It's the time of year every parent budgets for, school supply shopping time. Each August Moms and Dads flock to the stores and clear the shelves of pens, paper, binders, folders, and more. Most school supply items on the list sent home are pretty normal, but there are a few this year that have parents scratching their heads. Here are the Top 8 Strangest School Supply List Items.

8. 20 Glue Sticks - One or two is understandable, but 20? The request comes from a kindergarten teacher, and even though arts & crafts is a big part of the curriculum are 20 really necessary? Does the teacher have stock in Elmer's?

7. Colored Index Cards - Okay, index cards seems normal enough, but one parent made the comment "Why the different colors?" The same Mom said that she was required to buy the colored ones three years in a row. She finally just kept the ones from the previous year to not be used the next year.

6. Tissues - There is no doubt that health and hygiene are key for kids, but tissues as a school supply item? Is there really no room in the school budget for classroom Kleenex?

5. Brand Specific Pencils - There are indeed certain requirements when it comes to taking Standardized Tests, but does the brand really matter? One parent sent in the suggestion for this list after receiving the list seeing 'Ticonderoga' pencils specifically. Isn't any No. 2 pencil sufficient? The biggest issue with this brand is the price at around $4.99 per pack.

4. Towel - At least the teacher requesting this item gave an explanation for this one. The towel will be used in the kindergarten class for an activity called "Circle Time." Whatever that is, the kids may get sweaty.

3. Tennis Balls - This item seems like it would be used for a gym class, but it's actually for the student to essentially destroy by cutting a slit into the ball to put on the bottom of their chair. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if tennis balls came in a container with more than three. This would require the parent to purchase two cans of balls (6).

2. Yoga Ball - This is where things start to get heated. When this school supply item was brought up, it started a bit of a lengthy discussion when it came to cost and safety. The health benefits for a child sitting on a yoga, or medicine ball can indeed be positive. However, these aren't cheap. Many parents are also concerned with the fact their child could easily fall off the ball and injure themselves. On the other hand, why would an educator want the child to have the opportunity for distraction bouncing up and down all day?

1. A Singe White Sock - This is number one simply because of the randomness of the request. Short of making sock puppets what class, lesson, or subject would require the use of a sock? Does it need to be a long sock, short sock, or tube sock?


When it's all said and done parents have a huge financial burden when it comes to school supply shopping, especially when there are multiple children. It's a tough battle each year with parents and teachers as to who should pay for what, and why. In many cases teachers do spend their own money to provide items, clothing, and books for their students. In most cases it simply comes down to financial strain on a particular district. What's the solution? Nobody really knows, but in reality 'Back to School' shopping is part of raising a child, and it's not easy, but definitely necessary.

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