School Supplies for Remote Learning

Changes in learning environment this fall can mean changes to school supply shopping, too. Not only will kids need basic school supplies like pens, pencils, markers, and notebooks, but distance learning (also referred to as remote learning) can require a new set of supplies to turn your home into the optimal classroom.

The National Retail Federation (NRF), the retail industry’s largest trade group, estimates that parents with kids in K-12 will spend an average of $790 on remote learning supplies – up from $697 in 2019.Total back-to-school retail sales are expected to reach $101.6 billion. If that happens, it will be the first-time school shopping has crossed the $100 billion mark since NRF has been tracking this number.

If you’re a parent wondering where to invest your back to school shopping dollars this fall, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a list of the best supplies for distance learning so you can be prepared for whatever learning schedule your kids may experience.

School Supplies for Remote Learning in 2020

Distance Learning


When it comes to distance learning essentials, a tablet tops the list. Many schools provide access to a tablet or other device at no cost or low cost to parents. If you don’t have access, look for sales to save. Try using websites like Digital Trends and PC Mag, which share the latest offers each month so you don’t have to search different websites comparing prices.

Check with your school for requirements, but here are a few of our favorites:

Amazon Fire HD 8

Amazon Fire HD 8

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Samsung Galaxy Tab A

Detachable Keyboard

Many kids are savvy with touchscreens, but to improve their typing skills, a keyboard can help. Depending on your needs and your tablet, different keyboard types may work best. Here are two of our favorites:

ACE Backlite Keyboard

Arteck Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard

Nulaxy rechargeable Bluetooth Keyboard

Nulaxy Rechargeable Bluetooth Keyboard


Keep kids focused on work with headphones that can help them tune out distractions. If you can, find an option with a built-in microphone that makes it easy to participate in class discussion.

A couple of our favorites:

Bluetooth Headphones

Mpow CH68 Kids Headphones with Microphone

Bluetooth Headphones

Vogek Wired Kids Headphones with Microphone


Tablets offer touchscreen capability that is simple to use but having a mouse and keyboard can reduce hand strain over the course of the day. Choose a simple option to fit your child’s needs. Be sure to check that the mouse is compatible with your tablet. Some options may offer USB or new Type C connection ports for a variety of devices, while others may offer only Bluetooth connection.

Some of our favorites:


Jelly Comb Noiseless 2.4GHz Bluetooth Mouse with USB and Type C Connection

Bluetooth Mouse

Zeru Rechargeable 2.4GHz Bluetooth Mouse

DIY Classroom

White Board and Markers

Perfect for those moments when you need to step in to help with schoolwork, a white board makes any space feel more like a classroom. Choose from basic wall boards or easel-style boards for multiple uses for schoolwork and beyond.

Two of our favorites:

white board

VIZ-PRO Magnetic Dry Erase Board 36x24”

white board

Mini Foldable Dry Erase White Board 16x12”

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Table and Chairs

Turn the living room corner or kitchen into a classroom space with a simple kids table and chairs. Elegant options look great anytime and provide a dedicated space for learning – this can help kids get into “school mode” each day.

A couple of our favorites:

white board

Baby Relax Hunter 3-Piece Table and Chair Set

humble and crew table and chairs

Humble Crew Plastic Table and 4 Chairs

Organization and Storage

Markers, crayons, scissors, and other supplies can easily become a mess over the course of the day. Stay organized with cute caddies and storage pieces for your DIY classroom setup.

Some of our favorites:

Storage Center

Learning Resources Create-a-Space Storage Center

Storage Container

Simple Houseware Mesh Desk Organizer

Time Management Tools

Without school bells and other signals to help students manage time, the school day can feel like endless hours of learning. Consider choosing tools to help schedule learning blocks and breaks for snacks and lunch.

Student Planners

Journalistic 2020-2021 Student Planner

Student Planners

Time Timer Original 8” 60-Minute Visual Timer