New Backpacks, Kids Haircuts and Other School Supplies for Fall 2021
Like many local parents, I keep waiting for a return to normal, but we aren’t there yet.
As teachers and parents wait for districts to finalize their plans, many of us are longing for a typical back to school season. I know I would happily trade this uncertainty for a mundane search for Sharpies and the best box of crayons.
Whether in-person or virtual, we are all trying to establish a routine to get ready for school. We’ve outlined spots to find the best kids haircuts, grab school supplies or donate them.
No matter what your learning plans may be, we wish you a safe and happy school year.
Kalamazoo Public Schools
Home to The Kalamazoo Promise, KPS is a vibrant, progressive district that educates 13,000 students in 24 schools, from Preschool through Twelfth grade.
With a focus on student achievement and caring educators who empower all students to nurture their dreams, KPS has continued to see graduation rates climb.
The Kalamazoo Promise is an anonymously-funded scholarship program providing up to 100%, post-secondary tuition and fee assistance. Since it began in 2005, The Promise has awarded more than 6,000 KPS graduates with more than $130 million in scholarships.
Where to Find School Supplies
Whether you’re looking for a Chromebook, a box of Crayolas or a face mask, we’ve rounded up the best options for families to stock up for this school year. Southwest Michigan also offers organizations to distribute supplies:
School Supplies Retailers
For pencils, markers, folders and other typical classroom items, our readers prefer Walmart, Meijer, Office Depot and Target. Take advantage of drive-up options for curbside pickup to make things easier.
In addition to the typical big box retailers, families love LL Bean, Lands End, Eddie Bauer and Pottery Barn Kids for school backpacks.
Shopping Tip: be sure to verify bag size (many have size charts) to ensure all supplies will fit and your child can carry it easily.
Fortunately, masks are much easier to locate in stores now and are available in a much larger variety of styles and sizes than last year. Many families have had success with the masks from Walmart, Meijer, Old Navy or Target.
If using fabric ones, be sure to purchase extra to make laundry an easier (and less frequent) chore. We also recommend placing a backup mask in backpacks.
Virtual School Supplies
Virtual learners will need a computer for home, but families may not need to purchase one. Check with your school first: many have computers available to loan.
Chromebook shoppers are most likely to find them at Walmart, Amazon, Staples and Best Buy. Families may also want to consider headphones and computer mice.
If your children are like mine, their formerly full-length pants are now capris. The Children’s Place, Target, Walmart, Gap Kids, Aeropostale and Carters are some top-recommended spots. Two other favorites are resale shops Once Upon a Child and Second Childhood.
Need shoes? Locally owned Little Chick Shoe Shop offers a guaranteed fit and will prorate them if your child outgrows them too quickly. They are open by appointment only (call or send them a Facebook message to schedule).
Donations & Drives
A fantastic way to help local communities is through school supply donations. We’ve listed local organizations that distribute school supplies in SW Michigan:
Kids Haircuts in Southwest Michigan
Need a new ‘do before school starts? We’ve rounded up top spots for kids haircuts, as suggested by local parents:
- Coachlite Cutters (Meijer) | 8850 Shaver Rd, Portage, 49024, MI
- Great Clips | 5903 Gull Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49048
- Hair by Logan (Suite Society Salon Suites) | 212 W Milham Ave, Portage, MI 49024
- Jude’s Barbershop | 2050 W Centre Ave, Portage, MI 49024
- Magnificent Hair by Michelle (919 Salon) | 919 W Milham Ave, Portage, MI 49024
- Nick’s Barber Shop | 115 S Main St, Vicksburg, MI 49097
- Refined Men’s Grooming | 6997 W Q Ave, Ste 2, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
- Sports Clips Haircuts- Kalamazoo | 5304 W Main St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
- Sports Clips Haircuts- Portage | 7101 S Westnedge Ave, Portage, MI 49002
- UncLee’s Barber Shop | 1909 W Main St, Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Did we miss your favorite barbershop or salon for kids haircuts? Leave us a comment to update our list!