, and reluctant suburbanite living outside of Toronto, Ontario. She is usually drinking a coffee, or thinking about getting one. Erin is prone to terrible language, though not in front of her kids, and yes, she has an opinion on that thing you’re talking about. She loves music, books, art, design, cooking, travel, and sleeping more than four hours at a time (a rarity). You can find her at or on Instagram, where she documents her passion for motherhood and caffeine.

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