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Stock your tween’s school backpack with a hygiene kit—they need it!

Here’s how to stock your tween’s backpack with a hygiene kit

Small toiletry bag with assorted hygiene products scattered all around on tabletop surface. Credit: Reviewed / Leigh Harrington

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Let’s be real, middle schoolers can be pretty self-absorbed. They also stink, in more ways than one. As a parent to a 5th grader, I’m allowed to say that.

To cut the kiddos some slack, middle school is a huge time of transition, both emotionally and physically. Easing the awkwardness and anxiety of this age is part of a parents job, and one thing you can do is to put together a hygiene kit for their school backpack. Doing so means there’s less chance of them freaking out when they realize they forgot to put on deodorant or, worse, that Aunt Flo is in town.

To make it easier on you moms and dads, we’ve put together a sample tween hygiene kit with all sorts of goodies, from hair bands to Band-Aids to blemish sticks.

How to create a tween hygiene kit

First things first, you need a travel-sized pouch

Small toiletry bag inside of school backpack.
Credit: Reviewed / Leigh Harrington

If your tween struggles with organization, a toiletry bag may be the solution that keeps all their hygiene products in a centralized location.

Find a travel-sized pouch that fits in your student’s backpack—preferably one that’s not see-through. Since your kid will be toting this around with them, it should express their personality, much like their backpack. Available everywhere, from Amazon to Nordstrom, in all sorts of materials, styles and patterns.

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Help them tame their hair

Green plastic hair brush next to Scunci Earth-Friendly Ponytailers on wooden table-top.
Credit: Reviewed / Leigh Harrington

Picture day isn't the only time an emergency cowlick may arise.

Has your kid ever left for the school bus looking like birds were nesting in their hair? With middle schoolers, it happens—frequently. A small, travel-sized brush will help them get their knots out before their first class, and a scrunchie or hair bands will keep it out of their faces during math.

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Ease the puberty anxiety

Stick of Thayers Lemon Oil Control Blemish Stick, Degree deodorant stick, and small green hair brush.
Credit: Reviewed / Leigh Harrington

Help your teen through those very hormonal years with helpful goodies like the Thayers Lemon Oil Control Blemish Stick and a fresh stick of deodorant.

Who doesn’t remember staring in the mirror and assessing all your whiteheads, blackheads, and raging red sores across the landscape of your face during your teen years? Middle school’s the start of this awful time.

What the kids don’t understand is that picking at these pustules truly only makes them worse. So, when they’re in class and can’t wash away the grease of their T zone, a blemish stick with witch hazel and aloe vera can ease the redness and help heal the area, without them even leaving their desk.

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The other major puberty woe is getting their period. Menstruation can be sporadic in the tween and teen years, leaving kids without a way to predict their time of the month. Stashing away a few teen-sized ultra-thin maxi pads can help majorly ease a fear of bleeding through their pants.

And, deodorant—mini, to fit the bag—is worth every effort. No one wants to sit next to an onion in class, and you surely don’t want your kid to be that onion.

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Breathe easier with fresh breath

Much like body smells, tweens will start to be conscious of their breath. If they dug into their French bread pizza and Fritos for lunch, having a travel-sized mouthwash or disposable toothbrushes can be handy.

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Emphasize safety first

Welly Quick Fix Kit next to black disposable mask.
Credit: Reviewed / Leigh Harrington

Now immediate first aid or a trip to the nurse is just a backpack zipper away.

By the time they reach middle school, kids are going to feel too old to cry when they skin a knee during recess, and too stubborn for a visit to the school nurse unless something is seriously wrong. In this case, it’s good to have a mini first aid kit outfitted with bandages and antibiotic ointment so they can treat themselves at their locker.

A small bottle of spray hand sanitizer is also a good idea. It keeps common classroom germs like the stomach bug and Covid at bay when students can’t wash their hands at the sink.

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Offer quick beauty fixes

Blue and red Iridesi Professional Mini Finger Nail File, Gem Gem Ginger Candy Chewy Ginger Chews, and Scunci Earth-Friendly Ponytailers all sitting together on table top.
Credit: Reviewed / Leigh Harrington

A pesky hang-nail won't ruin their perfect school day.

If they're not already biting their nails as a bad habit, prevent it from becoming one with a mini nail file. Snags are no fun for anyone.

Neither are chapped lips, so make sure you include lip balm.

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Stop the stains

Kids are slobs. Tweens are slobs who are starting to realize they’re slobs.

When they drip ranch dressing or spaghetti sauce down their favorite sweater, an instant stain remover can save the day. Depending on the size of the disaster, the stain stick will handle it in the moment or at least save the garment until you can wash it at the end of the day.

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Curb the belly aches

Small toiletry bag filled with assorted hygiene products.
Credit: Reviewed / Leigh Harrington

The first day of school isn't the only time your teen might have some stomach jitters.

Whether from nerves or indigestion, tweens get stomach aches from time to time. Toss a few natural ginger candies into their hygiene kit to help settle them. Sometimes just having something “to take” offers confidence and solves the problem.

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