Making back to school survival kits are the perfect opportunity for you to connect with the families in your ministry as they head back to school. With so much uncertainty and diversity in back-to-school plans, a Back to School Survival Kit can be a great opportunity to provide families with simple ways to connect with God and each other!
The point of the survival kit is to provide families with items they’ll need to “survive” the school year. You can include a spiritual element like the freebie calendar we’ll share on Friday, August 21, this Back to School Prayer Journal for Kids, or this full Back to School Survival Kit that includes a family devotional and the list of ideas below. But you can also include physical items that offer practical help and encouragement. Here are some ideas for packing and distributing your Back to School Survival Kits!
What do I pack the Back to School Survival Kits in?
- Colorful gift bags (Or these gift bags with rainbow scratch paper! You could customize each one with a note or the child’s name!)
- Plastic party favor bags
- Cardboard boxes/treat boxes like these
- Small backpacks or drawstring bags
- Colorful Tote bags (these would be great for families to use throughout the year!)
- Basket or bucket
- Pencil cases or pencil boxes
How do I distribute the Back to School Survival Kits?
- Drive-By: Have families drive by your church to pick up their kit. We made our drive-through event a drive-through food drive (details coming soon) and we are so excited to connect with our families AND give them an opportunity to serve the community!
- Drop-Off: Do a dropoff to their doorsteps! This allows for social distancing measures to be in place but to get a quick glimpse of the kids you serve! If you have too many kids to do this yourself, this is a great task to delegate to some of your volunteers and small group leaders.
- Sunday Distribution: If your church is back to meeting together on Sundays, you could distribute these kits to families as they leave your Sunday service.
- Pro Tip: Have families register in advance to receive a Survival Kit so you know exactly how many you’ll need.
Consider including at least one item (budget permitting) from each of the following categories:
1) School Supplies (Check your local school supply lists too!)
- Pencils or Pens (include this free prayer pencil printable for a special touch!)
- Crayons, Markers or other Coloring Supplies
- Colorful Journals, Composition Books, or Sticky Note Notepads
- Glue or glue sticks
- Headphones (This will be a much-needed item this year!)
- Fun Erasers
- Hand Sanitizer (Another much-needed item)
- Mask (If needed in your area – you could even put your church or ministry logo on the mask!)
- If you’re looking for a cute printable to include in your Back to School Survival Kit that relates to each school supply, check out this blog post from Vanessa Myers!
2) School Snacks
- Granola Bars
- Breakfast Bars
- Fruit Cups
- Pretzels or Goldfish
- Applesauce Pouches
- Cereal (Mini boxes would be so fun!)
- Fruit Snacks
- Vouchers for the School Cafeteria or even a small gift card for a local favorite restaurant (We’re including Chick-fil-a coupons in ours, and Chick-fil-a gave them to us for free!)
- $5-$10 grocery store gift card (with a note – “Pick out your favorite school snack!)
3) Parent Pick-Me Up
Parents are going to need lots of help to get through this school year too! Let them know you’re thinking about them by including one of the following items with a little note that says: “We want to help you survive too Mom/Dad/Grown-ups!”:
- Free Coffee Voucher (Check with local coffee shops or chains – sometimes they’ll give these out for free to non-profits!)
- Coffee Gift Card
- Chocolate Bar
- Individually Packaged Tea Bags (Fun flavors are a bonus!)
- Cheap Reusable Travel Mug (add your church or ministry logo!)
- Handwritten Card
- Sanitizing Wipes or Hand Sanitizer (You know they’re going to be using it!)
Most of these ideas come from our Back to School Survival Kit, which includes full details on putting together a kit for your families as they head back to school. This Back to School Survival Kit includes a devotional & calendar, as well as the guidance you need to help families survive the uncertainty of the school year ahead! Download the full resource here.