We’ve turned to our own tiny trendsetters at Tinybeans to let us in on their top choices for fashion, snacks, accessories, and more this back-to-school season.

The back-to-school season isn’t a singular experience where kids are the only ones facing the bittersweet feelings of excitement and stress around the beginning of a new school year. No, no. In this rat race, parents are going back to school, too.

This year, we’re taking a new approach to prepping that’ll make the experience a smooth transition for the entire household—we’ve turned to our own Tinybeans kids to fill you in on what’s school-cool, and what’s a big “no!”

Parents, get ready to take some notes because, luckily, these kiddos have a lot of thoughts.

What They’re Snacking On

In: Fruit Flavored Snacks (Strawberry for the win!)

Fruit-filled snacks are winning kids’ hearts these days, and for 9-year-old Hudson, strawberry received a standing ovation as the flavor to have in his lunchbox. Moms and dads, rejoice because Kemps® new Smooth Cottage Cheese is the perfect option to get your fridge school-ready.

It’s full of protein and probiotics, made with real strawberries, bananas, and mixed berries, and is curd-free — so your picky eater will actually eat it! Did we mention it can also be eaten any time of day? Whether it’s a grab-and-go breakfast, packed up in your kids’ lunch box, or a quick afterschool snack, this versatile option is sure to please.

Out: Trading Said Snacks

Gone are the days of trading your bag of chips for cheese sticks, according to our Gordon Ramseys of the school cafeteria. When kids help to pack the lunch, kids want to keep the lunch. We’ve also been reminded that “trading snacks is not allowed.” Noted!


How They’re Dressing

In: Sporting Comfy Clothes All Day, Everyday

Casual, athleisure wear isn’t just a fashion choice for adults and teens anymore. Our picky kids are down with oversized, comfortable sweatshirts, especially “because the classrooms are always really cold,” says soon-to-be third grader, Mabel.

Out: Outfits That Require Extra Effort

Mornings are already a struggle, so kids say they don’t want to complicate things even more. A “grab and throw on” kind of style is what they need to get out the door in time. Throw in some slip-on shoes (with charms, of course), and it’s an even better start to their day.


How They’re Personalizing Gear

In: Adding Key Chains, Stickers, Patches & Shoe Charms on Everything

Accessories can never go out of style, and for our young Anna Wintours and ​​Steve McQueens of the school hallways, it’s all about sprucing up their bookbags, lunch boxes, water bottles, and shoes. Their go-to adornments? Stickers, iron-on patches, keychains, and all of the shoe charms representing their favorite movies, characters, animals, games and even vacation destinations. “I like the beach. I’m going to do stickers from Hawaii or something like Maui on my water bottle,” says seven-year-old Kingston.

Out: Monogrammed Bags

Parents, monograms aren’t expression-filled enough these days. Ditch the custom stitch for a fun keychain, like a Pop It fidget toy, and your kid will be over the moon. Easy!


How They’re Playing

In: Unknowingly Choosing Games Their Parents Once Loved

It looks like Pokémon and Super Mario Bros. aren’t going anywhere after all this time. Just as we once obsessed over these games, children are now doing it, too—and we’re completely here for it! Almost first-grader Mei adores Mario Party, but what she loves most is “playing it with Papa.” Cue the emotions.

Out: Computer Games That Are For Big Kids

With tablets the device of choice for our tiny gamers, we weren’t too shocked about the lack of interest in desktops. But we were impressed with six-year-old Theo’s response that he’s “way too young to do the computer” when asked about his favorite game. Right on, Theo!


How They’re Getting Ready for School

In: Creating a Routine They Can Partake In

The back-to-school season is challenging no matter what, but kids are ready to be more involved than they let on—and they, too, want the transition to be a smooth and stress-free process. Fourth-grader Chase likes to pick out his clothes ahead of time, so for him, the simpler the outfit the better, like sweatshirts and shorts.

As for 5-year-old Liliana, a little room makeover does the trick to help her get back into the school mindset. This year, her space includes everything Lilo & Stitch, from her new bed sheets to her homework bench that she insists be called an office.

Out: Scrambling Last Minute to Get Back into the Swing of Things

Gone are the days of the frantic “oh, no, school starts in a week” rush. Parents (and children alike) are creating routines at least a month in advance, so everyone can feel good about the new year. We love an organized tribe!


If you’re in need of more inspiration, we have even more recs for back-to-school essentials. Plus, snack inspiration from Kemps that are easy to follow and make!

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